This is a book I found through Twitter, probably on one of its free kindle days. It looked like a mad-cap adventure thriller on a boat in Mexico – and that’s what it is!
Hetta Coffey is a woman who seems to attract Trouble. Fortunately she has enough friends to go through all her adventures with her – except for her boyfriend, Jenks, who appears to put work before a long-planned trip to Mexico by said boat (I should call it ship, really). Even more fortunately, Hetta lands a contract with a Japanese firm that will pay for said trip to take place as soon as possible… which just happens to be hurricane season, so Hetta can’t secure a captain mad enough to take both her and the trip on.
Until Fabio turns up. Hot, Mexican and capable. And married. But he does have a charming way of calling Hetta ‘Senorita Cafe’, which I find delightful, having had far worse things said about my name.
I found the story hard to get into for the first few chapters – I think it was the ‘California gals’ jargon, all food, wine, personal trainers and hair colourants. However, once on the high seas (or even the mangrove swamps) the story rattles along. The boating jargon is spot on, and I recommend the stupendous chapters on riding out the hurricane – this was sea-going writing at its best. I’m not surprised to find Ms Schwartz writes for boating magazines – she really knows her stuff and how to tell a tale. It’s a cleverly constructed industrial-environmental clash, very true to life, with added lonesome whale to make love to the ship.
Despite a lot of fantasising about the possibilities of sex, the whale is the only one with any semi-explicit action in that department. It’s a fun read with a great story and excellent descriptions that put you on the spot, right there on the echo-sounder with Hetta’s crew.
I know I have another Jinx Schwartz book on my kindle just waiting to be read – I think it’ll have to wait for my next holiday, but I’m really looking forward to it.