Book Review: Luck and Last Resorts by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Posted August 8, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 31 Comments

Luck and Last Resorts
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Publication Date August 9, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 336
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

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 by Sarah Grunder Ruiz is the second book in her Love, Lists & Fancy Ships Series but can be read as a stand-alone.  I didn’t read the first book in the series and didn’t feel like it hurt my reading experience for Luck and Last Resorts, however, now I really, want to read the first book as I loved the characters and writing in this emotional romance.  

Nina Lejeune is the chief stewardess on the super yacht Serendipity.  She spent the last 10 years working her way up to this position, managing the staff on the super yacht.  She’s single and fun-loving and has no intention of changing anything in her life.  She’s away at sea for months at a time, and that life has no room for a relationship.  

Irish chef Ollie Dunne is back on the Serendipity for one last voyage.  He’s there to find out at last if Nina will ever admit that she loves him.  He’s done playing games with Nina and he is determined to turn their on-again, off-again relationship into something permanent, or he will leave for Ireland, never to see Nina again.  

This is one emotional story and it’s full of angst.  Both Nina and Ollie have some giant-sized baggage, and each of them needs to come to terms with their own issues before they can be together for real.  Their relationship is intense and sometimes it’s difficult to watch them.  But, I was rooting for them during the entire book as it’s obvious they are meant to be together.  

The yacht is its own character and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at how a superyacht is managed and all the lower deck staff drama.  We also get a glimpse of the previous characters from the first book, but they are not really part of the story.  The story is focused on Nina and Ollie. 

This story is sometimes heartbreaking, frustrating, and gritty, but it’s also hopeful, romantic, and satisfying.  These characters are so realistic and relatable that I couldn’t help being touched by their journey.  

I highly recommend Luck and Last Resorts to anyone who enjoys romance and women’s fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Sarah Grunder Ruiz is a writer, educator, and karaoke enthusiast. Originally from South Florida, she now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University, where she works as a lecturer in the First-Year Writing Program.

Her most recent book is Luck and Last Resorts (Berkley, forthcoming August 9th, 2022), a second chance romance between a stewardess and chef aboard a luxury yacht. Luck and Last Resorts is a companion novel to Sarah’s debut, Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships, published in November of 2021.

Have you read Luck and Last Resorts? Or the first book in the series, Love, Lists & Fancy Ships?

31 responses to “Book Review: Luck and Last Resorts by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

  1. I read the first one and loved it! I initially didn’t grab this one because I knew it was going to be angsty, but I couldn’t help myself in the end. Part of my decision is that cover! I just love it. Shallow, right? Lol! Glad to see you loved this one. 🙂

  2. Sounds more intense than the cover hints at but glad it was enjoyable all the same. I like the idea of the behind the scenes look this gives one into how a cruise is run. Great review, Wendy🙂

  3. That cover certainly belies the content. I never would have imagined such an angsty story. (Another reason I’m so over the illustrated cover trend.) I always love a second chance romance, though.

  4. This sounds like a sweet and complex story. I know absolutely nothing about life on a super yacht, but I think I would learn a lot about it from this novel. Great review!

  5. I love the name of the ship. Serendipity is one of my favorite words ❤️ This sounds like a very moving story. Excellent review!

  6. This sounds like an interesting read Wendy and I really enjoyed reading your wonderful review. I’m curious as to the drama on the ship!