By: Angie Hockman
Opening Line: “Every time I collect my mail from the paint-spattered box in the lobby and see my name printed over and over in bold black ink, I’m reminded I’m named after a rock star.”
Overall: This is an enemies-to-lovers romance, but also a workplace romance. Well, they both work for the same company, but they have never actually met.
Graeme Crawford-Collins works remotely from Michigan and Henley Evans works at the corporate offices in Seattle, Washington. They have only met through work conference calls and group zoom meetings. They are now both competing for the same promotion and are sent on a cruise together to the Galapagos Islands. They work for a cruise line, and to prepare for the promotion presentation, they are sent to the Islands to put together proposals on how to use digital marketing to increase sales for cruises to the Galapagos Islands. It sounds so lovely, except for the fact that Henley hates Graeme. Mainly because he took credit for a cute animal video that Henley made for the company that went viral, and also because he only sends her curt, one word replies to her business emails. She feels he should not even be up for the same promotion that she is because she is studying for her MBA and has more experience at the company than he does. But, she is constantly swimming upstream against her chauvinistic boss who is very condescending to her and dismisses all of her ideas and at the same time, really encourages all the ideas of the male contributors at the company, Graeme included. So, she is laser focused on developing a spectacular proposal and getting this big promotion. However, when she finally meets Graeme in person on the cruise, he is nothing like she imagined him to be. He is kind, considerate, sweet, supportive, smart, funny, and very handsome. She is thrown for a loop that he seems to be the opposite of what she always thought he was. He is very charming and nice to her and she is very suspicious if he actually is really like that as a person, or is he just doing it to get into her head and distract her from her
work proposal? After several very enjoyable encounters with him on the cruise, she is now doubting herself and doesn’t know what to believe about him anymore. She may actually be falling for him. But, she can’t let herself lose focus on finally getting this promotion at work. She has to decide what is more important to her.
Ovations: I like that this book is both a workplace romance, and also an enemies-to-lovers story. The plot made sense the whole way through the book. I felt that the book was romantic without being mushy and sentimental. I liked that they are competing for the same promotion, and how the story highlights how, sadly, women still have to work much harder than men to be taken as seriously in the workplace. I loved all the flirty sexual tension and heat between Henley and Graeme. I enjoyed the whole, “should she or shouldn’t she” questions that she was struggling with about getting involved with him. Desperately trying not to, despite her very strong attraction to him. Graeme was very clear about his feelings towards her, and was written as the perfect boyfriend. The perfect boyfriend is impossible, as the man had not a single red flag or thing wrong with him, but it’s a book, so fictional boyfriends are allowed to be absolutely perfect, right? Also, I loved how as they got to know eachother, they both revealed their backstories so that we as readers could understand why they acted in the ways that they did. I think it was wonderful how they both were able to change and grow as individual people while getting to know eachother.
Oh Well: My main issue with the book was just how mean and ungrateful Henley was towards Graeme for the first part of the book. You later understand all of the reasons why she has that horrible attitude towards men. However, she was really mean and bitchy to Graeme as he was constantly doing nice things for her. I think the author should have written Henley as nicer, but she still could have been guarded and bitter. My only other complaint is that while there was a lot of sexual tension between Henley and Graeme, and several very hot make-out scenes, there is no “climax”, if you will. There are no sex scenes at all in this romance novel. It
is just sort of skipped over. That was sort of a let-down after such good descriptions of their sexual chemistry throughout the whole book.
Opinion: This was a fun, flirty story about a workplace romance on a cruise ship. This book has the absolute perfect “book boyfriend” a woman could ever ask for. We got to learn about the beautiful scenery and animals on the exotic Galapagos Islands too. I really enjoyed this book and wanted to keep reading it to find out what happened next in the story. Rating 7 out of 10