*Book Review* The Summer of Chasing Dreams

The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin

Once I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in one night. Within a couple of hours; which is impressive, even for me. It is a truly uplifting, romantic and beautiful read and so inspiring. Reading at home in bed, my first thought was how much I wanted to get up the next day and start exploring the world.

Everything about this book, from the beautifully written landscapes and adventures, to the amazing characters is wonderfully well written and makes me crave for an adventure of my own.

As you all know, I am a sucker for falling in love with a character. And yes I think everyone will fall in love with Thor a little bit, but for me, it’s all about falling in love with Eva and seeing the world through her eyes.

Holly Martin has done it again, I think the idea of an around the world trip appeals to anyone. Seeing the world and trying all these exciting things, well it’s exciting and amazing – especially for someone like me who is scared of flying, the dream and the reality are two very different things. I loved this book as it was a great read but on a personal level, I love reading books where I get to discover the world and see more of it, as I may not get to discover the real thing. Holly writes each new place beautifully, and certainly makes me want to travel to all these places, but as with her heroine Eva, seeing the world through Holly’s eyes is just as wonderful.

Not only does she write about some of the most beautiful and wonderful places, but she also has this romance blossoming all the way through it. Now you all know I am not one for spoilers, so I won’t be going into much detail. Eva is a young woman, who lost her mum and is trying to navigate life without her. She and her mum were polar opposites by all accounts, unlike her mum Eva never had any desire to travel. But upon discovering her mums lists of dreams she wished for as a teenager, Eva decides to set off on a once in a lifetime trip around the world with a dedicated travel guide, to keep her company. After some initial upset, enter godlike beauty Thor form stage left and undoubtedly, romance, drama or all of the above will ensue. If like me you like a good chick lit romance, you might think you know what will happen. But let me tell you now, as much as this story does have some of the usual traits of a romance novel, it is also something quite special.

I don’t think it follows the usual trope of a romance story. I think Eva is a very real character, and she moves the story along beautifully, she is brave and bold when she needs to be, with a slight naivety about her that is endearing. And as with most stories when the ‘plot thickens’, and you expect the drama to ensue, the nervous and slightly scared character we meet at the beginning of the story has grown and evolved, it’s not unrealistically and although there is slight drama, our Eva doesn’t back down or get scared and so inevitably, she becomes the heroine of her own story and I think I fell a bit in love with her.

I wish I could be as brave at conquering my fears, and maybe then I could see some of this glorious world, that Holly Martin so beautifully describes.

As with everything, I like to hope that I don’t look at everything with rose tinted spectacles, so was there anything I didn’t enjoy or like. Well, it ended far too soon. It left me wanting more ( 😊😍obviously this isn’t really a criticism.) I love and hate when a story leaves me wanting more, I love it because it means I enjoyed the story and I fell for the characters, so I really want to know more, but I am sad, as most of the time, there is no follow up. But I have a good imagination, I can imagine their future into existence in my mind.

I did have one wish whilst reading this story. I really would have liked to hear more from Laurel, I know she isn’t supposed to be as exciting as Eva’s mum, but I liked her relationship with Eva, it would have been nice to hear more of it. Possibly, hearing more from other characters too, I know it is Eva and Thor’s story, but you know me, I love good characters, so I love hearing all the stories of background characters. I especially like Thor’s parents, and I think I would have liked to hear more from Thomas too.

But as far as the story goes, I really, really enjoyed it. I think anything about exploring the world, seeing beautiful places and having fun adventures would appeal to me, but having the romance, friendship, family, love and slight drama thrown in, really sold it for me.

Holly Martin is one of my favourite authors, with her quirky humour, cute and romantic storylines and steamy, sexy scenes, she never fails to cheers me up every time I pick up one of her books. She did a wonderful job in making me fall in love with all of these extraordinary and unique places in her own unique way. I have always wanted to see the world and reading this story, has made me want it even more, never in my life have I wanted to see Hanami (Cherry blossom festival) in Japan as much as I did after finishing this book. She also created characters that I wanted to have happy endings, she made me fall in love with these people too. I love reading about a character and feeling like I’ve found a friend.

Overall, this is a sweet romance story enclosed in a beautiful travel adventure, that ticks so many boxes, how could it not be a wonderful read? The characters are adorable and you will undoubtably fall in love with at least one character. The scenery and places Eva discovers are described amazingly, and they are a wonderful back drop to a very cute, and refreshing love story.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (5/5 stars) I would definitely recommend this for anyone who loves Holly Martin already, anyone who craves adventure or romance or someone looking for something exciting or inspiring. It definitely inspired me to want to seek out more adventures.

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