Etta

Book Review: One Way Ticket

Published June 29th 2021

Author: Tricia O’Malley

When Paige Lowry discovers her boyfriend and boss, owner of Yoga Soulone studio, has decided her chakras need realignment in the form of inviting several bendy yoga instructors into their bed – she realizes it’s time to smack him with her yoga mat and namaste away. When she calls to cancel the studio’s upcoming Caribbean retreat, the last thing Paige expects is to be offered a job. What better way to give the middle finger to her old life than to hightail it to a tropical island to work at a fancy resort?

But all signs point to an impulsive mistake when she arrives at the dusty airport on Poco Poco Island and nobody is there to pick her up. The alcoholic owners don’t remember hiring her, the skeleton-staff barely holds the hotel together, and the moody yet gorgeous manager, Jack Byron, seems irritated with her very existence. Things go from bad to worse when Paige learns that her ex and his flexible mistresses are arriving in three days for the retreat she thought she had canceled.

Caught in the eye of the storm and her growing attraction to her new boss (been there, done that, didn’t turn out well), Paige must scramble to prove she can run this upcoming retreat with no disasters. But even she can’t be blamed for the hurricane that swerves left and suddenly has the tiny island in its sights. As tensions explode at Tranquila Inn, Paige learns that taking it poco poco might be the only way she’ll survive.

I was lucky enough to win the standalone novel, One Way Ticket, in a giveaway. As Tricia O’Malley is a new-to-me author, I had no idea what to expect with the novel. After reading, I will easily read more as the story was very entertaining and there was an ease to the writing style. The story begins with Paige Lowry, who is the business manager at Yoga Soulone in Santa Cruz, California. She and the owner, Horatio, have been in a relationship for two years, or at least Paige thought it was an exclusive relationship. Horatio, on the other hand, subscribes to an open-door policy and applies it to every aspect of her life. When Paige comes home one day, she discovers Horatio in bed with another woman. She breaks off the relationship, but as Horatio is also her boss, she no longer is employed. As the company was due to visit Poco Poco Island in the Caribbean soon for a yoga retreat at Tranquila Inn, Paige gives the hotel a call to cancel the reservation. During the call she speaks with the owner, CeCe Alderidge, who says that it was a fortuitous call as their resort recently lost their events coordinator. Before Paige can find a reason to refuse, CeCe has employed Paige to come work for her and come down to the island.

When Paige arrives on the island, she realizes that this might not be the perfect mix of vacation and work that she thought. Instead, the inn does not have the greatest reputation on the island and the hotel is full of a quirky cast of characters. The first person Paige meets on arrival is the surly Jack Byron, who is the resort manager, and she begins to wonder if she made a mistake. Without any money or any place to go back to, Paige decides to stick it out to at least to give this new life a try. Things become even more complicated when the first event that Paige must host at the resort is the Yoga Soulone one she thought was canceled. The story is full of a lot of humor, heart, and self-discovery. Not only does the story follow Paige as she tries to put her life back together and also learn to trust again after Horatio’s betrayal, but all the characters have their own stories that they are working through during the novel.

The tropical island setting was gorgeous and made me want to take a trip ASAP! I loved that there was a sense of community at the resort and how everyone knows everything about the rest of the island. It may be paradise most of the year, but I enjoyed the inclusive of tropical storms in the story. It gave a nice sense of reality as the hurricane belt in the Caribbean is just a part of life for many, but can be especially nerve-wracking for those experiencing it for the first time. Although Horatio was self-entitled, he was a nice source of humor when he arrives as a guest at the resort. The guests and the resort staff all were well-balanced in the story and were interesting. Overall, this was a very entertaining read and I cannot wait to try more from this author.

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