Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.
The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.
Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.
With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?
LOVE! AND! SOME! TURTLES!
Hello, and welcome back to my blog, where I have not posted something non-book tour related since September! In my defense, we have added two new pugs to the grumble, which has taken up a lot of time.
And that brings our grand total up to a grumble of five! We are hashtag #alldogsnokids in this house so is five our limit? Who knows!
♥ But I’m back to talk about this book because it is SO FUN! Enemies to lovers who have never met in person wind up on a work trip together on a CRUISE SHIP to the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS! How do I get myself a job like this?
♥ The love story between Henley and Graeme (side note: how tf do you pronounce Graeme? I asked a friend and she sent me a clip of her saying it and it sounded sort of like Graham but she is from the south so I don’t know if she’s to be trusted sorry Patricia) is an enemies to lovers production ONLY NOT EXACTLY! It’s more like misunderstood coworkers to lovers, and I am Here For It. Not having to slog through 3/4 of the book before somebody admits their feelings was such a treat.
I know some people had problems with this feeling like insta-love, or happening too fast, but for me the love story was completely believable. Time always moves differently on a vacation, slower and faster all at the same time. But on a cruise, it’s like this vortex where time stops. You’re with the same people the whole time, having dinner together, going on excursions and meeting for karaoke every night. So it is REALLY EASY to connect with someone and feel like you’ve known them forever after just one day.
Do I say this because I myself had a cruise love story? Why yes, yes I do.
This is not about me but if you want to hear about my brief love affair with a guy who went on to work as a Democratic Policy Advisor to the Senate during the Obama era, hit me up.
♥ So the setting was clearly a winner for me. The cruise ship itself was excellent, but the armchair travel to the Galapagos Islands was something else. You feel like you’re there on the beach, or in the water, seeing the lizards and of course the famous turtles.
♥ SUCH a satisfying conclusion! Obviously I can’t say anything about how it wraps up, but it’s excellent. And after the book ends, there’s a wonderful letter from the author noting what was fictional. She also gives lots of fun facts about the islands and lists two organizations for anyone who’s inclined to contribute after reading.
I myself was moved to do so, and donated directly to the Galapagos Conservatory, plus two tortoise adoptions in the names of my nephews. They sent the most adorable stuffed tortoises and pictures that I can’t wait to give them!
♥ One *small* thing that bugged me–can we stop villainizing exes all the time? There’s a brief discussion of Graeme’s previous girlfriend and Henley says:
“If she really cared, she would have stuck with you.”
And maybe that’s true. But maybe it’s also not that simple. One person doesn’t have to be a monster for a relationship to end, and it’s always felt like people find it cleaner if you can say this was the bad guy, this was the good guy. And you usually get to throw in a little something like the line above: “if she really cared…” “if he really loved you…“, which is just a way to indicate that the whoever’s speaking would never do that, therefore they are better, and something about it is just a little too “you’re not like other girls” for me.
Final Thoughts: This book was super fun and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a romance. And here’s a tip: make sure you always check out UK versions of book covers. I like the UK version here a LOT more, so I placed my preorder through Book Depository, which is super easy and always has free worldwide delivery (shipping can be slow though, so don’t use them for something you need in a rush).