Author: Olivia Dade
After All the Feels and Spoiler Alert, Olivia Dade once again delivers a warm and wonderful romantic comedy about two co-stars who once had an incredible one-night stand—and after years of filming on the same remote island, are finally ready to yield to temptation again…
Maria’s one-night-stand—the thick-thighed, sexy Viking of a man she left without a word or a note—just reappeared. Apparently, Peter’s her surly Gods of the Gates co-star, and they’re about to spend the next six years filming on a desolate Irish island together. She still wants him…but he now wants nothing to do with her.
Peter knows this role could finally transform him from a forgettable character actor into a leading man. He also knows a failed relationship with Maria could poison the set, and he won’t sabotage his career for a woman who’s already walked away from him once. Given time, maybe they can be cooperative colleagues or friends—possibly even best friends—but not lovers again. No matter how much he aches for her.
For years, they don’t touch off-camera. But on their last night of filming, their mutual restraint finally shatters, and all their pent-up desire explodes into renewed passion. Too bad they still don’t have a future together, since Peter’s going back to Hollywood, while Maria’s returning to her native Sweden. She thinks she needs more than he can give her, but he’s determined to change her mind, and he’s spent the last six years waiting. Watching. Wanting.
His shipwrecked Swede doesn’t stand a chance.
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I was excited to learn that there was a new addition to the Spoiler Alert series! As Ship Wrecked not only features a plus-size female character, but a male one as well, it was difficult for me not to just rate this five stars before even turning to the first page. While I am happy that there are more novels that feature plus-size female characters, it is extremely rare to find a plus-size male, aside from maybe a very slight hint of a tummy. As the series is named after the first novel, I do wish that it was updated to be called Gods of the Gates, the fictional show that most of the main characters work on at one point or another, or something along those lines as I feel this would better match the series rather than just keeping it named after the initial novel. This novel could be read as a standalone, however, there are callbacks to the first two novels, so it would be recommended to read them in order.
This installment tells the story of Maria and Peter, who begin the novel with their one-night stand. Maria left this interaction thinking it was a fun one-night stand while Peter thought it was the opening to something more, so everything is awkward when the two of them are set to film together for the show Gods of the Gates. I do still wish that this series would become a real fantasy show as it sounds like something I would easily watch! As Peter and Maria are love interests in the show, there is some mention of the fandom that ships the two of them to be together in real life. For this, I felt the concept of fandoms was explored a little more in previous novels and was not done to its full potential in this one.
Maria is incredibly unapologetic when it comes to being herself. She is comfortable with her weight, her features, like her body hair, and her personality. She is apprehensive when it comes to relationships due to her past and I loved how this was explored as it made sense for her character and did not feel forced. There is an over ten-year age difference between her and her love interest, Peter, the plus-size Viking. Peter has a complex family dynamic as he lost his mother at a young age and his father does not understand his desire to be an actor. As the two of them work together for six years, the story gives a well-rounded timeline of the two of them having their many ups and downs as enemies, lovers, and co-stars.
Overall, this was not only a fantastic story about Maria and Peter, but it was an excellent insight into Gods of the Gates with the show, the crew, and the cast. There is a lot that goes into making such an elaborate and successful show, so I love that this novel included those details. There are some elements from the first novel, Spoiler Alert, and the second, All the Feels, and their timelines weave together with this one. These were all excellent elements to include, but there were tiny moments where I felt these were “fluff” as they did not add a lot to the tension and relationship-building of Maria and Peter. Since I loved the other stories, I did not mind a lot, but it was definitely something I noticed. It did give a lot of exploration into the characters and their development, so I loved that Dade took the time to really build these characters. While I do not always agree with some of their conversations/decisions at some moments, they do make sense to them. I loved this addition to the series, and I cannot wait to read more from Dade!
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Avon, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**