Title: Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships
Author: Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Publication Date: November 23, 2021
Page Count: 335
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
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 thirtieth birthday. Jo has almost everything she’s ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she’s the youngest resident by several decades) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.
Jo is on track until the death of her nephew 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.
Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz is a mix of a contemporary romance and a women’s fiction novel. There’s a lighthearted nature to it at times but the foundation is an emotional family journey to healing. It’s one that will make you laugh but also may make you cry.
Jo Walker is the more free spirited between herself and her sister. Jo has been working onboard a fancy yacht waiting on the rich travelers as a yacht stewardess while her sister had settled down and had a family. Now that Jo’s approaching thirty she had come up with a thirty before thirty list of fun things she wanted to accomplish.
Jo’s list had been getting close to complete when she got a horrific phone call while working on the yacht. Jo’s nephew had tragically passed after an accident so now she is trying to hold herself together for the sake of her sister. When some wires get crossed and her nieces end up on her doorstep Jo gets the push she needs to finish her list before her birthday.
While Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when I picked it up and began reading in this case that was a good thing, or at least not a bad thing. I expected this to be more rom-com than it was but it was actually more a mix of something deeper but yet still humorous and fun. I loved that the girls were involved and I loved that there was growth and healing from everyone in the story all the while still making parts fun. Definitely one to check out and now an author to add to my growing list that I’d love to return to one day.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Sarah Grunder Ruiz is a writer, educator, and karaoke enthusiast. Originally from South Florida, she now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University, where she now teaches First-Year Writing.
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