Author: Angie Hockman
Publisher: Gallery Books (January 19, 2021)
Paperback, 336 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance
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?
I adore this book! It has very strong The Hating Game X The Unhoneymooners vibes, so if Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren are your jam, chances are you’ll love this debut by Angie Hockman.
Enemies to lovers (sort of). Workplace rivals. Forced proximity. A cruise in the lush and gorgeous Galápagos Islands. What’s not to love?
Shipped is told in the first person present tense from the point of view of Henley, our leading lady. She goes head-to-head with her nemesis, Graham Cracker-Collins – oops, I mean, Graeme Crawford-Collins. Anyway, there’s a promotion on the line, and Henley is determined to be the one to get it – even if Graeme does turn out to be pretty dreamy.
I love the chemistry between Henley and Graeme, though I do wish we’d gotten Graeme’s POV in addition to Henley’s. I love an enemies to lovers romance, but the vibe between Henley and Graeme is a sort of one-sided light version of enemies-to-lovers. I think it works for this book, because there are other external factors coming into play as well. There is DEFINITELY a great rom-com feel to this book, as Henley gets herself into some little scrapes with her sister, an overly amorous guest, and a bit of food poisoning. Oops! It’s a closed door romance, so while there is a good amount of tension and steam, it fades to black before they do anything rated higher than PG-13, if you know what I mean!
I also always appreciate a romance with strong female friendships – girl power! Henley goes through a period of self-examination and growth, which I love to see. Graeme also has a personal development component, but since the entire book is from Henley’s POV his growth is more secondhand.
All in all, Shipped is an amazing contemporary rom-com debut, and I can’t wait to see what Angie Hockman brings to the table for her next book!
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.