When small-town girl Emma LaRue won a vacation to an exclusive tropical island, a last minute cancellation meant she would be going by herself. Shy and studious, she never had time to fall in love, and often wondered if she was just meant to be alone. However, that all changed when a handsome stranger literally walked into her life while on the beach and sparks began to fly.
New York's most eligible billionaire bachelor Jack Saunders thought this vacation would be the perfect escape, one last hurrah, before taking full control of his father's company. When an innocent Emma didn't recognize him, he figured that he might get a chance to have a vacation from being rich. He didn't tell her about the cars, the yacht, or the penthouse. All he did was let her fall in love with him.
Soon, Jack found that he was the one falling in love with Emma. When they enjoy a fantasy marriage ceremony on the beach, they thought it was a bit of harmless fun before returning to their normal lives. A bittersweet goodbye was supposed to be the end of their perfect vacation romance, but when photos of the ceremony were leaked to the press, everything changed.
Feeling lied to and thrust into a world of wealth and privilege, Emma must choose between following her dreams or following her heart. Will she be content at being nothing more than the billionaire's wife, or will she return to her normal life with only memories of saltwater kisses?
I loved the idea that a seemingly average woman wins the holiday of a lifetime and just so happens to meet the man of her dreams there. Sounds like a holiday romance but what if it blossomed into more? And what if he was New York’s most eligible bachelor who just so happens to be a billionaire?
I know what you may be thinking, because I was thinking the same – ‘not ANOTHER story about a billionaire’ but sometimes it’s a nice bit of fantasy/escapism. In some ways it’s also good to see that the billionaire in THIS story may have a shit load of money, but he isn’t happy. I think it goes without saying at this point that this is an adult book with adult content which will be discussed below.
Overall, I really liked the premise of the story but unfortunately, the execution of it did not quite meet my expectations. I can overlook the blatantly obvious spelling and grammar mistakes (of which admittedly there were few, and mostly towards the end of the book) and I can even try desperately hard to ignore references to the male genitalia such as ‘throbbing member’ *insert obligatory Ten Things I Hate About You reference here* but there were things about the characters that simply didn’t make sense to me and here is where you may encounter some spoilers so look away now if you wish.
Emma and Jack meet on vacation and after less than two weeks of knowing each other, they have a marriage ceremony on the beach. They both admit that it probably isn’t legal and therefore doesn’t matter that much but WHAT?! Who does that?! Especially if you are a billionaire who is terrified that women are out for nothing but your money. And the idea of getting married when you barely know someone? Not generally a good idea. It never worked out for Britney ;)
Bearing in mind of course that Emma has no idea who Jack is when she meets him but when she finally finds out, at the end of the vacation just before they say goodbye, Jack offers to buy her a car to help out and she’s all “I’ll think about it.” WHAT?! If you’re trying to prove that you’re not just after someone’s money, isn’t that the totally wrong way to go about it? Also, having just slept with the guy, I would be incredibly insulted by that offer and it would make me feel like a whore.
But Emma isn’t a whore because they’re MARRIED, remember?! When they return to their respective normalities following their dream vacation, the papparazi are out in force and Emma is whisked off to NYC under Jack’s protection, after all “they are married”. At no point does she say “no thanks” (okay, I understand this one as she wants to see him again) or “Hey, you know it wasn’t a REAL wedding, right?!” (Fooling herself maybe?) She just seems to accept everything so easily and comes across as a bit of a psycho who actually thinks they’re married, to be honest. She lets him buy her clothes and all that crap and I would have liked her to have more independence. I also didn’t like the idea that she had to choose between her career or the guy in the end, if I’m honest.
So yes, I wanted to like this book so bad but it just didn’t fully work out for me which makes me sad as I do think the author has potential. But please, for the love of God I wish that romance/erotica authors would just ditch the non erotic terms and just call a dick, a dick.
Saltwater Kisses was published on 9th August, 2013 in the UK and 22nd June, 2013 in the US. To find out more about Krista Lakes, please click here to visit her website.