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The Little Teashop #1

Game of Scones

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A story of icing and flour…and how love doesn’t always go to plan!

Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure banking job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones –with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niko by her side…

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niko and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project - The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…

If you’re a fan of Lindsey Kelk or Lucy Diamond then don’t hesitate to step into Samantha Tonge’s truly delightful tea shop.

384 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 20, 2015

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About the author

Samantha Tonge

20 books254 followers
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women's fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA's Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award.

http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 127 reviews
Profile Image for Gitte TotallyBookedBlog.
1,931 reviews939 followers
July 4, 2015
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✯✯✯✯ Chick Lit Stars

I have to say that when I saw this book come up in an Amazon search the title made me laugh. What a fantastic title, kudos to the Author for her play on words. It drew me in completely to read the synopsis and to be honest it’s been way too long since I read a romantic chick lit so I just couldn’t resist. I didn’t regret this impulse buy! What a perfect example of a romantic summer read.

This story is set in the beautiful sunny Taxos, Greece and the Author captured everything you associate with this gorgeous part of the world. The sunny skies, the idyllic unspoilt village life and the turquoise sea. You can feel, smell and see it as you read and its heaven. You wish you were there in not only mind but body.

‘So I just had less than two weeks to save Taxos and decide my romantic future once and for all. No pressure then.’

We follow Pippa who wow, makes you feel incredibly hungry with all the description of scones this girl can make. Who knew it possible – I’ve only ever had your bog standard cream tea variety! Pippa is in love with her Dutch man, Henrik yet ultimately her heart belongs in Taxos where she spent copious summers in the sun frolicking round with her best friend Niko. Her life is questionably happy and about to change dramatically as she’s in for a shock when her and Henrik go back to spend three weeks in the sun. A lot has changed and Pippa suddenly has a fight on her hands that starts a chain of events she never expected. Intrigue, mystery, family loyalties and sweet romance; this story had it all and this Author writes it vividly with beauty.

Game of Scones is a perfect lazy summer’s day read – on the beach, by the pool or in the back garden with your favourite drink by your side in the sun. I highly recommend this for readers who fancy an easy summer’s day romantic read and enjoy the best friends to lovers theme.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Profile Image for Jessica Redland.
Author 29 books632 followers
July 3, 2020
Having read Doubting Abbey, I knew I enjoyed Samantha Tonge’s warm, humorous writing, and was not disappointed with Game of Scones.

Ah, the sunshine, the sea, the scones. What’s not to love? I love stories where the heroine revisits her past in some way. In this case, Pippa is returning to the Greek fishing village of Taxos where she used to spend her childhood summers. But the place has changed thanks to the greed of property developers. Can she and her childhood friend, Niklaus, join forces to save the town from ruin?

This is gorgeous story of embracing family and changing the future. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Rachel Gilbey.
2,693 reviews495 followers
April 13, 2015
My first thought when starting this book, within a few pages was, I didn't know scones had so many flavours, which intrigued me and also as the book progressed, the various scones that Pippa made, had my mouth watering to try them.

Pippa, and boyfriend Henrik are about to go on holiday for three weeks to the little town of Taxos, in Kos, Greece. Pippa spent many summers there in her childhood, and had a childhood dream of running a little teashop on the island, selling mainly scones!

When they arrive in Taxos, it isn't long before Pippa bumps into childhood friend Niko, who is a gorgeous Greek man, and it their friendship resumes quite easily. Niko however is currently engaged to Leila, a fact that is helping his ill grandma have something to focus on, after her recent illness.

Taxos however is not the thriving place that it used to be. Unfortunately things have barely changed in the years since Pippa was last there. All the villagers still remember Pippa, and are delighted to see her again, and believe she will be the towns saviour.

The mayor of Kos, is attempting to bring a redevelopment to Taxos, which would make it lose its charm and appeal, and turn it into the sort of tourist trap, you see all over the world now. Obviously, the villagers start to fight it.

I fell in love with Taxos, while I was reading this book. I spent many hours while at work, thinking that I was in Greece, in Taxos and on holiday. There is something about the place, that brings back memories of my working in Zante, in a small town, even down to the breed of turtle they don't want the habitat destroyed of.

Niko and Pippa have a great chemistry and by the end I had completely fallen in love with Niko myself. I loved the Shirley Valentine references, and comparisons/accusations of Niko being like Costas.

Game of Scones is a wonderful feel good read, perfect for either reading on the beach, or on a rainy afternoon at home, when you are dreaming of being anywhere else. You will fully believe you are there, and will feel yourself rooting for the town of Taxos.
Profile Image for Louise.
100 reviews4 followers
August 2, 2017
Such a beautiful story! I fell in love with the little Greek Town and loved the storyline. It was a lovely typical Holiday Read - very lighthearted but very enjoyable with a romance and an attractive foreign man! Perfect for chick lit lovers.
Just a note: this book will make you very hungry! Pippa's scones are mention in sooo much detail! I need one in my life!
Profile Image for Pat Langhelt.
689 reviews6 followers
April 18, 2022
A great summer read on a Greek island Pippa returns for a holiday with her boyfriend Heinrik and meets her childhood friend Niko Romance tears and a fire what else can go wrong.r
Profile Image for Daniel.
Author 12 books16 followers
April 15, 2015
Have you ever read a book that leaves you craving for warm sands, blue seas, and delicious scones? No? Then it sounds to me like the new book from the lovely Samantha Tonge, 'Game of Scones' is the book for you.

