Today i’m thrilled to be taking part in the Birthday Blog Blitz for The Holiday Cruise. Massive thanks to Rachel and of course author Victoria Cooke for allowing me to be part of this fabulous tour. I hope you enjoy reading my review……
As if it weren’t enough to be cheated on by her husband of ten years, Yorkshire lass Hannah Davis is losing her beauty salon business too. Luckily, her big sister is there to pick up the pieces, but Hannah is desperate to find some independence.
Impulsively, Hannah applies for a spa job…on a cruise ship! Christmas in the Caribbean, springtime in the Mediterranean, what’s not to like? But, despite being in her thirties, Hannah has never done anything on her own before, and she’s terrified.
As the ship sets sail, Hannah has never been further from home…or closer to discovering who she is and who she wants to be.
We meet Hannah at her lowest ebb, devastated and broken after her husband of 10 years has left her for a younger model. Understandably heartbroken she has spent weeks wallowing and her once thriving business has gone to the wall. Unable to see how she can jump start her business now that her clients have been lured away by the competition and unable to afford to stay in her much-loved home she has some serious decisions to make.
A chance meeting with a one-off client though changes the course of her life when it’s suggested she apply to work on a cruise ship. Initially, Hannah brushes the idea off as ludicrous, but with nothing tying her down and the constant threat of bumping into her ex she bites the bullet and applies to work in the on-board spa. Despite having reservations right up until departure, Hannah eventually makes it on-board and buckles down to face the challenges that lay ahead head on. But will this time away from her home village help her get over her heartbreak and forget about her ex?
I adored this book from start to finish! Having had a very similar experience with my first husband I can completely relate to Hannah’s situation. I spent the first part of the book cheering her on to apply for the cruise, willing her to be braver than I was and the rest of the book living vicariously through her experiences.
Despite being a chick-lit, romance story the focus of the story is firmly on Hannah’s transition from a broken shell of a person to the head-strong, independent woman who emerges as her journey progresses. It’s a story of discovery as she finds herself and for the first time realises what it is she really wants from her life. I always love stories with a strong female protagonist and this certainly fits the bill.
I really enjoyed the fact that I have visited several of the cities mentioned in the book and Victoria has done a wonderful job of describing them in perfect detail allowing me to feel transported right back to my own travels. I particularly enjoyed her spontaneous visit to Magaluf!
The Holiday Cruise is a fabulously compulsive read peppered with humous and emotional moments that left me desperate to keep reading even when it was way past my bedtime! I highly recommend this book, it would make an ideal beach read, however would be equally enjoyable during the dark Winter month’s whilst dreaming of you next Summer holiday! My only niggle is that I’m desperate to find out what happened next as I felt it ended far too soon leaving me wanting more– in a good way!
About The Author
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016
The Holiday Cruise is available to purchase here
* I was gifted a copy of his book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own