This is a book I bought all thanks to ‘the gram’. This book has been all over my Instagram and I finally caved and bought it. I thought the cover was cute and I was looking for a quick easy read that I would enjoy and escape for a little while and since I am dealing with a major case of wanderlust, I thought this book would tick all the boxes.
The cover is adorable and the enemies to lovers troupe is one of my favorites. The two characters, Henley and Graeme, are up for the same promotion and I thought that scenario might bring up some interesting competitiveness between the sexes. Not to mention this book is set mostly on a cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands!
YES PLEASE. I couldn’t wait to read this one the second it arrived. I was fully ready for the romance, escapism and the exotic location. I was not disappointed by any of it. Sure it wasn’t a perfect romance but it made me happy and kept me entertained and really that’s all that matters.
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? (summary from Goodreads)
I loved so many things about this book, but I am going to start with the one criticism first. Henley needed to be older. She was 28 and that seems to be the sweet spot for a lot of romantic heroines. Not quite 30 that seems to be the final frontier for ‘family life’ but yet old enough to have some life experiences under their belts. I personally felt that Henley’s character being older would have made her jump from manager to director seem more believable. Even just a couple of years older, like 33 or even 35, would have made a little more sense to me. One of the main themes in this book was work over play and the pitfalls of not finding a work/life balance. I think this is a very important topic especially for younger women who are ‘trying to do it all’ but I think age-ing her up a little would have helped make this more believable.
Now, let’s talk about all the things I loved. Graeme was incredibly sexy. But not in the arrogant and confident sort of way, but more in the charming and sincere way. I loved that he was fully digging Henley even before they met in person and I could totally feel all of his emotion and feelings toward her. I never once doubted his intentions and I loved that he was honest with how her felt about Henley. He was a sympathetic character with his own ‘baggage’ but his baggage doesn’t eclipse Henley’s. Compared to Henley, Graeme had minimal issues. The only thing I wish was that Graeme’s name was spelled the normal way. I kept reading his name as something else until his nickname was disclosed.
Henley was very much representative of the modern woman and I think that female readers will relate to her. I got married young so I didn’t have the career and family balance to work through, but my sister is in this boat. A boss lady who is trying to trail blaze her career and tick all the boxes on her way to the top. Fortunately for her, her husband is the same, but I also look at their lives and I can’t help but feel sad for her because it seems so incomplete. So reading this story reminded me of the pressure that so many women face now and it seems like the never ending debate if women can have it all or if they have to make a choice. I think this novel encapsulated this struggle and addressed it in an approachable fashion. By the end of this book, I really did feel that women can have it all and I think it’s an important message for the modern woman. I appreciated all of Henley’s struggles in this book and I think that other readers will too.
While this book might not have been perfect, it was a quick fun read that I would get lost in for a few days. The tropical location, the sweet romance and the girl power in this book was on point. This is the book for the modern woman in your life!
Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 19th 2021 by Gallery Books
ISBN1982151595 (ISBN13: 9781982151591)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 5 stars
Genre: romance, chick lit