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Caribbean Cruising    by Rachel Hawthorne Amazon.com order for
Caribbean Cruising
by Rachel Hawthorne
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Lindsay is a list maker. When Lindsay's mother announces that she will be marrying her fiancÚ Walter on board a cruise ship, Lindsay immediately makes a list of all she wants to accomplish during the ten day cruise. It includes activities like snorkeling, dancing, drinking margaritas, and sunbathing, intended to help Lindsay break away from her straight-laced reputation. She has just graduated from high school and is heading to college in the fall, and Lindsay wants to shed her conventional behavior and enjoy a shipboard fling.

What Lindsay doesn't count on is that Walter has asked his godson, college student Ryan, to keep an eye on her during the cruise. She's old enough to take care of herself, and is disgusted at the idea of having a baby-sitter. And though Lindsay and Ryan hit it off right away, and she is attracted to him, she doesn't know if she wants to have a fling with someone she will be seeing often after the cruise. Can Lindsay fulfill her dreams and still be happy in the end?

This is a light, fun romance that will allow readers to experience a cruise along with the characters. Lindsay is a typical eighteen-year-old, ready to spread her wings, yet not sure how to go about it. I've been on a cruise to the places the author describes, and experienced firsthand climbing Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica, snorkeling in Grand Cayman, and riding mopeds in Cozumel. Hawthorne merges a very realistic backdrop with the love story, a pleasing combination.

It's obvious to the reader from the beginning that Ryan and Lindsay belong together. The romantic tension pulls the story along, as you want to discover if they can find a way to work out their relationship. The supporting characters (known to Lindsay as 'The Usual Suspects') round out the tale with levity and liveliness. If you're short on cash and can't afford to go on a cruise of your own, then enjoy Caribbean Cruising instead.

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