Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.
For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her thirtieth birthday. Jo has almost everything she's ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she's the youngest resident by several decades) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.
Jo is on track until the death of her nephew turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge.
When she summons the courage to complete item number five--kiss a stranger--and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo's inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.
Ruiz debuts with a touching, hilarious rom-com that finds Florida yacht steward Jo Walker striving to cross 30 items off her bucket list by her 30th birthday. Unfortunately, a family tragedy throws Jo off track, and the list gets put on the back burner. Now she has just three months left to complete her bucket list. She books a trip to Europe to knock off two items visit 10 countries and sleep in a castle but this plan is derailed when her two nieces unexpectedly arrive to spend the summer with her. When the girls discover the bucket list, they launch a scheme to help Jo complete it in time. Meanwhile, task number five kiss a stranger leads Jo to meet Alex Hayes, who doesn't stay a stranger for long. But Jo's failure to confront difficult emotions causes problems in all her relationships, and she must address her past before she can construct a meaningful future. Ruiz presents a layered story by merging the heartbreak of Jo and her family's loss with the sheer joy of chasing down items on the impossible bucket list. The sunny setting; chaste, endearing romance; and heartwarming themes of familial devotion will leave readers hungry for more from Ruiz. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Assoc.