Jenna’s Journey by Julie Ryan

Reading a book set on a beautiful Greek island makes me realize how much I need a vacation. Reading a book about a young female tourist who falls in love with a hot and sexy local makes me realize that I really, really need a vacation.

What’s it about? jenna's

When Jenna decides on a whim to go to Greece, she’s trying to escape her failing marriage. Will Greg let her go so easily though? Can she make a new future for herself and how did she get involved in an antiques smuggling ring? Is fellow holidaymaker Tom all he seems and will it be happy ever after with Nikos? It’s not until twenty-five years later that some of the questions are finally answered.

First Impressions

The book actually begins with Jenna’s daughter’s own journey to Greece to find out what went down when her momma visited 25 years ago. We then travel back to the glorious 80s for a firsthand account of Jenna’s trip, which was spurred on when her douche monkey of a husband admitted he might never want children.  Although she’s on holiday, it isn’t a relaxing one. When Jenna unassumingly accepts a beautiful urn in an antique shop, she doesn’t realize the head of a smuggling ring will do anything to get it back. Even kill. Sure, her life might be in danger, but this doesn’t stop her from engaging in a little extra-marital affair with a Greek Adonis. Ok, I know her husband was a mentally abusive dick, but shouldn’t she have waited for an actual divorce before playing hide the baklava with a rebound? 

Ah, a little intrigue. Wait, where’d it go? 

What starts off as an escape from a nasty husband quickly turns into a tale of mystery surrounding the urn which Jenna acquires. It was meant to be handed off to a young woman who looked just like her, and be smuggled out of the country. A creepy smuggler kills about 3 different people trying to get it back, and follows Jenna to a remote Greek isle with the intention of killing her to regain his precious commodity. One of Jenna’s fellow tourists is actually some kind of James Bond undercover agent (minus the cool toys and sexy car), and is conflicted with protecting Jenna even though he thinks she might be involved in the smuggling operation.

sailingThere’s suspense, rooms are broken into, lives are lost, stalking ensues, and then…nothing much. This really exciting storyline never gets the full attention it deserves, and just sort of falls by the wayside to focus on Jenna going off an on afternoon sailing adventure with the rebound. There is no big final confrontation with the smuggling slimeball, and I don’t even know where the hell Mr. wanna-be Bond went off to. Probably felt the urge to pout when it became clear that Jenna was more interested in a little local island flavor rather than himself. Or he found his own Greek Miss Moneypenny to occupy his time. 

That’s one way of doing things…here’s another. 

Something I definitely wasn’t expecting was that this book had two different endings. Although this was a really unique feature to employ, I can’t say I ultimately cared for it. In the first ending, Jenna and Nikos have their little fling, but then she falls under the assumption he’s married, so she makes a hasty retreat back to England. Turns out she’s pregnant, and she chooses to raise the child on her own. It’s only 25 years later when her daughter goes to Greece that Jenna and Nikos are finally reunited. He reveals that his wife died before he ever met Jenna, the smuggler was arrested right after she left (oh yeah, that guy), and Nikos tried and failed to locate her in England. Something tells me that wouldn’t have been an issue in the modern age with Facebook. Overall, it wraps up oh so nicely in a neat little bow, albeit uneventfully.  

wrappingAnd now for ending number two. In this round Jenna chooses to stay in Greece with Nikos after learning the truth about his first wife. They start dating, she has some work visa issues, her husband Greg travels to Greece in an attempt to win her back/murder her, Mr. Bond makes a reappearance (oh yeah, that guy), and Nikos is accused of murder. This ending definitely had more action and suspense than the first, and in spite of the added complications it was nice that Jenna and Nikos didn’t have to wait 25 years for their happy ending. However, it in no way tied back to the beginning of the book with Jenna’s daughter traveling to Greece. You can’t start with a flashback if you have an ending which doesn’t lead to that flashback happening. One thing does remain true throughout the whole book though, whether you follow ending 1 or 2, her husband Greg is a douche. 

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A Greek Island Mystery, Book 1. 

Should you read it? I think there could have been a better flow as far as the storyline, especially when it came to the smuggling aspect. I also wish the author had just gone with the second ending to keep up with the suspense, but it was still a unique feature.

Smut Level: No smut. 

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 267 Pages. 

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