Love by Design by Effie Kammenou – @EffieKammenou @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

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 Nicholas 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.

My Thoughts


Love by Design is the second book in the Meraki series, however it can easily be read as a standalone novel too.

Mia has always dreamed of becoming a creative director of a magazine, so when she is given the opportunity to work at Opul – a new luxury magazine, she is overjoyed as this brings her one step closer to achieving her professional goals. When Mia learns that she will be working directly alongside Nicholas Aristedis, the man who is the CEO of Aris Publications, this just builds on her excitement as she has been admiring this handsome man from afar for a little while now.

The excitement Mia initially felt is soon dashed though as every time herself and Nick are together they do very little but argue with one another. Nick seems to dismiss Mia’s obvious talent, and everything Nick says seems to rub Mia up the wrong way. This certainly makes their working environment far from ideal, but that is simply because they are both desperately fighting against the attraction they feel for one another.

The more they persevere to work alongside one another, the harder Nick finds it to deny the feelings he has for Mia, but every time she gets close to him, he says or does something to push her away again. With both of them having secrets and insecurities to overcome, they have to decide whether embarking on a relationship is really worth it, or whether they should keep things strictly professional.

I really enjoyed being reacquainted with the Andarakis family in this latest instalment to the series, and getting to follow Mia’s journey was truly wonderful. She is a character full of so much drive and passion for her work, something that is incredibly respectable!. Despite her having her own secrets tucked away, the way she begins to open herself up to Nick is heartwarming, despite their rather rocky start. Nicholas is a character that definitely grows on you as the story progresses, as initially he is simply this handsome, yet brooding man who has the walls built so high around himself it is practically impossible for anyone to get in. That is until Mia bursts in to his life and begins to chip away at those walls brick by brick.

The storyline flowed wonderfully and kept me enthralled from beginning to end. This book offers so much more than simply a romance blossoming, instead it offers us a cast of intriguing characters and a plot that is well structured and entertaining throughout. I really enjoyed this book, and I certainly look forward to reading future books within this series!.

About the Author

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 Favourite 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 Favourite 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 travelling 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 ‘flavour.’

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

For updates on promotions, events and new releases, follow Effie on Social media:

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*Thank you to Love Books Tours and Effie Kammenou for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*

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