The Staycation by Cressida McLaughlin

The Staycation by Cressida McLaughlin


Hester Monday is a successful travel agent, but with a phobia about flying, she hasn’t been very far since a holiday in Italy as a child. When Jake Oakenfield ends up injured and has to stay in a London hotel, he asks Hester to bring her experience of foreign holidays to him. So she begins a series of staycations, where she brings countries’ food, culture and atmosphere to his hotel suite. But how can she share her experiences of travel to multiple countries, when she’s not been to them?

I love the idea of this, it’s so clever and full of opportunities for humour as well as drama and the whole gamut of emotions. I have a fear of flying myself, so can really relate to Hester. I once flew from Bristol to Newcastle and spent most of it crying. This phobia is real!

Hester is a great character, but so is Jake and the book is full of a wonderful cast. I adored  Marty (who works at the hotel) and Rosalie (the old woman Jake saves), but they all shine out of the pages as real people. The cameo from the policemen is a gem too! Cressida McLaughlin has a brilliant eye for detail, as well as dialogue. It’s a lovely book and a beautiful read.

9 out of 10


Is their perfect escape closer than they think?

Meet luxury travel agent Hester Monday. When Hester’s newest client, handsome Jake Oakenfield, is injured in a heroic accident, he has an unusual request.

For Jake, laid up in a luxury hotel room and unable to return to New York, binge watching Netflix just won’t do. He wants Hester to invent the ultimate escape and re-create her most magical holidays abroad from the confines of his hotel room. The only problem? Thanks to her fear of flying, Hester hasn’t been on a plane in years.

They travel together on a series of virtual mini-breaks around the globe, from Australia to New York and the Amalfi coast, until Hester’s world of make-believe starts to feel just a little too real. Will the truth ruin her perfect holiday romance?

A fun, flirty read that’s bursting with character and warmth.


Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David.

When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline.

Published by karenlouisehollis

53, lives in Lincoln, England. Published writer, book blogger and reviewer, mum, grandma, cat owner, vegetarian. Loves reading and sewing. My novel is out - WELCOME TO WHITLOCK CLOSE.

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