AN ACCIDENTAL ODYSSEY by KC Dyer

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

Gia has always had a fraught relationship with her Greek father, an emotionally distant professor and notorious philanderer. But when he has a mini-stroke, she’s at his hospital bedside immediately, even though it means blowing off the wedding cake tasting with her wealthy socialite fiance. And then when her father discharges himself from the hospital and runs off to Greece chasing down the archaeological trail of an historical Odysseus–without his medication–Gia surprises her fiance and herself by hopping a plane to chase after him.

Though her fiance was understanding about the cake tasting, he is decidedly less understanding about her unexpected trip. And following a big fight, Gia engages in something she’d never have believed herself capable of–a wild one-night-stand in the janitor’s closet of a Greek bar. When the next morning comes and she patches things up with her fiance, she starts to make plans to head back home and put the whole Greek misadventure behind her. That is, before she visits her father’s dig and discovers that her one-night-stand is in fact her father’s colleague, a young and extremely attractive archaeologist named Raj. Suddenly, Gia is unsure of everything–her relationship with her fiance, her relationship with her father, her career trajectory–and it seems like the only way to sort out her life is to continue on her accidental journey of self-discovery across the Mediterranean.

The second in a loosely-connected series, this novel sits on the border line of contemporary spicy romance and women’s fiction. To me, Gia’s own self-discovery takes the lead with the romance in step just behind, but the romance has a strong presence as well. The idyllic Mediterranean setting and travel theme was especially welcome in the midst of pandemic isolation; reading this book was like a mini-vacation in itself. This will be an excellent choice for book clubs with readers who enjoy either romance or women’s fiction (or both!), especially since the romance, though spicy, lacks explicit sex scenes if members of your book club can’t handle steam.

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