Samantha is signed to CarinaUK which is the new digital publishing initiative from Harlequin UK. I was sent this book from CarinaUK via Netgalley for an honest review.

OK so we all know how I love a good chick lit novel and this book ticks all the boxes. It has a cute title that is a perfect play on words, a female lead who you really root for and plenty of delicious...
...scones. Oh and some pretty yummy male specimens as well.

Pippa is a very successful business woman based in London and she has hit a crossroads in her relationship with her hunky yet sensible boyfriend Henrik. It has become apparent that she is living the life that her parents planned for her and she begins to feel stifled by everything regardless of whether she is successful or not. So when the opportunity to go for a long holiday to the lovely and sunny Taxos, you can't stop her from climbing on that plane. Taxos is a place that has many wonderful memories for Pippa as it is where she spent many a happy childhood holiday, along with her childhood friend Nico.

From her memories, Pippa remember a wonderfully quaint and vibrant little village but when she arrives what she is greeted with has changed completely. It is now a tired little town struggling because of the current state of the economy, and Pippa is gutted and she wants to help. However Taxos isn't the only thing that has changed, enter Niko who has grown up and filled out to become a devastatingly gorgeous piece of caramel who is so sweet you could chew on him all day. Yum, drool etc.

Henrik has somehow managed to get himself on this holiday and I am not going to reveal anything further simply because I don't want to ruin your experience of all those wonderful twists and turns that you encounter within this book. There is torment between hearts, and a fight for the heart of a real community and this book really gives a sense of the magic that community spirit can bring.

There are some wonderful characters in this book and Pippa's relationships with all of them is explored well and you really get a sense of how she feels about this little sunny side of her heart. There are a couple of 'bad guys' shall we say, who don't turn out to be who you think they are in more ways than one...

The title is the clue to how this book turns out and yes it does involve a lot of scones, and I swear I must have almost short circuited my kindle from the amount of times I must have drooled over all the different delicious flavours of scones that Samantha had written about. One thing that Samantha said to me over twitter was 'Keep a look out for glittery scones' and trust me you need these in your life.

A very well written and fun piece of fabulous chick lit that I urge everyone to throw themselves into.

Overall this is a wonderful read from a deliciously talented author.

I give those book a delicious 10/10
Profile Image for Arielle Jagow.
367 reviews17 followers
May 24, 2015
Review originally posted on my blog www.livinglifewithjoy.com

Game of Scones starts off with Pippa Pattinson deciding if she should go with her head or her heart on whether or not to break up with her boyfriend Henrik. To an outsider he might seem like the perfect guy, but she feels like something’s off in their relationship and doesn’t fell fulfilled with him. She goes back to her hometown in Greece with Henrik where she almost immediately runs into Niko, her childhood friend. Things are different now that they’re older and despite Niko being engaged and Pippa being in a committed relationship, Pippa begins to wonder if there’s a spark between them that could lead to something bigger.

The town of Taxos is hit with an unfortunate situation and Pippa steps in to help. I truly admire the way Pippa pulls the town together to try to improve their business by attracting the tourists. Could it be that she’s about to fulfill a life-long dream while helping the town? She has a business savvy mind, but a love for scones and a true passion for the town of Taxos. I found myself rooting for things to work out for Pippa, both in the kitchen and in the matters of her heart. Pippa’s character is relatable and lovable. I admired the way she stood up for the people of Taxos and the close-knit support of the people in the community.

One of the most important themes in this novel is the idea that we can’t be so quick to judge based on how things seem on the surface. Often times you must dig deeper and ask the right questions to seek the truth about the way things are. It’s also incredibly important to look inside yourself and be true to who you are and what you want out of life. The other main theme in the novel was the idea that true love can sometimes be hidden in places you never expected to find it. It left me wondering is there such a thing as true love and soul-mates?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was entertaining, well written and had a little bit of suspense threaded throughout. I loved the way the author tied up all of the loose ends and answered all of the lingering questions I was dying to know while reading the story. Not only was the book fabulous, but I loved the adorable illustrated cover too; just looking at it made me want to go on a tropical vacation! 5 stars for a fabulous romantic novel filled with drama, chaos and intrigue.

Memorable Moments:

My eyes tingled. More supportive than an under-wired bra, how could faultless Henrik not be the ideal man?

Really my suspicions were unfounded – Henrik hid nothing in life, including his One Direction CD and tub of anti-aging cream. So onto the main reason that I’d recently felt he and I fitted together no better than a phone with the wrong charger…

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Profile Image for Book Addict Shaun.
936 reviews276 followers
April 20, 2015
I love this time of year as the summer books start to be released. Summer is finally drawing near, and after a bitterly cold winter I am more than ready for some warm weather. Game of Scones takes place in Taxos, an idyllic Greek village. It's a shame that it is always Greece that Chick Lit set in the Med takes place, more authors should set their books in Cyprus (wishful thinking on my part)! I did very much enjoy visualising the village though, and felt that Samantha Tonge captured the setting brilliantly.

