Book Review

ARC Book Review: Luck and Last Resorts (Love, Lists and Fancy Ships #2) by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 9th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

They have a second chance at love, but there are some rough seas ahead in the new contemporary romance from the acclaimed author of Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships.

Commitment-phobe Nina Lejeune lives by two rules:
1. Always have fun.
2. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself.
The first rule is easy; the second, she’s only broken once.

Ten years after fleeing home, Nina is the chief stewardess on the super yacht Serendipity, single by choice, and perfectly content with how life has turned out.

But Nina’s ex-coworker and old flame, Irish chef Ollie Dunne, isn’t so happy with the status quo. One year after leaving yachting, he’s returned as the Serendipity’s chef with an ultimatum: if Nina continues to deny she’s in love with him by the end of this charter season, he’ll go back to Ireland for good.

Nina and Ollie’s shared secret from their past threatens to shipwreck not only their relationship, but the entire boat. But as their connection grows amidst chaotic guests and crew drama, could there be smooth sailing in their future?

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for an eARC.

THIS STORY Y’ALL.

I was told the angst would be high. THEY DID NOT LIE. Off the charts angst, which is my absolute favorite. FAAAAAAVORITE.

Nina and Ollie are such gems. I loved the flashback chapters that were perfectly placed to give credence to the flair of the second chance trope. And I must mention, HE FALLS FIRST. Ohhhhh how I live for that sub-trope. I was smitten with Ollie up and down, around and around, FOREVER. I LOVE HIM. He is swoony, and kind, the best banter and when he stands up for what he deserves? YES. YES. YES.

My girl Nina, I admit, made me want to shake her a few times. I understood a lot of the feelings and internal struggles. I guess, for me, it was dragged on just a *touch* too long? But that was my only minor complaint. Otherwise, Nina was on this incredible journey that forced her to confront many things that needed to be knocked down. I loved these two together.

All of the sub plots and side characters were everything my Below Deck loving soul could not get enough of. The perfect dose of drama, THE CAPTAIN, glimpses of Jo and Alex? Everything flowed and fit in so well. I didn’t feel like there was wasted space, just glorious writing and a story that I couldn’t put down.

READ IT.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: one vague and brief open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: identity theft/fraud of a minor, remembrances of domestic abuse, smoking

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: November 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.

For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her birthday. Jo has almost everything she’s ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she’s the youngest resident by thirty years) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.

Jo is on track until a family tragedy turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge.

When she summons the courage to complete item number five–kiss a stranger–and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo’s inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for the eARC.

ABSOLUTELY LOVED.

I called a five-star from chapter ONE. That’s how convinced I was this was going to be a great read and y’all, IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. It gave me allllllll the Below Deck vibes minus without being over the top dramatic (like the show). I am here for the romance between a stewardess and a Hot Yacht Chef.

There were many themes at play here and they interconnected beautifully throughout Jo’s story. Jo is working through the grief of losing her nephew. When her two nieces show up for the summer she struggles to approach the topic and discussions surrounding him. Jo made some mistakes in this arena, but also really grew as a character. The dialogue and open apologies had me tearing up and loving Jo all the more.

Jo is approaching 30 and has a difficult time opening up and letting in others. Allowing herself to love and be loved as she deserves. ENTER ALEX. From kissing a hot stranger in a bar to finding out he’s your co-worker, BRING ON THE FORCED PROXIMITY. The tension from these two are wild. I don’t know how many times I shouted to KISS HER ALREADY. Then I got one of those arguments turning into confessions of love and I am swooning. Absolutely done for. There’s no spice and I didn’t miss it for one second. Alex and Jo were this charming, real-life couple I dream for. Did I mention Alex is a single Dad to an amazing teen Greyson? I loved this duo and how seamlessly they fit into Jo and her nieces lives.

Y’all. I couldn’t get enough of this South Florida love story. Weaving many plot lines together that had me laughing, tearing up, and devouring this story. Consider this a must add to your TBR. I am off the roof excited for the next story!!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: death of a teen (off page, but is discussed often), loss of a parent (prior to book, but again, discussed), parental abandonment, intense guilt, depictions of grief and depression

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