2.5 Stars – Rounded Leaving France for Italy, and a sailing trip through the Dalmatian Islands, Maddy and Leanne step into their next adventure with Bridget the poodle, and see where things lead. Driving up the Adriatic, planning to meet up with Carlo (Leanne’s crush) as Maddy leaves Erik and her new potential life with him in the rearview, as they work on creating content for the blog, and head off to a sailing adventure. Arriving to find some intriguing chemistry and underling tension in Carlo, a subtlety that Leanne completely ignored (as she is wont to do) her dreams of a ‘forever’ with Carlo, the ‘almost perfect’ model. But the trip, originally thought to be a small handful of people included Tom, a half-Irish cousin and doctor in need of some r&r, Claudia, an aunt recently returned to Florence after her second divorce and life as a ‘demi-celeb’ in the states, and plenty of tumult. Two boats are hired, a small yacht for the women and a sailboat for Carlo and Tom and off they head. Claudia alternates between know-it-all snob and good information, she and Maddy have several discussions that send Maddy into tailspins questioning her relationship with Erik and her upcoming divorce, along with her trying to warn off Leanne from Carlo. Leanne is full-on crushing on Carlo – sopping up his attention when he dishes it out, confused when he backs away. There’s a continuation of Leanne’s rather childish behavior, and Maddy’s actual grounded and realistic view, but this is clearly a trip that is coming to a close, thankfully. One can only natter on about their windfall and ‘unexpectedly posh’ amenities for so long: there was something missing in the charm of the first story with Claudia’s ex ‘stalking them’, Tom’s story and his attraction to Leanne, Maddy and her habit and willingness to put her own dreams aside to keep the peace. Fortunately the descriptions of the islands and small villages that they travel through added interest and beauty to the story: small islands, gorgeous foods, sailing and sightseeing and lovely insets of blog entries kept my interest, it wasn’t the characters or even an interest in where the story would lead: the trip and my patience for the thirty-something Leanne’s immaturity was at an end, and Maddy’s jumping in to ‘mother’ her made this far less intriguing than the start of their trip. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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