Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.
The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.
Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.
With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?
After two DNF books, I was relieved to have one that I could finish. If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted a review in a while, that’s why. The book gods were not smiling down on me. Thankfully, Shipped was a nice, entertaining read. I would call it a good beach read, which I sadly did not read on a beach.
Henley is a workaholic with understandable issues with male coworkers. Her boss is a clear misogynist, and a previous sexual partner stole her ideas and hard work. When the new guy seems to be doing the same thing, she doesn’t stop to wonder if there’s a misunderstanding. Considering the microaggressions and the ending of the book, no one can fault her for doing that.
Despite having a weird spelling to his name, Graeme is a down-to-earth legitimate nice guy. Who is, naturally, hot. He’s not after Henley’s job, though, he clearly has every desire to get into her pants. He’s not pushy about it, though. He leaves the possibility of their relationship up to her. Consent was definitely present in Shipped.
Something I enjoyed in Shipped was seeing all the work Henley had to do to get ahead. Not even ahead, but stay afloat. She was constantly working, which at times was boring, but it felt realistic. Part of the story was her learning how to create a work-life balance. Her family and friend relationships have suffered because she has focused so hard on her career. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a career, but making it your sole focus to the detriment of everything else in your life is not healthy. Henley learns that lesson, and based on the ending, you know it’s going to stick.
My favorite part of Shipped was the ending. Everyone got what they were owed, including the misogynistic boss. It was beautiful. This was Angie Hockman’s debut novel, so I’m interested to see what she comes up with next.