Love, Lists & Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Josephine Walker “Jo” is working on her “thirty-by-thirty” bucket list, with things like: run a marathon, kiss a stranger, visit 10 countries, but her efforts have stalled since the death of her eleven-year-old nephew, Samson. She’s had a hard time mustering the enthusiasm to check off all the items until her nieces, Mia and Kitty, show up for an unexpected visit (for the summer) and decide they must complete it. "Kiss a stranger" is one of the first things Jo checks off with “Hot Guy from the Bar”, Alex Hayes, a stranger she doesn’t expect to ever see again, but life has other plans!
Jo needed help dealing with her emotions, not only over the death of Samson, but guilt over the death of her father, and a bad breakup making her swear off love and entanglements. I loved Mia, Kitty and Greyson, Alex’s teenage daughter! Hard to be sad with teenage antics, although the girls had to deal with their grief over their brother, too, making/helping Jo face her emotions even when she didn’t want to. Greyson was a breath of fresh air with no filter, whatever she thought just spilled out of her brain which was pretty funny.
Love, Lists & Fancy Ships a fun, sexy romance full of humor, but also with a serious side. Both Jo and Alex were dealing with their own adult issues, grief, guilt, and vulnerability. Their story sucked me right in and left me with heart happy feelings!
Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.
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.