“And there it was again. Like a morning glory that had begun to bloom, Mia recoiled under his harsh tone just as the flower shrivelled under the cool night air.”
Love by Design is book two in the Meraki Series and is Mia’s story. For my review of book 1, Love is What You Bake of It, look here. Mia is Kally’s younger sister, and she is a graphic designer. When she lands her dream job as Associate Art Director at a new luxury magazine, she is beyond excited. Especially as she will be working for Nicholas Aristedis, a man she’s had a crush on for a long time. Having met Nicholas face to face only once, she has a niggling feeling in the back of her head that the job might be more complex than she expects.
Effie Kammenou, the author, weaves book 1 into it gently, and I was thrilled that the storyline set in Greece continued in Love by Design. My only quibble? It’s not done yet, so where is book 3, haha! Love by Design has more recipes interspersed throughout the book, making me feel hungry when reading!
I loved this story, as Effie has dealt so sensitively with grief and its different forms and seasons. Nicholas has dealt with a lot of heartaches, and it has shaped his character as well as the way he works. Nicholas is a very interesting character, and Mia finds out that Nicholas is not like she expected. He is enigmatic and frankly quite moody, making me roll my eyes at him! Mia seems to bring out the worst in him, and several times I was tempted to flick to the end of the book to check what will happen, but I managed to restrain myself…
Mia reacts strongly towards Nicholas, as he seems to bring the worst out of her as well. The families come into it a lot as well, which I really enjoyed. It was lovely to see Kally again and her friend Egypt. Mia’s grandmother is still my favourite person in the book, and I love her kind advice as well as her mischievous tricks!
Effie has continued the storyline set in Greece, and I loved the description of the stunning views, Greek homes and people. Mia is every bit a food lover as her sister, and again, the descriptions are mouth-watering!
I think I enjoyed Love by Design even more than book 1, maybe because the characters are less predictable? There are fewer storylines as well, which I prefer, although I know that not everyone agrees with that one.
As it’s a romance, there are quite a few bedroom scenes. I was given a review copy but was under no obligation or pressure to write a favourable review. These are my views.