Pippa Pattinson spent her childhood summers visiting Taxos but life got in the way and she returns to the village for the first time in years to find that it is unrecognisable from the place where she spent so many perfect summers daydreaming about running her own tea shop - serving the perfect scones - with her childhood friend Niko by her side. I found it all too easy to visualise the island in its sorry state, knowing that even major tourist destinations have struggled in recent years to attract visitors. There are plans to redevelop Taxos and bring more tourists to the village, but this would in turn mean that it lost all of its charm and uniqueness, and the residents are soon fighting against these changes.

Books like this do usually have that gorgeous, perfect man which can often come across as a little tiresome or repetitive, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the relationship that developed between Pippa and Niko, and Pippa's reminiscing about her childhood holidays on the island and friendship with Niko. With two leading men for the ladies to choose from, it might not just be Pippa who struggles to choose between them...

I loved Samantha's writing and one highlight in particular was how it felt like Pippa was really 'talking' to the reader. Often during a chapter the writing would change so it was like Pippa was personally talking to the reader in a conversational way, often in a humorous or reflective way I felt like it was a good way to tell the story and really helped me connect to Pippa on a personal level. She came across as a likeable and believable character and once her story was over, I found myself hoping we would meet again one day.

In terms of where the story would ultimately conclude, I felt it was a little obvious but it was a whole lot of fun getting to that point, and that's not to say that Samantha doesn't put a number of hurdles in the way of our characters, because she absolutely does. Game of Scones is the perfect book to kick start your summer reading, and I imagine there will be a lot of people holidaying around the world and taking this book with them on their Kindles. A gloriously fun read which does not disappoint.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
9 reviews18 followers
March 7, 2018
Let the catchy title and divine cover draw you in. The temptation to buy this book came purely from reading the title. Samantha is an absolute genius for calling the novel Game Of Scones. Although, be warned, it's nothing like Game Of Thrones. Ha. However, if you like scones, prepare to have your mouth watering at the turn of every page. Who knew there were so many different flavours for scones?! I really want a scone now...

Looking for a fun, summery read that will make you fall hopelessly in love with the two main men? Yes? Then you've come to the right place. You'll have a hard time deciding whether you're team Niko or team Henrik. I sure did. I'm SO indecisive! Sometimes chick lit novels can become a bit repetitive and all the same, but I found this refreshing. This had lots of twists and turns and unexpected dramas kept popping up to keep the reader wanting more. The author did a fab job of describing the village and setting the scene. You really felt for the characters when they realised the village was under threat. I feel this was because of how the author made the place in the book seem like your home. You felt like you were there, living the lives of the characters. Soaking up the sun and working hard to get by. The atmosphere set was a friendly one and I really want to visit the Greek islands now!

I didn't feel like a reader of a book with this. I felt like Pippa's best friend, who she was babbling away to about all her troubles. I got a really strong reader and narrator connection. I loved that at some points she would tell you something that happened, then be like "I made it up". I thought that was a rather funny and witty element to the book. My favourite part being "Ooh, wasn't that just like a scene from one of my romantic sagas? *sigh* Sorry for the deception". Pippa is definitely one of my favourite characters I've ever hard the pleasure of reading about.

If you like chick lit novels, then you NEED to add this to your collection. I found the first bit of the book to be a little slow going, but once the story develops you get some faced with some really interesting scenarios. I really didn't have any clue how this book was going to end, but as the last page was turned I was squealing with excitement. This is the perfect book to take on holiday with you and read on the beach.
Profile Image for Paris Baker.
112 reviews4 followers
June 18, 2015
Originally posted on Paris Baker's Book Nook.

Thank you so much to Carina UK for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley. With the sunshine finally making itself known again, it’s great to get into some fun, holiday reads again, and Game of Scones is pretty much everything that a summer read should be.

As Pippa prepares for her first trip to Taxos in years, she has suspicions that her boyfriend Henrik is preparing to pop the question, and she’s not 100% sure how she’ll feel if he does.

Going back to the Greek Village suddenly makes it all the more real how much time has passed since Pippa used to spend her summers there with Niko, and how different she is to the young tomboy he knew back then. She barely recognises the island for how run down it has become, or Niko for how grown up (and handsome!) he is now.

Re-united with old friends, including Niko’s fabulously feisty grandmother and Niko himself, the pull Taxos has on her heart tightens, and Pippa is determined to do everything she can to help get Taxos back on its feet again – including baking her infamous scones for the residents! In the mean time, she needs to keep reminding herself that Niko is engaged now, and she might be soon, too. No matter how gorgeous he is, or how he makes her feel.

As heart and head battle against each other, Pippa finds herself questioning if she is really the high-flyer, who wants the executive life with Henrik, or if she is the carefree girl who wants a relaxed life with friends and family in Taxos?

