By Cressida McLaughlin
What it’s about?
Meet luxury travel agent Hester Monday. When Hester’s newest client, handsome Jake Oakenfield, is injured in a heroic accident, he has an unusual request.
For Jake, laid up in a luxury hotel room and unable to return to New York, binge watching Netflix just won’t do. He wants Hester to invent the ultimate escape and re-create her most magical holidays abroad from the confines of his hotel room. The only problem? Thanks to her fear of flying, Hester hasn’t been on a plane in years.
They travel together on a series of virtual mini-breaks around the globe, from Australia to New York and the Amalfi coast, until Hester’s world of make-believe starts to feel just a little too real. Will the truth ruin her perfect holiday romance?
What I think:
This is such a joyful, escapist read!
I loved Hester from chapter 1 and was rooting for her all the way.
Hester is creative and imaginative. She has a such warmth about her that people are naturally drawn to her. She is brilliant at her job creating luxury holidays for her clients. But her fear of flying means her own travels are limited to a holiday in Italy as a child.
Jake Oakenfield is staying in a luxury London hotel. Having been injured trying to save an old lady from being run over, he is being forced to rest and is bored. His sister Beth, books him an appointment with Hester to create a dream trip to Thailand for when he has recovered.
Jake is grumpy and miserable. He hates his sister’s interference and dismisses Hester pretty quickly, however after second thoughts he honestly her to create a series of ‘staycation’ experiences in his hotel room.
As Hester’s own travels are limited, she recruits her friends to help her with details and anecdotes from their travels. The experiences she creates for Jake are magical and intimate and it is soon clear that there is a deeper connection between them. But Jake believes Hester has traveled the world and it soon becomes clear that if their relationship is going to move forward she will have to be honest about fear of flying.
This is is such a lovely romance. Hester and Jake are a great couple and the supporting cast of family and friends are also lovely. Hester already has a great life in London and her friends are fun and supportive.
What I really like is that Hester and Jake actually talk to each other. They don’t have ridiculous misunderstandings or arguments. They talk and share and work out whether they can have a future together. I really felt that they had a genuinely happy ending.
Ironically, The Staycation will make a great feel-good holiday read this Spring.
About the writer:
Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David.
When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline.
Thank you to Harper Fiction for my gifted copy of The Staycation and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of this romantic blog tour.