Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review: Love By Design by Effie Kammenou


Mia Andarakis just landed her dream job at a luxury magazine. And even better, her boss is the handsome and enigmatic Nicholas Aristedis, a man she has crushed on from afar. But Nicholas isn’t who she imagined. Irascible and mercurial, his instant dislike for Mia makes it almost impossible for her to work with him.

Nicholas has faced many losses and heartaches in his thirty-two years. Determined to avoid heartbreak, he has closed his heart to love. But Mia awakens feelings in him he had long since denied. And soon he discovers their connection is deeper than he realized.

Mia and Nicolas embark on an adventure across picturesque locations as they launch a new publication and uncover the mystery behind her grandfather’s disappearance. But perhaps the greatest challenge is in learning to set aside their insecurities and fears. Can the two forget the traumas of their past? And will they ever learn to trust in the possibility of love?


I was so excited to be able to revisit the Andarakis family once again in the new book Love By Design by Effie Kammenou, which is the second book in the Meraki Series.

Love By Design is all about Mia, the sister of Kally who was in the first book Love Is What You Bake Of It. Mia the middle sister has just landed her dream job with the new luxury travel magazine Opul as the Associated Art Director. When she meets her new boss Nicholas Aristedis for the first time, sparks fly, but they are not the type either expected, they seem to bring out the worse in each other each time they have to be around the other.

Enemies to Lovers is one of my favorite tropes and Kammenou writes it so well. The tension between Mia and Nicholas is great, you will find yourself cringing along with Mia as Nicholas comes off short with Mia about things she is doing. However, the pair are thrown together thanks to Penelope, Nicholas’s sister who with him owns and runs the magazine. She sends them on a trip to Greece, the first location that the magazine is featuring, to scope out the places they are focusing on. 

Just like Kally’s story Love by Design is a quick read, mostly because once you start reading, you won't want to stop. The characters are real and heartwarming. They struggle, they love, and they hurt. The Andarakis family, which is a major secondary character in itself, especially YiaYia the grandmother that lives with the family. The sub-story of her and her long-missing husband Panos is absolutely one of my favorites and could stand on its own as a book. I love the way that Effie has worked it in the books, teasing us with a little bit more info in Love By Design. 

We also meet Nicholas’s family, which only includes his sister Penelope, who is so likable, especially the way she shows her concern and love for her little brother Nicholas. I found their grandfather Pavlos hard to warm up to, but I also felt he was written as he should have been,  a real man with real concerns about his grandson. 

I really enjoyed both the main characters, Mia and Nicholas. Mia is strong, but she is also sensitive and sometimes wears her heart on her sleeve. Nicolas is a troubled sort and there were times I wanted to scream at him for his unwillingness to admit his feelings, yet moments later my heart broke for him. I was especially surprised by the sweet little twist that Effie puts into Mia and Nicholas’s relationship, it is one of my favorite moments in the book and definitely sweet and swoon-worthy.

I can not say it enough, Effie Kammenous's writing is spectacular. She makes you a part of this big loving and lively Greek family. I know that there is a third book that features the youngest sister Krystina and I hope Loukas. I won’t lie however, I am looking forward to learning the truth about what happened to Panos. And if I am honest I wouldn’t be opposed to a fourth book that deals with brother Theo. It would be great to read about a lead male character and I know Effie would do it justice. 

If you love romance, learning about other cultures, and maybe a bit of mystery, I highly recommend  Love By Design, and while you can read it as a stand-alone, you’d be missing so much of the families dynamics by not reading Love Is What You Bake Of It before it!

**Thank You  Effie Kammenou and Kate Rock Tours for the gifted copy **

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