Game of Scones (Game of Scones #1)- By Samantha Tonge


*Note : I received this book from the author via Aimee’s giveaways*

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A story of icing and flour…and how love doesn’t always go to plan!

Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure banking job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones –with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niko by her side…

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niko and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project – The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…

If you’re a fan of Lindsey Kelk or Lucy Diamond then don’t hesitate to step into Samantha Tonge’s truly delightful tea shop.

My review

What I loved:

  • It was an ideal “destination chick-lit”, travel enthusiasts would love and echo the sentiments shared by Pippa in this book – the best tourist-destinations are often the ones that are less-travelled and untouched by the glitz of the modern bars and restaurants.
  • The Greek heritage and daily life in a quaint li’l village – Pippa’s (and I guess Tonge’s too!) love for it shines and leaps through the pages and I fell in love with it too.
  • All the food!!! – The way Tonge described Pippa’s familiarity and comfort in baking scones in parallel with how she found comfort in the stillness and beauty surrounding her every morning she wakes up in Taxos – was wonderful (and tantalizing!) to read.
  • All the entrepreneurial spirit!!!– Honestly, I could probably never do it if I was in Pippa’s place – Leave the luxuries of a city and a plush high-paying job I am good at and start afresh in a small village to bake and sell scones.

What I disliked:

  • Pippa’s boyfriend dilemma – It felt like something I have already read many times before – the trope where the girl is in a long term relationship with a guy but finally loses her heart to her best friend BUT you can’t have the main girl protagonist ditch a perfectly reasonable and practical guy as then she would come across as cold and heartless. So, what is the best solution? Make the long-time boyfriend have a couple of douche-y public meltdowns. The thing with tropes is that they are unavoidable. I don’t think it is possible to really have a book totally devoid of them. But I do like and have my own preferences in how some are handled. So, in these kind of love triangles I really like it when authors handle the “ditching the long-time boyfriend” trope in a way where we get to see the guy’s POV and the reasoning behind his actions. So, I liked it that we actually got that with Henrik in the end. (Moreover, I thought Henrik got the better lines when it came to convincing Pippa that she wouldn’t be able keep a lasting relationship with her childhood friend Niko. I am not much of a romantic and well..some of the arguments Henrik made just appealed to my pragmatic side *shrugs*)However, my problem lied more with Pippa than with Henrik. I just felt like she had already made her decision about Henrik even before she went to Taxos, so there were times in the first half of the book when I felt she just strung him along as a back-up plan if her crush on Niko wasn’t going to turn to anything meaningful.
  • The tourism politics – It would be a major spoiler to say anything further but there was a lot of unnecessary OTT drama in the end which felt out of place in the book (though props to the author for dropping hints of the occurrence a couple of times earlier in the book). It was out of sync with the very earnest, small but collective steps taken by the villagers throughout the book to increase tourism footfalls into Taxos.

Overall impressions If you like a story about good food, travel, tourism, childhood friendships and small town corporate greed locking horns with villagers determined to preserve the natural splendor of their surroundings, then I would definitely recommend this one!!!