Release Date: June 11th, 2021
Jubilee is talented and passionate and doesn’t just march to the beat of her own drum—she dances to it. While she longs to do more than croon cover songs from a cruise ship stage, she enjoys seeing the world. Her love of travel makes her the perfect person to show Blake around each exotic stop of the Mediterranean cruise.
What starts out as a simple tour guide arrangement, quickly grows into something more. Despite their different backgrounds, Blake and Jubilee discover an incredible connection they never imagined possible. But as their final destination approaches, so does reality. Like points on a compass, their lives seem to be charted in opposite directions—his to the Hamptons and high-society, and hers back out across the rolling seas. Can anything short of a perfect storm keep these two lovebirds together?
Where do I even start with this beautiful book? Because everything about Jubilee and Blake’s relationship and romance is absolutely perfect. Mila Nicks has a knack for making me fall in love with her characters and stories without even trying that hard. And For Vacation Only is no exception. Through this story, you not only fall in love with two amazing characters, you get to travel to a completely different part of the world and explore it through the eyes of these characters. Like in every Mila Nicks story, we get a strong and powerful woman of colour who is passionate, driven, smart, beautiful and absolutely captivating.
“You help me loosen up. I’ll help remind you not to dim your shine.”
Jubilee Callazo is a singer on a cruise ship, with vibrantly coloured hair and a beautiful voice, with a dream to be more than just a cruise ship singer. With a mother who doesn’t necessarily support Jubilee’s career choice and compares her to her older sister all the time, Jubilee is lacking a little confidence and she’s got stage fright, which she’s working towards overcoming one day at a time. And if that’s not enough, the man she’s been dating while on the cruise, decides that he’s ending the relationship and goes off to be with another woman on the crew, who just so happens to be Jubilee’s arch nemesis. But all that aside, Jubilee is such a brilliant character. She’s working towards becoming more than just a cruise ship singer, right, so she’s driven and determined and she’s passionate, so she’s putting everything into making sure that she can sing solo in front of an audience, that she can show the world just what she’s capable of.
Blake Mulligan comes from money and New York fame. After being left at the altar of his destination wedding, Blake decides to take advantage of the expensive cruise he’s booked for his supposed honeymoon. And there he meets the exquisite Jubilee while a piece of toilet paper is stuck to the bottom of his shoe. Despite coming from money and having a trust fund and inheritance to his name, Blake is the complete opposite of every billionaire we’ve seen in romance. He’s awkward, a little fumbly and all kinds of quiet. Blake isn’t the kind of rich guy who believes that because he comes from money he must have it all. In fact, he’s very aware of his privilege and how his money can help him get anything he wants, including booking out restaurants on board the cruise ship to wine and dine the woman he likes. I also love how he’s got this whole Clark Kent thing going for him.
“There was a lightness about her, an effervescent energy he couldn’t get enough of. She was like the first day of sun after a season of bitter cold and snow, shining bright, bathing him in her warmth. He had never met anyone like her before.”
Gah, Jubilee and Blake’s relationship is so beautiful! It helps that their story is set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. While I can only imagine what half these places look like, it wasn’t really that important to visualise the setting as much as letting yourself soak up the romance that is building between these two wonderful characters. There’s something special about a holiday romance, because you get to go on this adventure with the characters. Jubilee, who is a regular on this cruise for two years now, is Blake’s tour guide and she takes him to all of her favourite places. Which shows Blake the kind of person that she is and he likes what he’s seeing. And it also gives the reader insight into the kind of woman that Jubilee is, because of how important certain parts of different cities are to her.
It’s a delicious slow burn, with these two taking their time going from being strangers to friends to kissing friends and then more. Of course they both want each other and they’re not doing a very good job of hiding it, which only makes the sexual tension that much stronger and more delicious. Blake is totally swoon worthy because of the way he sees Jubilee. He’s completely addicted to her and not just because she’s beautiful, but because of how passionate she is about almost everything. And Jubilee is really all the things that Blake sees her to be, which just makes you love her and them even more. I loved the little details about what Jubilee was wearing, the way her hair was flowing and just how these things affected Blake. It’s an opposites attract story, obviously, since they come from different worlds and different lifestyles. And still, they have so much in common and so much to enjoy about each other.
“I’ve never felt more alive than when I’m with you. You’re not my second choice or my first choice. You’re my only choice.”
Mila Nicks is really good at sucking you into her stories and her worlds with the characters she creates. Her women are powerful badasses and her men adore them in every single way. This might be my fourth book by Mila, but I’m really just getting started on my journey to falling in love with every book she’s ever written.
Thanks to Mila Nicks for generously providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.