When I studied abroad, we took a quick trip to Portugal and I fell in love. Not with a man, but with the city. In No Life But This by Brenda Margriet, I did find a man to love, and his name is Santos.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Overall Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
Ever since the Lizzie McGuire movie, I’ve been fascinated by the vacation romance. Obviously, hers didn’t turn out that great, but it got me thinking. What happens when you fall for someone with a very short deadline. Some people think this is the perfect recipe. They get in, get out, and go home. But what about that one person that stops you in your tracks?
Abigail has lived a very sheltered life because of her mother’s illness. She went to work, went home, and took care of mom. That is, until mom died. Now Abigail is free and she decides that the best way to celebrate that freedom is to go to a small Island off the coast of Portugal have an adventure. She leaves behind her boyfriend and little brother for the unknown. But don’t worry, she did remember her inhaler.
Santos turned his family’s farm into a quaint bed and breakfast. His mother cooks and cleans, his sister runs the books, and he takes the guests on daring adventures. It’s the perfect set up…especially when you consider the women who flock to these trips. Let’s just say Santos enjoys the view.
But then, Abigail stumbles upon him. She can’t ride a bike up a mountain without stopping or taking a hit of the inhaler, she’s terrified to para-glide, and she’s everything Santos wants. She has an innocence that resonates with him and a body he dreams about at night. There are just two problems, she has a boyfriend and she’s still a guest. Santos prefers to wait until the guest check out before sampling the merchandise. At least he did.
Now the two are faced with a completely new adventure that only two can go on. Do they risk getting hurt for a few hours of pleasure, or do they go to their own rooms, never knowing what could have been. After all, Abigail is only in Portugal for two weeks. Who could possibly fall in love that fast?
A photo from my trip to Portugal
There are a lot of things I liked about this book. I’ve never been to the islands off Portugal’s coast, but the author made me feel as if I had. There were beautiful and detailed descriptions as well as amazing adventures that I wish I had the stamina to try.
Santos was a great male lead. He was sexy, had a tattoo, and an accent. Ladies, what more do you need in a man? Well, he was considerate, passionate, whispered sweet nothings in another language, and definitely skilled where it mattered most…in being a tour guide. I love intelligent men. Santos knew so much about the Island and he gave it all to the guests. I wish he were real!
However, there were a LOT of names to keep track of. The tour group that Abigail joined had several other characters in it and I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. I think if one of the couples weren’t there, that might have helped. It also was confusing because not everyone went on all the excursions so one minute, Trisha was there with her husband, the next minute the German family were the main secondary characters. It took me out of the story a little bit and I felt like I needed to make notes of who everyone was.
Also, these weren’t my favorite intimate scenes. They were fun, dramatic, passionate, and a little awkward. Not the virgin loosing it for the first time awkward, the kind of awkward where the word choice takes you out of the scene.
All in all, I enjoyed the book and the mini adventure I got to take. Afraid to travel, too broke to travel, or simply busy in your own world, take a couple hours and go to Portugal for a while. Say hi to the dolphins for me when you get there. The book is out on January 20th but is available for preorder for .99 cents.