Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Review - Love By Design

:   Love by Design
Author:  Effie Kammenou
Series:  Meraki #2
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   338
Date of Publication:  March 22, 2021 
My Rating:   4 Stars

Mia Andarakis just landed her dream job at a luxury magazine. And even better, her boss is the handsome and enigmatic Nicholas Aristedis, a &4.     Bn8man 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? Find out in the second novel of The Meraki Series


He's the boss. She's infatuated. Mia Andarakis and Nicholas Aristedis are more than drawn to one another. However, in many respects in this love/hate story Mia and Nicholas have everything working against them. Not only due to the fact that Mia's job as Nicholas's assistant is a new one, one that cannot be upset by revealing the very strong feelings she has for him, the fact that they come from two different worlds bears serious consideration.

Love By Design is a wonderful read, and follows Love Is What You Bake of it. These are delightful stories rich with warm characters and who find love despite difficult obstacles. The trope in this book does not come without merit and I loved finding out what baggage Mia and Nicholas were holding onto and what it took for them to be able to work things out. The setting in this book is added a special touch, especially due to the fact that the characters are Greek, also the family owns a cafĂ© and the fact that delectable recipes are included made the book even better. 

I love that Mia had such a strong crush from the start and I truly enjoyed watching Nicholas come around. This story was sensitive, warm and definitely made me smile. Watching the pair navigate their professional and personal lives all while trying to learn how to deal with their feelings was a joy to read. I am already eager for the third book in this series. 

Many thanks to Effie Kammenou for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart, or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d hoped that by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years while raising her two daughters.

In 2015, three years after the death of her mother from pancreatic cancer, she published her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, book one in a women’s fiction, multigenerational love story and family saga, inspired by her mother and her Greek heritage. Kammenou continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in the nationally circulated magazine Reminisce.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 finalist in the Readers Favorite Book Awards.  Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga was awarded finalist status in the 2019 International Book Awards and Chasing Petalouthes, the last book in the trilogy, had also placed in the Readers Favorite Book Awards for the 2018 contest.

Her latest novel, the first book in a new contemporary romance series, is now complete. Love is What You Bake of It, follows Kally’s path to independence despite her sometimes stifling family and her tumultuous road to finding love. But it wouldn’t be a Kammenou novel without a delve into the past, or the references to mouth-watering foods.

Effie Kammenou is a first-generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing or posting recipes on her food blog, aptly named cheffieskitchen, you can find her entertaining family and friends or traveling for ‘research.’

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books for a little extra ‘flavor.’

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

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