Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships (Paperback)
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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 thirtieth birthday. Jo has almost everything she's ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she's the youngest resident by several decades) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.
Jo is on track until the death of her nephew 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.
About the Author
Sarah Grunder Ruiz is a writer, educator, and karaoke enthusiast. Originally from South Florida, she now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University, where she now teaches First-Year Writing.
“Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is a delightful love story about setting and settling goals, about the journeys of the heart, and about how you have to let go of the past in order to move forward. You’ll be rooting for Jo from the first page.”—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Two Ways
“This book is a love letter to letting yourself feel your feelings instead of pushing them away, or pushing away those who want to love you through it. Sweet, beachy, and emotional, you will want to read this one with a box of tissues.”—Sarah Hogle, author of Twice Shy
“Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is funny, touching, swoony, and brimming with heart. Sarah Grunder Ruiz writes characters you'll cheer for and fall in love with, and leaves you wanting more.”—Trish Doller, author of Float Plan
“I laughed, I cried, and I became super invested in Jo's delightfully slow burn romance with the single dad known as Hot Yacht Chef. This is the perfect beach read, as long as your beach bag contains a box of tissues.”—Kerry Winfrey, author of Very Sincerely Yours
“Charming and hopeful, with a tenderness that underscores every scene. I adored headstrong, secretly vulnerable Jo, her chaotic teenage nieces, and Hot Yacht Chef, all of them beautifully written, fully realized characters trying to make sense of their own heartbreak. This debut is utterly irresistible—the kind of book that's impossible not to hug to your chest after finishing.”—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk
“Sarah Grunder Ruiz’s Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is a book with enormous heart, and one that balances family grief with truly delightful witty banter. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me swoon from all the delicious pining between Jo and Alex. It’s a wonderful debut, and I can’t wait to read more from her.”—Olivia Dade, author of Spoiler Alert
“Sometimes hilarious, sometimes devastating, and always heartwarming, Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is an amazing debut about picking up the pieces after loss. With a complicated (but ultimately loving) family, fully realized friends, and a very handsome chef, this beautiful book shows how being generous with your heart can help mend it. I loved it!”—Farah Heron, author of Accidentally Engaged
"Filled with charming characters and laugh-out-loud moments."—Woman's World
"Ruiz captures the complexities of grief and guilt through many different lenses...and tackles them all with sensitivity and skill. Readers are sure to fall for this heartwarming and emotional novel."--Kirkus (starred review)
"Ruiz debuts with a touching, hilarious rom-com that finds Florida yacht steward Jo Walker striving to cross 30 items off her bucket list by her 30th birthday...The sunny setting; chaste, endearing romance; and heartwarming themes of familial devotion will leave readers hungry for more from Ruiz."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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