Review: Destination Chile by Katy Colins

Review: Destination Chile by Katy ColinsDestination Chile by Katy Colins

Series: #3 Lonely Hearts Travel Club
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin on September 22, 2016
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Buy: Amazon
four-stars
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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.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #23 CR
Literary Pickers #23 South American
Mt. TBR #12
Blogger Shame #1
COYER #54

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oh, this sounds like a fun read! I always like it when there’s a level-headed friend to set a gal straight. Great review.

    • It was a nice romantic comedy and I loved the foreign setting. Yes, her friend was a straight shooter and I enjoyed their encounters. Thanks, Angie!

  • This sounds like a fun book. The contest sounds like it would add a neat element to the story and I like the setting. Glad that you enjoyed this one!

    • It had me laughing several times. Thanks, Carole!

  • Bookworm Brandee

    This sounds well done, Sophia. I like the premise and I really like that it illustrates Georgia coming into her own. 🙂 I’ll have to check out the entire series. Happy you enjoyed this one!

    • Yes, I kinda want to go back and get the first two stories as well. It was neat to see Georgia get her happy ever after after all that went before.

  • I am glad it worked despite being new to you and the third book. I enjoy women’s fiction from time to time and this sounds like a delightful mix.

    • Yeah, that was lucky. I thought about going back and starting in the beginning, but then decided that it would be an indefinite thing with this book if I waited so plunged in. 🙂 It worked out and I had a good time reading it.

  • This seems like a fun one. Do all the books follow the same characters? I like the sound of the travel agency they own and how there is focus on personal growth and their relationship as well. And it’s nice to see friendships like that in books. I don’t think I ever read a book set in Chile, so that sounds interesting you got to see a bit of that country and the culture event hough the focus was one the contest. Great review!

    • Yes, each of the books are part of Georgia’s story starting with Destination Thailand. Her friends are probably in all of them and she does meet Ben in book one when their romance begins.

      I loved how the focus covered a balance of all those elements, too, and wasn’t just heavy on the romance. Funny about Chile. I would have said that it was my first encounter with that setting, too, but just before the New Year I read a cozy mystery set in Argentina and Chile. I checked and requested both of these books from NG around the same time and thought it was neat that South America was the setting.