Love, Lists, & Fancy Ships Review

81BU1UV7USLSummary (from the publisher):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 birthday. Jo has almost everything she’s ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she’s the youngest resident by thirty years) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.

Jo is on track until a family tragedy 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.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Sarah Grunder Ruiz’s Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships had been sitting on my owned TBR for a few months, but I wanted to save it for the summer, and I ended up reading it outside & on the beach during a holiday weekend! 

I definitely think you’ll enjoy the yacht parts of this book if you’re a Below Deck fan or familiar with the super yachting world, but Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is a book tackling deep themes, including loss, grief, family, and romance. The book follows twenty-nine going on thirty-year old yacht stewardess, Jo. Jo has hopeful, grand plans of finishing her 30 by 30 bucket list, including going to Europe over charter season break…until her nieces, Mia and Kitty, show up unexpectedly at Jo’s doorstep for the summer. Mia and Kitty lost their brother in a car accident, and the girls, & Jo herself, have been struggling since. In an effort to help give them a great summer, Jo enlists the girls in helping her tackle the bucket list, including kissing a stranger that ultimately is rereleased as Jo’s new co-worker on the yacht, Alex. 

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships met my expectations for its fun and flirty parts, as Jo works on the yacht with her best friend, Nina, and Alex. I really liked the romance, and yes, all of the yacht scenes met my Below Deck expectations & more. Nina provided both support and some comic relief, and I am looking forward to seeing her romance with the Irish yacht chef, Ollie, play out in the next novel. However, the book dived into family, loss, and grief more than it’s light, summer-feel cover suggests. Jo, Mia, and Kitty are understandably still processing their feelings after losing their nephew and brother respectively. Jo struggles with how to best help the girls with their emotions, especially since things at home aren’t great, & based on how Jo lost someone close to her at a young age. I thought her relationship with the girls was very sweet, and I really liked the addition of Alex’s own daughter to their dynamic. 

Overall, Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is a really enjoyable summer read, & I definitely plan on picking up the companion novel following Nina, Luck & Last Resorts!

Have you read Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships? What are your thoughts? What summer books have you been reading lately? Share in the comments! 

3 thoughts on “Love, Lists, & Fancy Ships Review

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