Sunday, February 13, 2022

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins


Title: Reckless Girls
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: January 4, 2022

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.

Well, I'm in the team that liked this one.

Was it unbelievable at the end? You bet it was. Nevertheless, I enjoyed its craziness.

Lux is a young woman who has lost a lot in life already. Her father married again and started a new family without her. She and her mom moved to San Diego after their divorce. Then, her mother gets sick and Lux quits college to take care of her, losing her after a battle with cancer. Lux decides she doesn't want to go back to college and starts working as a waitress. Here is where she meets Nico, a gorgeous guy who comes from money. He has his own boat, the Susannah, and he offers to take her sailing around the world. The first stop is Hawaii but once they get there, unfortunately, the boat needs repairs so Lux works as a maid while Nico is happy working at the marina.

Then, two college girls, Brittany and Amma, offer Nico 50 K to take them to Meroe Island for a couple of weeks to enjoy life unplugged. Nevermind, that the island is thought to be cursed due to its dark past. Nico accepts the proposal in a second and Lux is welcome to come with them too.

When they arrive at Meroe Island, a Catamaran, The Azure Sky, is already there. Elisa and her boyfriend Jake are the owners and they are welcoming and glad to share their own supplies of amazing food and alcohol.

Then, one more person arrives in a sailboat, Robbie. He doesn't seem to click with the rest and shortly he seems menacing. 

Lux doesn't know what to think about Robbie. She is worried about him but then she also starts realizing that no one on the island is exactly truthful about who they really are and their motives to be there too. 

Reckless Girls is a welcome locker room type of book, atmospheric and enticing. The audio was fantastic. Kudos to Barrie Kreinik for bringing it all to life. She was awesome in The Good Sister so I knew I was going to love her in this one too.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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