The best things about For Vacation Only, are Blake, Jubilee, their relationship, touring the European stops on the cruise, and the cover. Those are some great best things to have in romance. There were some other things that were less great, but nothing I really hated.
Blake’s wedding day starts with his fiancé running off with another man and leaving him a note on a place card. He is irritated and embarrassed, but not devastated. His friends take him out, get him drunk, and then encourage him to take his honeymoon Mediterranean cruise by himself. Blake wants a little time to hide from the world, so he goes.
Jubilee, one of the singers in the cruise’s stage show, has just been dumped by her sort of boyfriend who takes us with her nemesis. She’s also struggling with anxiety and stage fright as she has her very first solo. Blake first hears her sing in rehearsal and then on stage and is blown away. When she first sees him in the lounge bar, she sees Clark Kent, with toilet paper stuck to his shoe. Eventually, she agrees to be his tour guide for the port stops. The relationship they develop is lovely.
Blake is waking up and growing up. Coming from a very wealthy family with a lot of expectations, he has largely shut himself down and done what is expected of him. With Jubilee, he starts going off script and discovers there are things he wants for himself. Jubilee has her own growth arc, but Blake’s is the bigger arc, and it’s surprisingly satisfying for a rich white man arc.
I didn’t love the evil ex side stories. The evil ex can easily slide into misogyny, and while I don’t think it did here, the exes got a lot more pages than I wanted to read. Blake and Jubilee had plenty of internal obstacles – class, wealth, meeting on a cruise ship, she has dreams of being a singer, he’s figuring out how to be his own person. All of that was plenty of conflict. More importantly, the evil exes were boring, barely fleshed out caricatures.
For Vacation Only was a mostly enjoyable couple of hours. It will get you dreaming about visiting the Mediterranean.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.