Luck and Last Resorts by Sarah Grunder Ruiz Book Review Read it later

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Chandler M. Contributor intro page

Luck and Last Resorts is the sequel to Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz. While her first book focuses on Jo and her “30 things to do before the 30” bucket list, Luck and Last Resorts is about Nina, her best friend. With Love, Lists and Fancy Ships we get a pretty good feel for who Nina is: an outgoing, charismatic force to be reckoned with. She is an amazing friend to Jo, which shows throughout the book. In this sequel, the story dives into Nina’s past and present.

Have you read Luck & Last Resorts yet?

This book picks up about a year after Love, Lists and Fancy Ships. Jo informs Nina that she will not be going out for the yacht’s charter season this year. While Nina is disappointed, she knew this time would come. She is the one who encouraged Jo to go for Alex, who is the reason she is staying on land. 

Luck and Last Resorts, flashes between present and 10 years prior. During these flashbacks, we learn how Nina’s past as a failed Olympic gymnast led her to become a stewardess on the super yacht, Serendipity. During her first season of yachting, she met grumpy, Irish Ollie, the ship’s chef. 

The two have a complicated relationship that mixes friendship and romance, bringing them together and pushing them apart for more than a decade. Now, 10 years later, while working a yachting season together, Ollie gives Nina an ultimatum: make their relationship real, or he will move back to Ireland. 

Unfortunately, Nina is an emotional wreck, unsure if she can give herself to Ollie completely. The push and pull of will they or won’t they forms most of the novel, with Nina’s emotional baggage taking the spotlight. There are some surprising twists that keep the story moving along, but it comes down to two key questions: Will Nina be able to work on herself in a meaningful way? And will Ollie still want her by the time she does?

Luck & Last Resorts

Genre: Fiction/ Romance

Luck & Last Resorts tells the story of Nina and Ollie. Nina is a stew on a super yatch where she is reunited with Ollie. A story that will keep you on your twos with dual timeframes.

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Chandler with Luck & Last Resorts
Contributor Chandler with Luck & Last Resorts!

I loved Nina and Ollie’s relationship, especially how lighthearted and sarcastic they were with each other. The banter between them made me swoon over Ollie. They had little inside jokes that you saw throughout the whole book that made their relationship and chemistry feel very real.

I gave this book four stars because I felt like the ending dragged on. I loved that Nina worked on herself, but I wish she had worked on herself before making her grand gesture. That way, there would not have been all the back and forth throughout the last 50 pages. 

After reading both books in this series, I do think the first book was my favorite. While I do like Nina, Jo’s character felt more relatable. I definitely recommend adding this series to your TBR.

What do you think of my Luck and Last Resorts by Sarah Grunder Ruiz Book Review?

Drop a Comment Below! Also, a huge thank you to Penguin for sending us these copies of the book!

More Reviews from our Contributors

Vinsci with with Luck & Last Resorts
Contributor Vinsci with with her copy of Luck & Last Resorts!

Vinsci F.

If you like the show Below Deck and are a fan of second-chance romance novels, then this book is for you. The banter and chemistry between Nina and Ollie reminds me of Kate and Ben from Below Deck

I gave this book four stars. Nina and Ollie have wonderful chemistry. The way they annoy each other causes chaos, especially at work, but you can see the understanding and love they share in between their jesting. As a reader, you know they deserve a shot at a second chance.

I took away one star because Nina’s indecisiveness and hesitation in acknowledging her fears and wants was frustrating. I understand that she was hurt in the past, but I am not a fan of the “you can’t lose something you didn’t have” concept. Both characters have issues, and both need healing, but I found it unfair that Nina could play with Ollie’s heart, especially with their history. Ollie was too patient for me, having waited nine years for Nina. I love the dual timeline of their past and present. I felt their relationship took so long to develop that the ending was rushed. I love the ending, but I wish there were more romantic moments with Nina and Ollie. I also wish there were more scenes with Nina and her best friend Jo, because I love their dynamic together.

Nicki with with Luck & Last Resorts
Contributor Nicki C. with with her copy of Luck & Last Resorts!

Nicki C.

Luck and Last Resorts is the romantic comedy, second-chance romance sequel to Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships. This story focuses on the relationship between Ollie and Nina, alternating between their past and present. The couple has cute, witty banter and a long history of breaking up and reconciling over the course of nine years. Working together through most of this as crew members on a yacht that does charter tours out at sea for four months out of the year. It gives the reader the feeling of the show Below Deck without the reality TV feel. 

This book bordered on a three-and-a-half to four-star rating for me, because of the pacing towards the end. Also, I did not like or fully understand where the main female character was coming from. Nina was unfortunately unlikable from the beginning, whereas Ollie was instantly a favorite of mine. I did not love that he waited nine years for Nina. It hurt my heart to watch him put himself out there again and again, only for Nina to not see what she was doing to him. I understand that Nina had trauma and a past she needed to work through on her own, but it felt like too much.

However, I could not put this book down and I love second-chance romances where the couple has to find their way back to one another. It is one of my favorite tropes when done well. I love when there is that one person they keep coming back to despite everything keeping them apart. I enjoyed the setting of a yacht charter company because it felt unique. The side characters kept the book interesting, especially Britt.

This book is a great summer or early spring read. Reading the first book is not necessary to understand the plot of this book, but it might make the reader care about Nina and Jo more. I recommend this book if you love sweet, cinnamon roll, Irish men who hide behind a tough exterior and the women who keep them in their place. Nina’s journey to finding herself, and her way to Ollie, is a long time coming, but it delivers the happily ever after that all romance readers enjoy. 

luck and last
Contributor Jessica R. with her copy of Luck & Last Resorts!

Jessica R.

Luck and Last Resorts was an interesting take on a romance novel. There were many things I enjoyed about it, such as the yacht setting and getting a peek behind the scenes at how a team works together on the boat. (I actually wish there would have been a little more of this)! I also adored Ollie as a main character. He was the perfect balance of salty and sweet. He had a gruff exterior, but a heart of gold. I loved how Grunder Ruiz let him shine in little moments, such as chatting with an upset crew mate, cooking for others, or planning dates.

However, for all that Ollie is good, I struggled a lot with Nina. She’s a complex character with a lot of family and former gymnastics related trauma. But my biggest problem with her is that she doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. In order for me to fall in love with a main character, or at least root for their redemption arc, I have to find something I like about them. Nina was bratty, rude, and was proud about being mean to her crew. At one point in the story Nina says she and Ollie are just alike–but they aren’t at all. Ollie was gruff and quiet, but kind. Nina was, well, none of those things. And she played with Ollie’s affections for years and years, constantly stringing him along.

I give this one three stars, which is basically an average: five stars for Ollie and the boat, two stars for Nina and her infuriating personality.


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