by Roxanne St. Claire

February 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-6276-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

How often is a story told that makes you laugh and cry, root for the good guys and hope that the love you see happening between the hero and heroine? Tropical Getaway had me crying from the start. A tragic accident had occurred, killing 21 sailors trying to sail the ship to safety. That part of the story is based on a real life shipwreck, only the total was not 21 but 31 missing and presumed dead.

We get to meet Ava Santori, who goes to St. Barts to try to find out how her brother died on the shipwreck, how the owner Dane Erickson could steer a ship directly into a hurricane. Only he was trying to find out the same thing - how can a ship be on radar one minute then the gone in the next? After three weeks of trying to find any debris from the ship and/or recovering any bodies, the 21 sailors were listed as presumed dead.

Well, that doesn’t set well with Ava or Dane. Ava is hot headed, speaks her mind, and goes into action before she thinks of the trouble she can and she does get into, most of it due to her Italian heritage. Ava is carrying some heavy guilt around with her about the last time she had seen her brother, Marco, alive five years ago.

Dane is the owner of Utopia Cruise Line and he is under a lot of stress from trying to find out what had happened to his crew and ship. His investigation along with the help of Ava leads to some unsavory characters and some people that Dane never would have thought could have been involved in that shipwreck and what was happening with his shipping line.

Tropical Getaway sucks you into the story from the moment you read the prologue. The pages just keep turning and before you know it you are so engrossed in the story you forget everything around you. You just want to find out what is happening on and around the island of St. Barts. The story has sorrow, happiness, life-and-death struggles and tragedies, but throughout all of it the attraction between Ava and Dane is evident.

Roxanne St. Claire has done a beautiful job of describing St. Barts and the surrounding islands, the people and the cruise lines. The secondary characters bring to life what happens when a tragedy hits a small island and the people all group together. This is the first book by Roxanne St. Claire and I hope to see many more from her. Tropical Getaway is a must read for anyone who likes tropical islands, with a mystery involved and a love that flows and ebbs from the hero and heroine.

Reviewed in January 2003 by Pam.

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