Review by Gabrielle

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Series Name: The Holiday Romance, #4

He leans in to kiss me. It’s gentle at first and we both sigh as our lips touch. I wrap my arms around his neck and the kiss intensifies, our tongues touching, our lips joining us in a passion I haven’t felt since… well, maybe ever.

Like a vacation in book form, Sandy Barker’s new novel will take you away to the amazing landscapes of Bali.

When Jaelee Tan leaves her high-flying PR job in Miami for a sabbatical in Bali, the last thing she expects is for it to become permanent. But when her boss demands the trip be cut short, Jae does the only thing she can think of and quits on the spot.

With two months in Bali, a new group of friends and the gorgeous scenery and beaches, Jae is determined to make the most of her new-found freedom. And when she locks eyes with hunky Scot, Alistair, Jae wonders if she’ll lose her heart to more than just a Balinese sunrise.

It’s snowy and cold here in Southern Ontario so I was excited for a tropical escape, even in book form. I’m happy to say that’s exactly what I got. The setting was definitely my favourite aspect of this book. Sandy is a master of scene setting with vivid descriptions of the landscapes and cityscapes. I liked that she didn’t shy away from some of the less desirable realities of Bali such as the garbage and crazy traffic. Those details helped paint a very clear picture in this reader’s head and I felt like I could really envision each scene. Of course this is balanced nicely with stunning vistas and sunrises; all the beautiful stuff my husband calls “travel porn”. I have to say it worked! I’ve never been to Bali but now I definitely want to go.

I’ll admit, I didn’t love the main character Jaelee at first. She’s a bit self-centred, judgmental, and can come off as downright rude. Over the course of the story though, Jaelee grows as a person and makes a concentrated effort to figure her stuff out and be a better friend. As the reader is let in on her backstory, we come to know a little more about why she is the way she is. By the end, I still didn’t love Jaelee, but I understood her. The story is very focused on Jaelee and moves at a nice relaxed pace. It isn’t a gripping page turner, but I think that suits the journey Jaelee is on and the setting. 

Overall, A Sunrise Over Bali is a light read with stunning scenery. If you could use a little tropical escape, you might enjoy this one.

Thank you, One More Chapter and Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.