Jenna’s Journey (A Greek Island Mystery #1), by Julie Ryan
Jenna is a middle-aged woman who has just realized that after all her years of marriage she and her husband the two want very different things, that she hates her job, and that she wants to live her dreams.
She decides to flee from foggy England, to sunny Greece, taking the ultimate vacation.
As she enjoys her vacation tour, she is accidentally mistaken as a mule for an antiquity smuggling ring, and finds herself at the top of the ruthless leader’s hit list.
As Jenna unknowingly walks down a path of danger she becomes the object of two men’s attention: the handsome, Greek, Nikos and the attractive, British Tom. While both men seem nice and interesting, Jenna is not sure whom she can trust; is Nikos really as nice as he seems or just looking for another tourist to add to his accomplishments? Tom seems to have picked Jenna out from the beginning of the tour, but while seeming like a great guy there is definitely something he is hiding. But what? Is anything in Greece really as it seems?
Twenty years later, Jenna’s daughter Allie visits Greece to put to rest the ghosts of her mother’s past, but is she prepared for what she will find out?
Pair that with a cold case crime, and a detective that is intent of solving the murder.
Thoughts After Reading:
Unfortunately, this book was not quite all it promised to be.
While it does involve a mystery and international smuggling scheme, that is actually a rather small plot point in the scheme of the novel. The smuggling is brought in, and deeply captures the reader’s attention as they wonder about what will happen next; but it is quickly stalled, forgotten, and sewn up with a bow in the end.
What the novel really turns out to be is a story of a women going to a foreign place, finding a foreign lover, and learning “about herself and what she what she wants to do with her life”, ending up with said lover and living in that foreign country. Now that type of story isn’t bad, but I was sorely disappointed as from the summary I expected something quite different.
The character of Jenna was interesting and enjoyable as I thought the author presented a realistic character in a woman disappointed with life and making a change, yet still doubting herself and leaving the familiar. I also thought the way the she fought with herself over whether to leave her husband or return to work things out was also done well.
Jenna has serious problems with her husband, and his emotional abuse, but at the same time still remembers the good they had together and wonders if she may be reacting too quickly.
The only thing that I could not stand was the way the author wrote the Jenna and Nikos’ romance. In the book, Tom is a sweet, nice, handsome guy from England with a great job in antiquities. It seems as if he isn’t being one hundred percent honest about his job, but maybe he is just trying to sound more interesting.
However, Jenna finds him so questionable and wants to avoid him as he is “too interested” in her, meaning there must be something wrong with him. But the equally enigmatic Nikos is viewed “more honest” by Jenna and the man she decides to go away with.
Author if you want your heroine with the sexy, Greek guy; just be honest and say that is why. Don’t try and convince your reader it is about his “personality” or something, when we can see right through that, you want the “exciting” one.
The Allie part of the story doesn’t have that much of an impact on the novel, being more of a footnote than anything else.
The same goes for the detective, who is given a great build up of character, but the author lacked in the follow through, having hardly doing any detecting but having the answer just given to him.
I didn’t really enjoy this story and would give it two out of five stars.
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In other news, this is my 100th post! Yay!