More Than Shipmates

- Philippa Young


Eliza Chapman has never been good enough.

Not to get into drama school, not to hold down a boyfriend, not even to be her insufferable brother’s PA.

But that’s about to change.

Eliza’s enrolled as an entertainment host on a six-month Caribbean cruise, where the motto is “work hard, play hard”. Determined not to repeat the mistakes of her past by mixing work with romance, she swears herself off men completely.

However, when the lines between colleagues and crushes blur and the nightlife puts her in some scandalous situations, Eliza’s efforts to resist temptation are challenged by cheeky American Tom and charming Brit Oscar, who might not be so willing to resist her.



I'm not sure if it was the jet lag or my subconscious counting down my last few hours of freedom, but I didn't sleep a wink last night.


not my cup of tea:

* Thanks to NetGalley and Summer Stars Publishing Limited for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *

I know there are books out there that are full of lighthearted romance tropes while still managing to address complex topics, but when Young tries to do it, I was left feeling scattered and confused. I was getting whiplash; one moment, a character is grieving, and then suddenly, someone is organising an orgy. And a few hours later, everyone heads back to work, albeit very hungover. Cue another crisis, be it a lack of direction in life, fear of failure, having feelings for more than one person, or a cheating bisexual boyfriend and follow it up with a game of drunken spin the bottle. More Than Shipmates may be way longer than needed, but it wasn't long enough to give anything in this narrative the time and detail required to feel like it was more than a hit list of hot topics.

Most of these characters had some level of angst ranging from "my family is emotionally abusive" and "drowning in grief after the death of a family member" to "I'm not close to my high school friends anymore" and "I thought my boyfriend was cheating on me so I jumped to extreme conclusions, and when I found out he wasn't I decided I didn't deserve him and broke up with him anyway". But the weirdest part is that they were all treated with the same level of importance, making it difficult to really care about anything. If everything is important, is anything really important?

I'm not a fan of love triangles, even in the best books, but this one made zero sense. Tom barely registered as a love interest, but every time we got a peak at his perspective, he was so madly in love you'd think they were already married. Meanwhile, Eliza only seems to consider his potential in the moments when she's given up on Oscar. If you define love triangles as three people in the same general vicinity who have contemplated a sexual attraction to each other at some point, then you might love this one.

Selfishly, I was very excited when Oscar revealed his bisexuality. In the famous words of Eleanor Shellstrop, "More guys should be bi," and I'll take bi representation wherever I can get it. Where many parts of this narrative fall short, Young did a pretty good job with Oscar's sexuality. Eliza as a character was often a blunt instrument; she jumped to conclusions, made mountains out of molehills, alternated between compromising and confrontational at the strangest times, and always walked away with the wrong impression of a situation. Lacking any subtlety or nuance, she nonetheless took Oscar's sexuality in stride, forcing me to actually like her for a brief moment.

I'm not going to lie; I'm writing this review over two months after reading the book. Whenever I tried to write down some thoughts, I found myself annoyed or disappointed or bored. So here we are now, with not so many details but with a definite feeling that More Than Shipmates just didn't work. I saw another review wishing this tired love triangle had ended in a throuple; honestly, that may have been the only way to salvage this book. I'm actually pretty disappointed it didn't happen now.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

See All Reviews   |   Quotes   |   Sort Reviews By:    # of Pages   |   Author [ Name | Gender | Nationality ]   |   DNF   |   Genre   |   Rating   |   Series   |   Title   |   Year Published


Like this:

Like Loading...
Would love your thoughts, please comment!x
%d bloggers like this: