Delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz today for the book birthday of The Holiday Cruise by my fellow RNA member, Victoria Cooke. Have a very happy book birthday, Victoria and thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly. My thanks also to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blitz.
“As if it weren’t enough to be cheated on by her husband of ten years, Yorkshire lass Hannah Davis is losing her beauty salon business too. Luckily, her big sister is there to pick up the pieces, but Hannah is desperate to find some independence.
Impulsively, Hannah applies for a spa job…on a cruise ship! Christmas in the Caribbean, springtime in the Mediterranean, what’s not to like? But, despite being in her thirties, Hannah has never done anything on her own before, and she’s terrified.
As the ship sets sail, Hannah has never been further from home…or closer to discovering who she is and who she wants to be.”
This book has the perfect recipe for a light romantic read. It has a compelling heroine, a dastardly man doing the dirty, a great relationship between sisters, a suitably difficult dilemma for the heroine to deal with, new friends, a potential new romance and fabulous exotic locations beautifully described along the way. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir for several hundred pages before turning out the perfect beach (or any other time for that matter) read. (Can you tell I am writing this just after watching Bake Off?)
We start the book with our heroine, Hannah, at the lowest of low points in her life. Her husband has left her for the other woman and, in the course of mourning her marriage, she has let her business go to the point of no return. It looks like she is out of options until she is given the idea of applying to work on a cruise ship, and a chink of light appears. Encouraged by her stalwart sister, she decides to go for it and the rest of the book follows her experiences on the ship.
Oh how much I enjoyed this book. I felt all the highs and lows with Hannah along the way. I really wanted to punch Daniel in the face for what he did to Hannah, and I’m really not a violent person, which just goes to show how quickly I was sympathising with Hannah. I loved her sister galloping to her side, it reminded me of how much my sisters support me in times of need, and the ladies in the village backing her up as they shun her wayward ex and his floozy. Victoria had me on side from the very beginning and I was desperate for Hannah to take the chance on the cruise.
Once she got on board, I was fascinated by the insight into working behind the scenes on the cruise ship and all the new friends she makes on board. The visits to the ports were fabulous – armchair-travelling at its best which is one of my favourite things to do in books, especially now the evenings are getting longer and darker and I am missing the summer sunshine.
The thing I enjoyed most about this book was that Hannah and her personal growth and development was the focus o the book, rather than her finding a new romance. There is a romantic aspect to the book, but it is not the central theme. This is a book about a woman overcoming personal challenges to find out who she is and what she wants out of life, with or without a man, and that is more interesting and compelling to me than a woman jumping from one relationship straight into another because she can’t be alone. Women are tougher than that!
This is a fabulous, light and delightful read, the perfect contemporary read. Grab yourself a slice for a sweet treat.
About the Author
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016
Connect with Victoria:
Facebook: Victoria Cooke Author