Luck and Last Resorts is lovely, fun and heartwarming second chance contemporary for summer reading with lots of banter, angst, and tension.
Luck and Last Resorts (Love, Lists & Fancy Ships #2) by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Publication Date : August 9, 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Read Date : August 31, 2022
Genre : Romance / contemporary
Pages : 336
Tea for this book : Lemon Balm + Indian Masala
Disclaimer – Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links
Previous book in the series
Love, Lists & Fancy Ships (Book 1)
They have a second chance at love, but there are some rough seas ahead in the new contemporary romance from the acclaimed author of Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships.
Commitment-phobe Nina Lejeune lives by two rules:
1. Always have fun.
2. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself.
The first rule is easy; the second, she’s only broken once.
Ten years after fleeing home, Nina is the chief stewardess on the super yacht Serendipity, single by choice, and perfectly content with how life has turned out.
But Nina’s ex-coworker and old flame, Irish chef Ollie Dunne, isn’t so happy with the status quo. One year after leaving yachting, he’s returned as the Serendipity’s chef with an ultimatum: if Nina continues to deny she’s in love with him by the end of this charter season, he’ll go back to Ireland for good.
Nina and Ollie’s shared secret from their past threatens to shipwreck not only their relationship, but the entire boat. But as their connection grows amidst chaotic guests and crew drama, could there be smooth sailing in their future?
Luck and Last Resorts is heartwarming and entertaining sequel to Love, Lists & Fancy Ships that started with Jo breaking news of quitting her job on Serendipity so she can help Alex manage the restaurant and Nina not taking it well. Nina feels even more panic when Ollie gives her ultimatum of accepting her feelings for him and be in relationship with him by the end of the charter season or he leaves Nina and goes back to Ireland.
We know ultimatum doesn’t turn out well but these two have 10 years of history and a secret that binds them legally! And after knowing the reason I was ready to sail on Ollie’s boat as I didn’t like what Nina was doing even though I get her commitment phobia.
It was interesting to see see how Ollie will convince Nina to acknowledge her feelings, will Nina let her chance of happiness go along with him, and what would happen once the charter season is over.
This is Nina and Ollie’s complicated story about commitment issues, trust, betrayal, friendship, family, love, taking chances, and being open to loved ones.
Writing is gripping, entertaining and emotive with perfect pace. Story is told from Nina’s perspective with alternative past and present timeline that gave depth to characters and helped in knowing their relationship better. The Present takes place in charter season from June to August and continues till December while Past chapters takes back 9 yrs ago, told in Nina’s memory about Nina’s past life how her career in gymnastic fall apart, how she met Ollie, got her job on Serendipity yacht, Ollie and Nina’s first impression, their banter, and how they became friends and lovers with on and off relationship.
Nina is interesting. I loved her in first book that showed her fun, lively and confident side, her loyalty and friendship with Jo. She still has her sass sarcasm but in this we see her vulnerability, a side that she keeps hidden from world and only Ollie sees the parts of it.
I empathize with her after knowing her backstory. It was heartbreaking to read her life fall apart because of knee injury and her parents, how deeply betrayal affected her, making sense that second rule “not to rely on anyone”, how hard it was for her to piece together her life and stand up on her own feet. It was understandable why she didn’t want to risk life and feelings with love and relationship why she didn’t want change in life, kept happiness and Ollie at bay but at the same time I wanted to shake and scream at her for what she was doing.
Her action and behavior was so wrong and unfair to Ollie. She didn’t want to have him nor she want to leave him. She wanted him to go along with their on-and-off-no-string-attached relationship forgetting they actually had very much legal string. It’s outright cruel and torturous to Ollie.
She knew she was wrong but it took her so long to acknowledge the problem and work on it. She definitely needed therapy and it was great how she finally realized that and learned to open up with her feelings, figure out how she wants her future, take chance with life, and let people and happiness in her life.
Ollie is grumpy, intense, sware loving person. I haven’t seen him open his mouth unless he is bantering with Nina or saying one or two necessary sentences in first book but in this we know him more through past chapters. He too had family issues that made him leave Ireland and cut ties with his family. It was lovely how he opened to Nina about his life and family and how charming and romantic he was with her.
I admired his patience, seeing through Nina’s armor, and also seeing how she wasn’t ready for anything serious and never imposed his feelings on her. He let her be herself and went along with what she wanted until now. I wanted to know why he gave that ultimatum now and not earlier and when he revealed reason behind it, I wanted to shake Nina even more. I don’t blame him for not having patience anymore, for leaving her and I was fully on his side when he explained the reasons in the climax.
Romance is slow burn with Grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity, and will they won’t they trope. There was lots of angst, confusion, sexual tension, and banter that made me go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Ollie and Nina’s relationship is huge part of the story and I loved how their relationship changed over the time period to something very deep and touching. Even though Nina’s uncertainty was annoying, I wanted them happy and it was great to see their big gestures.
I loved Jo, Britt, Xav, and all other secondary characters. They made story even more entertaining and lovely. There is a glimpse of how the superyacht is managed, tough work of stewardesses, and below-deck drama. There is also a layer of emotional abuse, gambling addiction and anxiety.
The climax is sad and touching. I loved Nina’s big gesture even though she realized it too late that she is letting go but at the same time that didn’t turn out as I expected which also made it different from other stories. I liked this stretch between climax and end that author filled with Nina’s real development. Jo’s wedding made this serious patch light and fun. I smiled at that last conversation between Nina and Ollie and how she showed him how sure she was this time. End is cute, lovely, hopeful, and uplifting.
Why 4.5 stars-
If you cannot guess from review, it’s the annoying behavior of Nina.
Overall, Luck and Last Resorts is lovely, fun and heartwarming second chance contemporary for summer reading with lots of banter, angst, and tension. I liked this more than first book even though Nina tried my patience.
I definitely recommend this if you like,
First book in duology
Second chance romance
will they won’t they trope
Most of story take place on superyacht
past and present timeline
Long time on and off relationship
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,
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