I enjoyed reading this story. It was quick light fun with an occasional laugh. After being forced on a singles cruise by his parents Holt believes he can turn this into a work vacation but his assistant, Dane, is not having any of that on his first ever cruise and decides fun is much more important, almost more important then his hot boss. The story follows the same formula as most of these romances but still manages to be enjoyable even though you know where it is going. There were a few things that bothered me though. Which is why I gave it three stars.
The short-lived jealousy bit. It’s like in these m/m romances the only way for the guy to notice he likes the other guy is if he gets jealous of him spending time with other guys. There has to be another way to do this. We can’t always be getting jealous and if we must how we navigate that can be switched up. This one slips into the ‘I’m going to drink my jealousy away and then confess my love in a drunken stupor because I clearly don’t have the strength to do it sober’ trope. It’s supposed to be funny but it was more, the drunken man’s truth thing again. If he had expressed something other than that, like something deeper I would’ve been on board. Holt was drunk after all he had to be harbouring something more than his like for Dane and this was the perfect opportunity to not go the normal route.
There was also the whole ‘when the love interest admits their love and the object of said love being too shocked to realise it’s true’ angle. Sigh, I legit reviewed a book right before this one where a guy tried to vacate in the middle of the night because he was so sure the other guy didn’t want a relationship. I could pull many more out of my head where, in full length stories, this idea ends up being the thing that creates the tension for a few chapters, which I never read, until the guy stops sabotaging the romance and it actually moves forward. The naive I can’t believe this is happening angle thankfully was solved almost as quickly as it began in this novel.
Lastly, Dane is leaving the company. After a passionate night together he mentions something about his new job after the cruise. Holt is like you’re still leaving. He’s his boss of course he was hoping finally admitting his feelings might have persuaded him to change his mind. Hell I’m shocked he didn’t ask in a fun flirtatious way that lead to clever banter and more love making. Now that I would’ve been down for. However, instead of talking about it like adults Dane assumes he’s pretending to date him only to keep him on staff and then dump him as soon as he changes his mind. He gets mad and storms out the room. Ugh. I can’t even begin to think how many times in both straight and gay romance novels some irrational I’m not going to think this through like an adult situation ruins, or stalls, the relationship. Seriously you just gone get angry and not give them a chance to explain and walk out the door, and the other person, usually the male in straight romance, just lets them leave instead of forcing them to listen to an explanation. Thankfully, like above situation, a few paragraphs later this was sorted and it did not become a main focus of the novel.
There were a few other small things that bugged me but mostly I did enjoy this story. It was a short swift romance that didn’t have an overwhelming amount of angst and solved whatever cliches I didn’t like quickly. I probably could’ve done with a day or more of cruise so the characters could spend more time being a couple before the book ends but most readers probably wont mind. Recommended for anyone who needs a quick, light weekend read with a HEA and minimal drama. A nice feel good read.