Review: Love Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz


Release date: November 23, 2021

Publisher: Berkley Romance

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.

For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her birthday. Jo has almost everything she’s ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she’s the youngest resident by thirty years) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.

Jo is on track until a family tragedy turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge.

When she summons the courage to complete item number five–kiss a stranger–and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo’s inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.


I think it’s the season of amazingly strong debut romances because this one is another must read! I knew as soon as my friend Sarah at ReallyIntoThis recommended this for fans of Below Deck this would be the book for me and she wasn’t wrong. The BD piece is just a small part of what this one has to offer, it’s so much more. It’s about grief, family and found family, taking chances with a side of romance and humor. Basically everything I could want in a book and more, I just adored this one.

While I truly loved every aspect of this one the characters were the best part for me. This is so much more than just a romance, (although Jo and Alex were THE cutest!) it’s about Jo’s journey and her path to healing herself and her fractured family and the author did a beautiful job at portraying how you can process a tragedy and start to forgive yourself. You know how most of the time they’ll be at least one character in a book that you don’t like? Not here, I seriously freaking loved them all, Jo’s nieces Kitty and Mia, her BFF Nina and Alex and his daughter, Greyson. They were just the best little crew and I wanna hang out with them, ok? If you liked Float Plan you’ll love this one too, such an amazing, emotional and heartfelt read!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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