Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.
While onboard Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and the car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.
I loved the idea of a cruise ship romance, even more that it wasn’t a passenger type thing but workers. Add in that Devin wants to be a chef and I thought this is a total win for me. Devin comes from a super close knit, large family who support each other unconditionally. That was another win for me. Paul’s family, though wealthy, doesn’t seem quite as close.
Paul is on board to check out the workings of the ship but he is there with a secret. One that really doesn’t affect much unless you start hanging out with and falling for the bartender who is assigned to be your ship liason. They both have baggage, Paul’s in the shape of an ex-boyfriend who after Paul lost his leg in an accident dumped him and assumed they would no longer be able to do the physical, outdoor things they had always done; Devin’s in the form of an ex-boyfriend who was using him as a way to upset his conservative parents.
The two bond over getting to know the ship’s crew and workings. Devin shows Paul how to chill out a little and enjoy life and in the process begins to fall for him. It was a little odd to read how much time off Devin got. With a relative who worked the cruise ships who always talked about how little time was their own, this was a little bit of a shock.
I felt like they got to know each other, even though the secret was in the way. It was insta-love to be sure, as the whole thing happens over the course of a two-week cruise. The final reveal of the secret is a little bit of a let down. There is no angst here, despite the baggage they each have, and they are pretty well adjusted. Paul gets over his insecurity about his missing leg and scars fairly easily as well.
A very weird thing was as I was reading about Beau Walker and Jake Parnell, Devin’s cousin and his husband, I kept thinking how much I would like to read their story. It wasn’t until I looked it up to add to my list that I realized I already read it!
There is a moment in Jamaica with a pair of shorts, when Devin realizes that he is really falling for Paul, that totally made my heart melt. It was my favorite moment of the book.
Cover art: Alexandria Corza. Has the moon and ship as the backdrop and Paul as the center model. If that is supposed to be Devlin, a total miss of the mark.
ebook, 206 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Series The Walker Boys