The characters in this book are an absolute dream, especially Niko and his grandmother, who made me smile every time she was present. The beautiful setting was so wonderfully described, it definitely transported me to a Greek Island for a day. I’d advise to have snacks nearby when you read this – with all of Pippa’s yummy baking and Samantha’s brilliant description, I could practically smell and taste the scones – who knew there were so many flavours to bake?

Whether you are on a sunny beach somewhere, or just wishing you were, Game of Scones is the perfect feel-good read to put you in the holiday spirit.
Profile Image for Adele.
831 reviews
April 20, 2015
I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc of this ebook. Samantha Tonge is the bestselling author of over 80 short stories for mainstream magazines and her debut ebook Doubting Abbey was shortlisted for the 2014 Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. Game of Scones is her fourth full length ebook novel.

First of all I was drawn to this novel by the lovely bright, cheerful summery cover. The cover gives you hope of a lovely summery read and it wasn’t wrong …

Pippa had spent a lot of time in her childhood in the quaint Greek village of Taxos and had built up wonderful friendships with the villagers including a particular cheeky chap called Niko. Pippa and Niko had spent a lot of time together in their teens dreaming of how they’d rescue wildlife and how Pippa would open up her own teashop. However, Pippa’s parents had different ideas for her future and Pippa continued with her education in England and set up a metropolitan lifestyle in London working in finance and living with her executive boyfriend Henrik. Pippa hasn’t been back to her beloved Taxos in 9 years however, a 3 week holiday has given her chance to go back and catch up with her friends. Henrik decides to join Pippa on this holiday however, it doesn’t turn out to be the romantic 3 weeks she hoped. A secret business meeting Henrik had previously arranged causes upset to her and the villagers. Pippa also feels a different kind of spark when she catches up with Niko, the 14 year old she remembers back then has grown into a gorgeous, charming Greek god. How will the villagers cope with the unexpected news from Henrik and how will Pippa manage with her confused heart regarding Henrik and Niko?

This was a gorgeous, summery, feel good romance that leaves you wanting to don your baking apron and make sones and visit a beautiful, idyllic Greek village called Taxos. I adored this beautiful romcom with its added bonus of ‘magic fairy dust’. ‘Magic fairy dust’ can give us the strength and encouragement to face situations head on together and achieve great things.
Profile Image for Simona.
613 reviews108 followers
May 10, 2015
*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

First of all I just wanna say that the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous!!!

Pippa and her boyfriend Henrik are goung to Greece for a three weeks holidays. She is unsure about her feelings for him and is scared he is going to propose.
Taxos is a litlke Greek village that is like a second home for Pippa. She came here as a child and has found like a second family in some if the villagers.

It has been her dream to open a cute little teashop, selling scones on this little island.
Back in Taxos she bumps into her childhood friend Niko, he is gorgeous, funny and their chemistry us amazing from the start. Their friendship is back within seconds and I just luved their scenes, so free, real and authentic. Niko is currently engaged to Leila and Pippa is not sure what to think about that.

Taxos is not the same anymore, recession has hit them and when a big surprise comes up, including Henrik and they mayor of Kos, to redevelop the whole place, Pippa is determined to help the villagers. They are happy to have her back and see her as their savior.
Of course Pippa's relationship to Henrik takes a turn as well and she sees herself falling for Niko more and more, but what about Leila?!

Some other misunderstandings and incidences add mire mystery and spark to the story. Taxos is a cute luttle place and I liked all the ideas to help the village, one even including Pippa's dream. She had to figure out a lot in this story, her live lufe and her whole life actually. It was great following her journey. Samantha's writing is fresh, vivid and authentic. I fekt that some things origressed a bit slowly and at times I found it hard to really get into it.

Game of Scones is a tasty feel-good read, perfect to read at the beach and it will definitely put a smile on your face!!!
Profile Image for Zee Monodee.
Author 43 books345 followers
April 20, 2015
I read this book almost in one sitting, poolside (yep, I was on vacation and I'd taken this ARC with me, thinking it'd make perfect holiday reading material. It did, btw!).

This was another delightful little read from Samantha Tonge! From the moment she had mentioned the title on her Facebook feed a little while ago, I knew I had to read this one, and when I found the ARC up for grabs on Netgalley, I jumped on it!

I loved Henrik, to be honest, and I hope he gets his story... I did cheer for Niko and Pippa, don't get me wrong, but I just might be partial to a hunky blond giant more than a caramel-skinned Greek *grin*

I've always loved scones - cannot imagine high tea without scones and clotted cream, but I never knew you could customize the dough so much! Makes me want to go break out my fat-rubbing skills and try some of these offerings, with Pippa's tips in mind.

The setting reminded me of Mamma Mia, a movie I simply adore, and whenever I closed my eyes and imagined Taxos, I saw the white structures of that little island with the blue, blue sea and vibrant colourful flowers! Definitely travelling escapism at its best!

The only thing that sometimes got to me was Ms. Tonge's tendency to end a chapter on a cliffie and then start the next chapter with something happening...and then telling you that whatever she just told you happened never took place! Can be a bit unnerving after the second time of coming across this (I'd also disliked that in her other book From Paris With Love, where every chapter seemed to start with a 'falsie'). But then again, that's just me - I seem to be getting less and less acquainted with comedy as I grow older!

