This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin
Released on September 22, 2016
A South American travel adventure sounded just the thing so I picked this one up ready to vicariously travel along for a good time. There was a feeling of women’s fiction blended with romance in that it highlighted Georgia’s ongoing personal growth and healing, friendships and change, and of course her relationship with Ben. This had its deeper moments, but it was blended with light comedic moments, too.
I discovered when I started reading that Destination Chile was the third leg in the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series. It worked out pretty well considering it was quite obvious that this story began earlier, but the author recapped things well enough that I wasn’t lost and had set up a new story thread with another trip adventure and situation.
Georgia and her boyfriend Ben run a travel business together in Manchester, England. They’ve been told that mixing business with a personal relationship will cause all sorts of trouble, but somehow they are managing. They struggle a bit with leaving work at the office and Georgia is treading carefully with Ben as they have just moved in together and must figure out domestic harmony. She hasn’t missed that Ben says little about his past and hasn’t introduced her to his dad. There is also the added tension lately because Ben wants to expand and set up an office in London while Georgia is skittish of an expansion.
Georgia’s friends have loads of advice and some pointed observations which make her really start to think. Now one of her best friend’s is moving to Australia and taking Ben’s friend Jimmy, her boyfriend, with her. Georgia doesn’t do well with change of that nature so she is flustered and decides that she and Ben just need to get away to somewhere far from their lives- a chance to search out their thoughts and have some meaningful talk. After getting ditched at the altar that set her on a backpack journey to find herself, she wants to make good and sure about things with Ben. All this leads to them accepting a place on a reality show that will feature local travel celebrity types in a competition for a prize while they travel in Chile. It’s not quite the adventure and soul-searching time Georgia imagines.
Alright, this one was a delightful story. Georgia is an everyday woman and I had a good time going along as she narrated her thoughts and life. She’s come a long way and would like to think she’s arrived when it’s obvious there is still more to come. Georgia is a successful businesswoman and is thrilled by what she has with Ben, but she is also poised to have it all snatched away from her. Her vulnerability leads to second guessing and a need to control things.
Georgia’s two best friends were fun foils for her. I loved the extended scene time with both of them particularly her pregnant friend who tends to see things clearly and pushes Georgia to examine her actions and choices. Georgia and her friends are non-glam types who are just trying to make their way which offers some laughter and cute moments.
The story’s main setting isn’t so much on Chile as it is on the contest going on in Chile. Even though I wasn’t expecting that, I soon adjusted. There were still a good smattering of Chilean culture and sights to give me scope for my imagination though it was blended with activities and a cast of quirky characters. The competing couples made Ben and Georgia seem blah in comparison though they are not (Georgia kept getting into hilarious scrapes). There were three other couples and they were all so very different which made for fun times especially since the competitions brought out the humorous moments.
While the spotlight of Destination Chile is very much Georgia, I enjoyed her and Ben together. She is afraid to just accept and enjoy because of being burned in the past. Ben has his own issues because his mom and dad split up with his mom leaving, but it takes Georgia a while to see this. The contest showed they make a good pair even if they have stuff to work out.
I will quickly squeeze in the point that this is written by and to Brits so I actually found it more entertaining as an American reader getting a different reader perspective.
All in all, I had a good time getting to know Georgia and her friends, the contest and Chile, Georgia and Ben’s deepening relationship, and seeing Georgia come into her own. I think getting all three books would have been even better. I think those who enjoy romantic comedy, light women’s fiction and contemporary romance would be a good target for this book.
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