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Luxury yacht, tropical seas, babes in bikinis…dream job, right? Wrong. The passengers are rich jerks who treat the crew like garbage, when they aren’t pretending we’re their whores. The best day was when that cokehead heiress Kalina tried to fire me just for doing my job. I swore I’d never go back home to my parents and their crazy fundamentalist ranch in the desert, but nothing could be worse than this.
And then the pirates attack.
Luxury yacht, tropical seas, billionaire boyfriend…dream trip, right? Wrong. After catching my man getting “extra services” from the maid, I know I’m the laughingstock of passengers and crew. Every time I lay eyes on that quiet, handsome deckhand Adam, I can feel him judging me. I want to die, and when the pirates show up, I think I’m going to.
But Adam… he saves me. Now we’re alone together on a lifeboat in the open ocean. Adam thinks we don’t have a chance, but thanks to him, we’ve made it this far.
And then, in the distance, I spot an island…
Escape to an Island Destination
Kalina is, in short, a spoiled child. Well, spoiled is saying it nicely. She's rich, drug addicted and a drunk. She's on a vacation with her, not so great, boyfriend and friends. Friends, well that's not exactly what these people are. They really aren't nice to each other, let alone to Kalina. Her boyfriend, Bran, is used to getting his way and doesn't think twice on cheating on her. And the blow to end everything, he hits her. But even with all of this, Kalina knows that there is more to life, more to her, more to everything.
Adam is a struggling student. Working on this boat isn't his cup of tea, but the payout will help him with his schooling and maybe help his siblings. He's come a long way from his upbringing but sometimes it doesn't feel that way. The "ladies" are always coming onto him, but he's not biting. There is one that had caught his eye, but he won't do anything about it.
One night, while cleaning up after another "party", he doesn't notice that the yacht is being taken over by pirates. Not the fun and lovable kind a la Pirates of the Caribbean. They've killed most of the crew and gathered up all the guest. Adam must decide, stay and fight which could possible mean his life or run and hide and live to fight another day. He chooses to run and get away via a lifeboat.
Once away, he assess the situation but he hears something. He's not alone in the lifeboat after all, it's Kalina. And she's hung over, not just from drinking either. Now they're stuck together until someone finds them, but luckily, there is land ahead.
I liked the book even though it has a slow start. Knowing all the ins and out of Kalina life and some of Adam was a bit overdone. Once on the island, their relationship stalls even though they both want each other. They fight against it like crazy, but when they finally get together it seems a bit rushed. And once they seem to get things going, they are saved. The final chapters seemed a bit rushed, their save, they way they are torn apart and finally the HEA. I did enjoy the several mentions of Kalina's favorite movie, The Princess Bride, since I love that movie as well. I did enjoy Kalina's reboot of herself through their ordeal. Adam also changed a bit, who he was is who he still is, just not always waiting for the next show to fall. Taking chances doesn't have to be the end of the world.
I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Overall, I enjoyed Viv's writing and this story.
Unlikable characters, predictable plot
Judging Covers: The cover reminds me of one of those bad prom photos where the couple has their picture taken while standing in front of a screen image of a beach or Paris or some place that's anywhere but the high school gym. I'm sure we've all seen plenty of pictures of the same stock image couple placed over a million different backgrounds, but for some reason this one stands out to me as incredibly fake. I suppose it's probably the coloring and detail of the sand and sky behind them — it's just not a good blend.
The Verdict: I think what really put me off almost immediately was Kalina. She's pretentious and spoiled, surrounds herself with people as shallow as she is, and basically has no respect for herself — despite her entitled ways. Adam is her polar opposite, and he's terribly judgemental, though one can't really blame him when considering the people he's having to work with.
The pirate action was pretty interesting, though, and a lot more gritty than I expected. I sort of figured it would be a watered down hostage scenario, one in which everyone but that one sacrificial jerk lives to tell the tale. Not so, though, as decent people are gunned down and Kalina and Adam are set adrift in the ocean. After that, though, the story takes another nosedive.
Kalina and Adam are immediately at odds, though she's clearly dependent on him to get them through the mess they're in. She spots and island, they make do with what they can find there, and the rest of the story takes predictable turn after predictable turn.
The ending simply wrapped up what we all could have guessed would happen, so in finishing the book, I feel like I could probably have been satisfied if I'd stopped at the synopsis. To be fair, it's not an awful read, but I have read much more entertaining stories that follow the whole stranded on a desert island idea and do it much better than Island Escape did.
***FicCentral received this book from Mark My Words Book Publicity for free in exchange for an honest review.
Great story and wonderful ending.