Definitely a lovely little read that you can gobble in one sitting! Perfect poolside, on the beach, or for a rainy day cuddled in.
Profile Image for Ems. (afternoonbookery).
343 reviews32 followers
April 21, 2015
Do you ever just see a book and know its going to be good? I do, Game of Scones was one of those, the title drew me in ill admit, as a huge fan of game of thrones, i did giggle at the play on the title. I've made no secret of the fact that i love cafe, beach, restaurant, shop based books usually in a quaint coastal town and this wrapped everything that i love about books like this into one.

We meet Pippa, who is taking time out from her busy London life to set foot back in Taxos the town she frequented as a child as cannot wait to visit all her old haunts, so when she arrives she is shocked that it is nothing like she remembers. Devastated Pippa tries to focus on the positive, i mean her handsome dutch boyfriend is going to propose isnt it? All this mystery meetings with the mayor.

When the proposal turns out to be something bigger, something that could affect the whole town and take away its nature and turn it into a tourist hotspot, Pippa gathers the locals to fight against the corrupt mayor and her hot shot boyfriend.

Game of scones is a heart warming read, its about love, loyalty and following your dreams, that its not too late to chase them.Pippa, is a wonderful leading lady - she strong, she weighs things up and she makes the best scones in the world, seriously im not gonna lie, i was drooling over my kindle, with all the wonderful fresh fruit that was been thrown into them. She is the heart and soul of the story.

Samantha has created a wonderful town that i want to holiday in, her description is wonderful and some of the best i have come across, this book had remnants of my favourite reads - little beach street bakery and and the beach cafe.
Profile Image for Kim.
1,977 reviews49 followers
April 24, 2015
A perfect summer read which makes you want to escape to the little village of Taxos, which is set in Kos.

Pippa spent many happy childhood summers in Taxos where her parents own a home. She spent a lot of time with Nikos and loves his family like her own. After settling into a financial city job she hasn't been back in years.

Her boyfriend has arranged for them to spend three weeks there, with only a few business meetings on his behalf. It should be a blissful holiday. But is everything perfect- are they ready to take the next step in life.

When she returns she sees that the little village has been hit hard by the recession and things are difficult for the locals. They still greet her fondly and she tries to make plans to help boost this little town.

She is renowned for her scones - and just reading about all the different sorts she creates makes you really wish you could visit Pippa's pantry and settle down for the afternoon!

The description of Greek village life was lovely, all the businesses pulling together. It made it the type of place I would love to visit and the cast of characters would be great to meet as friends!

Well recommended as a holiday read to lose yourself in. If you are not jetting off this summer, settle down with A Game of Scones and you will feel as though you've had a great holiday in Taxos! Might inspire you to bake some scones- maybe in time to settle down to watch Wimbledon- with champagne and strawberries and enjoy your own staycation!

Many thanks to Carina Uk who never fail to deliver a great book and Net Galley for a copy of this book.
Profile Image for B.R. Maycock.
Author 5 books64 followers
June 5, 2015
Obviously I have to start with the gorgeous cover- does anything scream 'Summer' like this? I enjoyed this book, was easygoing, light reading. I liked Pippa, who was, from the start, having a sort of crisis of identity, not quite sure that the way she had chosen to live her life was working any more. Returning to a village where her childhoods were spent, Pippa, happened upon Nico, an old friend who as something close to a soul mate in another life. The descriptions of Taxos were perfect, you could see the tiny little fishing village in front of you, exuding it's simplicity and beauty. The cooking and food aspect was also beyond perfect.The thing that didn't work for me was her relationship with the two male characters- Henrik and Nico. From the 'look inside' option on Amazon, you will see that Pippa was trying to figure out whether she should be with her long term boyfriend, Henrik. It seemed from page one, that there wasn't any reason for her to be with him and I didn't really warm to him at all. The big problem with this though, was that I didn't warm to Nico either! To be honest, it didn't hugely matter as the big story, keeping Taxos 'afloat' was enjoyable, as was the odd curve ball thrown in to make you wonder who wanted to sabotage Taxos. All in all, great as an easygoing Summer read, plenty of ups, downs and all in between, possibly a tad cliched in bits, and if this annoys you in fiction, I'd possibly find another book. As for me, I'd definitely look up another book from this author.
Profile Image for BestChickLit.com.
458 reviews246 followers
May 13, 2015
If the title of this book alone doesn’t tempt you to buy this book (personally, I think it’s outright genius) then I’m hoping this review will do the trick :)

When we meet Pippa, she’s experiencing the first twinges of cold feet and – suspecting her near perfect boyfriend is about to get down on bended knee – is grappling with a major life decision. Cue lots of scone making* and a trip to her beloved childhood holiday haunt Taxos for some breathing space. But things don’t do according to plan. Loyal, well-meaning Pippa finds herself, and her heart, caught up in both the villagers’ troubles and old pal Niklaus’ smile, which causes the heat to rise in and out of the kitchen.

