Ready for a holiday romance in 2021? I might have just the thing…
Blue Hawaiian by Carla Luna
Genre: Contemporary/ Romance
Publisher: Moon Manor Press
Date Published: 15th June 2021
Print length: 306 pages
The first rule of serving as the maid of honor at your perfect sister’s destination wedding? No mistakes.The second rule? No drama.
For Jess Chavez, a week in Maui is hardly a dream vacation—not when her sister expects her to be the perfect maid of honor. Not only does Jess have to fake perfection, but she can’t let anyone know she’s unemployed and barely scraping by. Above all, she needs to steer clear of Connor Blackwood, the sexy groomsman who broke her heart five years ago.
A family wedding offers Connor the ideal opportunity to convince everyone he’s no longer an irresponsible playboy. If they see he’s changed, they might support his decision to leave the family winery and strike out on his own. With so much at stake, the last thing he needs is an alluring distraction like Jess.
When Jess and Connor end up together, exploring the island’s lush, tropical beauty, the sparks between them become impossible to ignore. Throwing caution to the wind, they decide to make their own rules.
Five days of passion. No strings. No tears. No promises.
What could possibly go wrong?
Holidays abroad might be a distant memory for most of us but I’m happy to say that Blue Hawaiian– Luna’s debut and the first in her Blackwood Cellars series – offered the escapism I needed.
The book flits between the perspectives of Jess and Connor, the maid of honour and groomsman at Gabi and her fiancé’s destination wedding, as they confront their messy past and grapple with feelings in the present. Despite both of their flaws – which both characters are more than happy to address a fair amount in this book – Luna manages to create two main characters you root for, both in their separate goals and ambitions and as a couple.
The romance in this definitely wasn’t unexpected. I had a feeling I knew where it’d go but the predictable nature of the romance didn’t spoil it at all as things between Jess and Connor were much hotter than I expected. I loved their sweet, tender moments and – despite my initial reluctance (no idea why but overly steamy books always make me cringe!) – I actually didn’t mind the steamy bits, as it developed the story and showed the reader the depth of their feelings for each other.
I think Luna excels at character creation. I think Jess is brilliant, independent and not afraid to take risks whilst still being insecure and not completely on top of things (I definitely relate to the latter). I also really liked the fact that Connor, despite the fact he’s dripping with stereotypical male character in a contemporary rom-com, is actually a good person instead of just being good looking. I wasn’t that fussed with Jess’s sister, Gabi, as her stressed out nature made even me as a reader feel on edge! I also really liked Brody and I really appreciate the fact that Luna depicts family relationships in such a honest way. They’re a bit messy, not always perfect, but there’s always love there somewhere.
I’ve already mentioned how this book was (much needed) escapism for me but wow it really was. I haven’t been to Hawaii (I’ve only got my grandparents’ stories about it and Lilo & Stitch to rely on!) but Luna’s descriptions of places, people and things around this beautiful location are so rich it’s almost like you’re transported there page after page. The locations described will do nothing to cure your wanderlust and the food described will have you reaching for snacks (or wishing you had them) by the end.
My only negative with this book was that my heart wasn’t really in the business side of things. I admired Connor for wanting to take a big step business wise, and a step away from his family, but I think my enjoyment of this book was firmly down to the romance as opposed to the business side of things.
Saying that, Blue Hawaiian is a gorgeously crafted, honest romance and family novel. It’s the holiday we’re all so desperately craving, without the isolation period (or the Covid tests!).
A Few “Thank Yous”
I wouldn’t have been able to read this book – or participate in this Blog Tour- without Rachel (of Rachel’s Random Resources ) so I just wanted to say thank you to her for organising the tour and for letting me have a spot on it, too.
I also want to thank the publishers Moon Manor Press and the writer Carla Luna for my e-copy of this book. I enjoyed it and I hope others will as well.
About the Author
Carla Luna writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. A former archaeologist, she still dreams of traveling to far-off places and channels that wanderlust into the settings of her stories. When she’s not writing, she works in a spice emporium where she gets paid to discuss food and share her favorite recipes. Her passions include Broadway musicals, baking, whimsical office supplies, and pop culture podcasts. Though she has roots in Los Angeles and Victoria, B.C., she currently resides in Wisconsin with her family and her spoiled Siberian cat.
Social Media Links
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CarlaLunaAuthor
You can buy Blue Hawaiian here.
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