Tuesday, December 9, 2014

All At Sea by Heather Wardell

4 Star

Melissa and Owen met on New Years' Eve and he proposed on Valentine's Day. Now it's March, and they're about to set sail on a two-week Caribbean cruise - and get married on the last day at sea. Though their relationship's moving fast, Melissa's wanted to be married for years and she knows the smart stable Owen is a great catch so she's sure they'll be fine.

At least, she's sure until she meets his brothers on the cruise and discovers she's dated both of them: Austin, the fun-loving flirt whose kisses still haunt her dreams, and Nicholas, the sweet horror movie fan whose lack of ambition upset her in ways she still doesn't understand.

Melissa expected to spend tons of time onboard with her fiancé, but he instead spends nearly his every waking moment in the casino displaying a previously unseen love of gambling. This surprise, and the time she spends with Nicholas and with Austin, makes her question everything she thought she wanted.

Her relationship with Owen was just fine before, but suddenly 'just fine' doesn't seem good enough to keep a marriage alive for a lifetime. Melissa has two weeks to decide: stay with Owen or jump ship.

Kathryn - 4 Star

All at Sea is fun. I loved the setting on a cruise ship and was delighted to follow them around the boat to all the different restaurants and nooks and crannies you find in one of these giant vessels- it had a very authentic feel in that respect.

I also found myself rapidly attached to the characters and their various confusing relationships, there was so much going on there with Melissa and her three different men. Heather Wardell gave us just enough tension and back story to make it believable and I could feel the intensity with each one right off the page. I didn't much care for the husband to be, probably wasn't meant to like him much but I feel we could have been given a touch more to like because I really found it hard to see why Melissa was into him. In this novel though I felt the plot and development was as much about the other members of the wedding party as it was about Melissa and I didn't feel like anyone was left out. 

I became quite attached to Melissa’s friend and her husband (the only people she had invited to witness her wedding on the ship) and adored the support they showed their friend even though I'm sure they wanted to shake some sense into her a number of times. They clearly wanted to be the best friends they could be and put up with a lot more dithering than I might have done.  Clearly Owen’s primary focus was marriage because “it was time” and not because he felt Melissa would match his lifestyle and be a good partner. I wished the boys’ mother had been more invested in her children or even left out entirely. She didn't do much for me and I found her frustrating especially as she didn't really have a huge role in the plot except chief "funder" of the cruise. 

I think I would actually read All At Sea again, despite already knowing how it turns out! The characters at the end were well suited and I loved following them through to their destiny.

Thank you to the author for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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  1. Thank you, Kathryn! I did take a cruise after the book's first draft to make sure it was authentic - I like to suffer for my art. :)



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