Well paced, excellent characters and a light yet engrossing storyline is exactly what Samantha Tonge gives readers with her latest book. Pippa is an intelligent and caring protagonist and her love for Taxos and its residents will warm you, without a doubt, as will the spirit and welcoming nature of the villagers.

With summer almost here, what better way to whittle away your time than to read about a love dilemma set in an idyllic holiday village taking place over the course of some long, hot, sunny days . . .

*Warning: May make you hungry.
review by Charlotte Foreman on behalf of Bestchicklit.com
Profile Image for Raven McAllan.
Author 147 books125 followers
April 14, 2015
I was very lucky, and got an ARC to read of this story. I rarely ask for them or write reviews, but the blurb intrigued me, and I held my hand up and said 'me please'.
I'm so glad I did.
Firstly, let me say, reviews are very subjective, and this is only my opinion.
As a general rule I'm not a fan of first person. This book is written in the first person, and it didn't put me off. The story is great. Well written, nicely paced and enough twists to keep the reader guessing. Her characters sound real, and at various times I wanted to cuddle them, high five them, or slap them.
The descriptions of the scone fillings made me queasy...I can't eat cheese and I'm g-f. Hubby, when I read them out to him, was,'when do i get some?'
The way Ms. Tonge describes Kos is spot on, and it took me back to happy holidays, and away from rainy old Scotland
Would I recommend the book? Yes.
Do I still prefer 3rd person? Yes.
Would I read another of Ms. Tonge's books if it was 1st person? Yes.
Profile Image for Ann Cooper.
392 reviews12 followers
April 11, 2015
Oh wow! How I loved this book! Read it in two sittings and was so sad when it ended. It has everything - 2 leading men, a lovely heroine, beautiful setting, fabulous Greek families and a baddie! Halfway through the book, I could not see how the problems could possibly resolve themselves but Samantha put a couple of twists in the plot and hey presto! The tension builds slowly through the book and the end is such a relief! I would love to read a second book set in Taxos - with some recipes this time! Those scones sounded wonderful!

I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Janie.
1,318 reviews14 followers
June 17, 2015
"Game of Scones" by Samantha Tonge is the first book in her series 'The Little Teashop.' It is my first read by this author and I really liked it. We have Pippa Pattinson as our heroine who spent her Summers growing up on the Greek Island of Taxos, and never too far from her side was Niklaus her friend from childhood. Fast forward to the present and she is now with current beau Henrik who is smitten with Pippa but she is not so smitten with him. This is the story of revisiting parts of the past, and possibly falling in love again.
Profile Image for Anne-Marie.
87 reviews3 followers
July 11, 2015
I read this book whilst on holiday in Cyprus, which definitely added to my enjoyment, with the wonderful descriptions of blue skies and seas and Greek food, which I was experiencing at the same time.
A little incredible that little Pippa would have had so much impact on the people of the village as a child, that 10 years later she could turn up again as a hero, but overlooking that the novel was good.
Her dilemma with Henrick and her doubts about the relationship were described well and I loved the ending.
Profile Image for Michelle.
256 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2015
4.5 GLITTERY SCONES STARS
I really loved this. It was funny and I loved the characters especially Niko and Pippa ❤️
Fell in love with Greece, made me want to visit the beautiful island and the gorgeous people.
Could practically taste the scones and feel the atmosphere.
Will definitely read more from this author. ❤️
Profile Image for Shelley Wilson.
Author 18 books94 followers
September 14, 2015
A fun story, ideal for a holiday read, or to escape from reality on a miserable day.

Pippa is a likeable character and I was in her corner when she stood up to fight for the rights of her friends, she has a caring heart. I didn't warm to Henrik at all!

I love the humour and wit that is sprinkled throughout the book. If you are looking for a light-hearted, and warming read then grab a copy.
Profile Image for Angela Free.
615 reviews2 followers
February 5, 2017
Oh, this book has made me want to go to Kos! Beautiful settings that I could picture all the way through. I could almost hear the waves and feel the sun on my skin. Lovely romance that is gonna continue in My Big Fat Christmas Wedding. Can't wait to see how Pippa and the rest of the islanders get on.
Profile Image for Kate Hewitt.
Author 581 books1,146 followers
July 20, 2015
A lovely, frothy, fun romance--just the sort of book to curl up with and lose yourself for a couple of hours. I'm not always in the mood for a heavy read, and considering my life at the moment, this book fit the bill perfectly! Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Jill Steeples.
Author 16 books187 followers
November 6, 2015
A fab, fun and entertaining read. Really enjoyed this escapist romance!
Profile Image for Alison Winter.
146 reviews7 followers
August 24, 2015
This book started a bit slow but towards the end it was brilliant, a sequel might be nice
Profile Image for Agi.
1,531 reviews85 followers
April 27, 2015
"Game of Scones". When Samantha Tonge announced the title of her new book on Twitter, my first thought was: genius. Pure genius. I love the title with all my heart, and then came the beautiful, colourful, so summery cover, and the blurb. I mean, a book about scones, about eating - could there be anything more exciting? The right answer is, of course, NO. At first I of course thought, scones and Greece, how does it fit? But no worries, Samantha Tonge has took care of all the things to work brilliantly together.

