Review: Sex, Lies and Cruising


Sex, Lies and Cruising by Cathryn Chapman

2 stars

Read from 20-26 June, 2020

Synopsis: Exotic locations, sexy men, and crazy crew parties… Ellie has her dream job… or does she?

When Ellie’s fiancé cheats on her with a younger, slimmer, blonde from the office, she boots him out of her life and finds solace in a fabulous photography job aboard a Caribbean cruise ship. Twenty-four hours on board and she’s already shagged her sexy Texan colleague, who happens to love her muffin-top. Unfortunately he’s leaving in a week, and his ex-girlfriend, a hot-headed Brazilian with stripper moves right out of the 90s and a talent for stealing boyfriends, is still on board and out for revenge.

Ellie must work out how to deal with the loco ex, sort the lying scumbags from the good guys, and figure out how many crew members in a cabin it takes before officially becoming group sex. Who the hell knows? (It’s five, actually.) It’s a world completely unlike the one she left behind, but as she tries to find her place on board, Ellie discovers laughter and tears in equal measure. And in the midst of the craziness, she realises the greatest thing this lifestyle change has given her is the chance to rediscover herself.

Bookish Things: 278 pages. The cover is quite attractive and eye-catching.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $9.10.

My Review:

I don’t read a lot of chick lit, I’m not really sure why, but perhaps the indie authors of that genre don’t stumble onto my goodreads page or blog to request reviews often.

Regardless, I was excited about reading this. It sounded fun, sexy and a nice light-hearted read.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

Ellie, our main character, should have spoken to me on a personal level. But unfortunately instead of a realistic, complex character, she was vapid and painfully neurotic when it came to blaming herself for everything that went wrong. Then in the next breath blamed the men in her life for all her personal problems.

I probably would have forgiven this sort of thinking if it only occurred once or twice in the book, but alas she rehashed this drivel every other day and kept making the same stupid decisions over and over. At a few points in the book I was sure she had turned into a Too Stupid To Live (TSTL) character.

Ellie started the book hating her pale, frumpy body (complete with frequently mentioned muffin top) and almost no self confidence. She placed her value firmly into the sexual desirability the guys on the cruise ship showed her. She frequently compared herself to her best friend and roommate Caitlin. This got really, really annoying.

As Ellie continued to stumble her way through the gauntlet of fuckwits on board the ship, she was told by her friends over and over about the lifestyle on board but she seemed incapable of listening. Instead falling hopelessly in love with asshat after asshat. It was insta-love of the worst kind!

I hated that almost every guy on the ship was a sex-God look-a-like, and every woman was a super model. Those that weren’t superstar material were barely mentioned. Relegated to the background and never mentioned again. Also, the supposed twist at the end was glaringly obvious from the first few chapters. A bit more subtlety would have been good.

Despite the above, there were some actual good moments. The setting of the Caribbean islands were colourful and full of interesting day trips. I particularly enjoyed the trip with Jock and his friends and the Harley’s.

The writing overall was pretty good. Quite easy to read despite some of the annoying content. However, I did notice a few things:

16% – … and i(t) wasn’t as if I’d planned to act an angel…
49% – It was obviously (delete the ly), as we sorted…
– … I wasn’t at all disappointed they(delete y) others couldn’t join us.
64% – Jock and Ellie talked yesterday, not today as Jock said.
84% – … think of him as another(replace with anything) other than a mate.
89% – … you can’t avoid going alone it (going it alone).
92% – … she was saying mad(e) her sound a lot like Caitlin.

**I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

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