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Love, From A to Z by Robin Alexander

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Robin Alexander books are like a carefully hoarded treat that we dip into when we feel rather deserving. Though this one was...

Lost at Sea by A.E. Radley

⭐⭐☆

It is an unsettling experience to complete a romance and have your heart ache for a thoroughly loveable MC because you know she didn’t find love. That she gave way, way more than she’d ever get. And you want to protect her.

Annie Peck’s life is in danger in Barcelona and she is desperate to get out of town. She buys a ticket to Paris and hides in the ladies room till it is time for her train. She is jumping out of her skin at the possibility of be found at every sound. Unexpectedly, one sound brings in her doppelganger, who turns out to be a famous opera singer, Serena Rubio. Serena has her own problems. It has been deemed that her throat needs rest and her manager has booked her on a two-week cruise to ensure the same. Except that Serena doesn’t want to go because her secret Australian boyfriend is going to be in town and she wants to be with him. Impulsively Serena dreams up a scheme where Annie will go on the cruise as Serena. Annie is desperate enough to agree. Caroline West is the captain of the cruise ship on which Serena is book and Annie embarks.  

The attraction between Annie and Caroline is palpable. We were so rooting for both of them and liking them both till the part where Caroline takes Serena (she only knows Annie as Serena at this point) home to share her life and world with Serena. In that scene we realised that Caroline was completely self-centred. She wanted and expected her partner to make all adjustments and compromises. So much so that Caroline likes the sea and chooses to live on a boat despite having a house, and expects her partner to live on the boat, maybe even in the middle of water, for Caroline. Never mind that Annie is petrified of water.

It only gets worse from there. Annie is found by the person she was running away from, beaten up, packed in a suitcase and left to freeze to death. While this is happening Caroline discovers the truth about Annie’s identity and is cussedly determined to put her in the brig and hand her over to the authorities for identity-theft. One of her colleagues points out that the only reason a person would have done what Annie did – especially since Serena is a celebrity – would only be out of desperation. But Caroline is so full of herself that she cannot hear this at all.

Another friend points out to Caroline that Annie never really lied to her at any point. But Caroline cannot hear this either.

She attends a call in with Serena in which Serena says there was no identity theft. Annie was there on the cruise at Serena’s behest, but Caroline’s head is so far up her ass that this has no impact on her.

Annie has been beaten up and she’s almost dies and Caroline expects Annie to make things alright. She even wants to throw Annie into the kip while Annie is on saline and in the ship’s hospital.

And yet, Annie loves this woman. Reaches out repeatedly. Begs to meet her. Goes to great lengths to spend time with her. Changes her whole life for her.

The second half of the book actually hurt us. This is so not love and definitely not romance. Annie has a lousy hand dealt to her by life and Caroline is just more lousy card she got.

Read this book if you want to – but don’t let it define love in any way for you.

We’d give this book an unequivocal five for Annie and a zero for Caroline. So we’re compromising at 2.5 stars.

⭐⭐☆

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