Pippa and her boyfriend Henrik are going on three - weeks holidays to Greece, small town of Taxos, in Kos, where Pippa has spent many of her summers when she was younger. She, of course, has made a lot of friendship there, especially with one family who runs a taverna, and with their son Niko. Pippa's biggest dream used to be to run a little teashop on the island, that would be selling scones of course, as baking scones is her hobby, her breathing space after her very demanding job...
It doesn't take long to bump into Niko, now a handsome Greek - God, and it is as if they have seen each other only a day or two before, as they kick off immediately. Unfortunately, there is Henrik now keeping his eye on his girlfriend, and Niko is engaged to the lovely Leila...
After arriving to Greece Pippa immediately sees that Taxos is not the same place that she kept in her memory, it's not this thriving, lovely, jolly place with many tourists. Moreover, Henrik's firm want to invest on the island, together with the mayor of Kos, but are those investment really the ones that Kos needs? Are they going to help the island or rather destroy it, and its natural beauty? Can Pippa perhaps help? But how?

You know, I've never been to Greece before, but this book has just made me long for holidays there. To pack my bag, jump on a plane and fly to the blue see, white buildings, sun and... oh yes, maybe I will encounter Pippa's scones as well? Would love to give them a try one day.

Pippa was a lovely, impulsive girl but she never walked away when she's seen people in need and that there is hope, that she could help. I liked her from the very first scene when she was considering pros and cons of staying with her boyfriend Henrik, and the way she coped with the problems: by baking scones. I so understand her. Baking makes happy, this could be our life - motto. I really liked how Pippa was emerging from her shell that she closed herself in in London, how she slowly realised what and who is really important. She proved she is independent and courageous.
And those two, Pippa and Niko, they were just... oh so swoon together... They teamed up so good, they had so many shared memories, and I so wanted them to be together FOR EVER but how??? Pippa with Henrik and her work in London, Niko with Leila in Greece... No happy end for me? Well, you must read for yourself and see. The chemistry was so palpable, it was sizzling between them, and it was as if the nine years that they were apart have never happened, they started where they finished.

And yes, it was Henrik who was planning on changing Taxos into your everyday tourist destination with all the attractions that you can find everywhere, he and his company, but altogether, he was not this bad guy here in the story. He just did his job, and he - I am sure of this - loved Pippa. He was maybe not one of the most romantic people in the world, but was also not the worst one. But let's be honest, in comparison to Niko, well, who would have chosen Henrik over Niko? Exactly. Me too. Niko, moody and broody, but so, so lovely, and like a typical Greek, putting his family on the first place.

Samantha has created a bunch of colourful, vivid characters in the story, and the way they were fighting for their town, to survive the recession and to have a future was just spot on and they all just so grow on me. There is such an incredibly community spirit and it was a great joy to see how many of them were developing, how they discovered hidden talents and ideas only to save their beloved little town. And you know what I adored in this book? That the characters were not wallowing in self - pity, oh no, when the decision was made, they were immediately starting to Act. With a big A. Jab, jab, let's not ponder too long, just roll up the sleeves and get cracking! I absolutely love this approach. Absolutely. Maybe because I am a total opposite, and my mantra is: what you could do today, do tomorrow.

I adored Taxos, this little town, not spoilt (yet) by the mass tourism. I'd rather travel there to experience all the attractions that the villagers after the brain storming had in offer, than few kilometres further to eat some cheeseburger that has nothing to do with Greece and its traditions. The descriptions of the island, they were incredibly beautiful and felt so realistic. The smells and colours were almost palpable through the pages. Samantha has also absolutely brilliantly described the places, the beach, the sea, the tavernas and all the villagers, there was such a good and optimistic feeling to the story, the people felt so friendly, and the feeling of community was overwhelming. You know, my favourite film is "My Big, Fat Greek Wedding", I could watch it every day, and so I pictured the villagers, together, in circles, shouting "Hopla" and offering you everything they had to eat and drink.

I also liked how Samantha wonderfully grasped the current atmosphere and the events. It is not a political book, oh my, not at all, yet she manages to sneak here or there some info about how it really is in Greece right now, without offending anybody. She writes how it is but with a great dose of subtlety and gentleness, and you can see that goodness of Taxos presses heavily on Pippa's mind and the rest of the villagers. It was great to see how they gather together in the minute of need, and how they were able to put aside all the disagreements to save others when they were in danger.

So altogether, "Game of Scones" is a brilliant, feel good, delicious summery read. It has this incredible ability to transfer you into the places that you'd so like to see with your own eyes. It has vivid, popping out of the pages characters that you so quickly find yourself rooting for, and a nice plot. There are elements of romance, a little drama, a little corruption in the book and altogether it makes a quick, nice, smooth read. Samantha Tonge's writing is from book to book better, wittier and more confident, and when picking her novel you are sure to be for a treat. Her writing is just so fluent and light, witty, and her stories are full of good feelings. She has a talent to create characters who has hearts made of gold but still feel so realistic, so true, and they evoke all kind of emotions in you. She has presented us with a quickly paced, lovely story with some twists and turns, a story that is going to keep you entertained and fell as if you've read it on the beach, under the sunshades.

Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Emma Crowley.
820 reviews118 followers
April 24, 2015
Game of Scones is the first book I have read by Samantha Tonge and it was a pure delight from start to finish. The cover is bright and eye catching, perfect for the summer market. Also the title is snappy and has a great play on words. The title combined with the cover is sure to catch many people's eyes and within these pages a delicious story is just waiting to be read. Initially I did wonder how on earth were scones going to fit in with a story set in the small village of Taxos on the Greek island of Kos? But right from the beginning it just worked the book wasn't full of scones and baking but came just at the right times. Little did I know how many flavour combinations there are and these tantalising descriptions only made me want to try some baking even though I can't cook at all.

When we first meet Pippa Pattinson she is sitting in her London apartment weighing up the pros and cons of staying with her boyfriend Henrik. Pippa is disillusioned with her job as a bank executive and worn out from the endless rat race. The only relief she gets is when she bakes scones, it is her way of switching off, easing her worries and finding time to think and evaluate everything. Her dream as a youngster was to run a quaint, old fashioned teashop in Taxos, so how come she is stuck in a big city with a man who she likes but maybe not enough to marry? Deciding she needs a break from everything herself and Henrik book a three week holiday to Taxos. They stay in her parents villa and it is this trip that will have a profound effect on Pippa. She is forced to confront what has niggling at the back of her mind for sometime, the past is brought right into the present and decisions must be made.

Taxos is a rural village unspoilt by modern mass market tourism. The author does a wonderful job of describing the village, the beaches, the tavernas, the sea and all it's surroundings that I just wanted to book a holiday and fly away to sunnier climes (just a pity finances wouldn't allow this). Pippa is reunited with Nico whose family run the local taverna and soon familiar feelings come rushing to the surface. Really the chemistry sizzled between the pair and it was as if the last nine years apart had never happened. Unfortunately both now have partners and their lives are poles apart but god I so wanted them to get together. From reading their history it was like they should have never been apart.

Henrik wasn't the typical bad guy you expected him to be. He did have a soft centre despite his job meaning Taxos was on the verge of being turned into an 18/30's hell hole. I got the impression he did genuinely love Pippa and wanted what was best for her but Nico was stiff opposition. Nico was a fabulous character, a real family man who supported his parents and his grandmother while she was ill. There was no bullshit around Nico he said things as they were and was always trying to warn Pippa away from Henrik. At the same time he could become quite moody and stubborn but who doesn't like a bit of a challenge with a man? He believed in the potential of Taxos as a tourist destination which could showcase the real authentic Greek life and he stood up for this. Having two strong men polar opposites of each other all helped with the tension of the book as the residents of the sleepy little village come together to save their heritage.

As the residents battled to save Taxos you could see the community spirit emerging and Pippa certainly came into her own. She showed how independent, courageous and brave she could be. A woman who stuck to her morals and used her special talents with baking to do the best to secure the future of the village. From about the 60% mark the book picked up even more pace and there were numerous twists and turns that kept me interested. I couldn't figure out if I was going to get the ending I wanted which is what I like in a book. I like to be left guessing until the last page. There was plenty of drama thrown in which only enhanced the story and if you want to discover the outcomes I suggest you download this funny,romantic, feel good story immediately.

Part of what made this such an enjoyable read was that the characters already knew each other. Yes, they had not seen each other in over nine years but they had a past history growing up, spending long hot summers together which can never be forgotten. So there wasn't the usual first tentative meeting we read about in your average chick-lit book after which the characters proceed to act all coy for several hundred pages. This can be monotonous and boring. There was no setting up here instead we are given glimpses of childhood summers so the reader can understand the deep connection Nico and Pippa have. Circumstances have changed for both main characters but it is evident to the reader there is a bright spark between the two which is waiting to be reignited. It also helps when you have a great cast of supporting characters which in this case there was. There were quite a few characters to get to know but they were all used well. Too often characters are under utilised and just shoved in a book to boost numbers or so it seems. In Game of Scones they all had their roles to play and slotted in the story at just the right times. Nico's family and the residents of Taxos all helped make the book what it is. A feel good story full of scones with the added ingredients of romance and a little coruption.

Game of Scones is a lovely summer read that has the romance element but also something just that little bit different that will set it apart from all the other offerings we will be flooded with over the next few months. Samantha Tonge's writing is sharp and witty and she really got inside the head of Pippa and made her come across as a normal woman. A woman who hasn't got it all perfect and can be full of indecision like most of us. But at her centre is a heart of gold and that is what endeared me to Pippa and she deserved everything which came her way. You can't go wrong buying this book,it is a quality story filled with mouthwatering descriptions of cooking as opposed to bloodshed as suggested by the title. I'd love to see a second book set in Taxos with maybe a few scone recipes thrown in as well. I'm sure there is more to write about these brilliant characters. Game of Scones is a superb summer read for lounging by the pool or soaking up the sun's rays in the garden. Just make sure you have a scone or two to hand before you start reading!
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