Blog Tour Review: Ship Happens (Love at Sea #1) by Kate Stacy

Posted September 9, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in Blog Tour, Review / 2 Comments

When there is Love at Sea, will they be able to let go of the rules between them? In desperate need of an escape, Macy Charmichael heads out on a weeklong cruise but when her longtime friend with benefits, Tate Thron shows up unexpectedly, a cruise geared at finding love takes on a whole new meaning. Fans of forced proximity will adore SHIP HAPPENS by Kate Stacy, a sexy, friends with benefits romance.

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I received this book for free from Indie Pen PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Review: Ship Happens (Love at Sea #1) by Kate StacyShip Happens by Kate Stacy
Series: Love at Sea #1
on September 5, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 174
Source: Indie Pen PR
Format: E-galley
My Rating: four-half-stars


Macy Carmichael has been my friend with mind-blowing benefits for a long time now. But, I’ve been craving more from her. More than she’s ready to give.

When my siblings book me on an all-inclusive cruise, I jump at the idea of a free vacation and a chance to get away for a while. Unfortunately, my meddling older sister left out a few important details—like the name of the cruise. Love at Sea. Is she for real?

If that’s not bad enough, she signed me up for a variety of activities and makes me promise that I’ll take part in every single one. She also failed to mention that she convinced Macy to book the same cruise.

Imagine my surprise when she sits down across the table from me during the speed dating event I didn’t even want to attend. All bets are off. I’ll be damned if some other man is getting close to what’s mine.


Desperate for a vacation and break from everyday life, I take the suggestion of one aclose friends and book myself a week-long cruise. I even go along with her recommendation.

The Love at Sea cruise aboard the Heart of the Deep. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, even if the whole cruise is based around the finding and celebrating love.

But when my best friend with toe-curling benefits, Tate Thorne, shows up during the speed dating event, I know I’m in trouble. No matter what I do, it always comes back to him.

Maybe away from the hustle and bustle of our small town, we can finally explore something more. That is, if I can finally let go of all the “rules” of our previous arrangement.

Ship Happens is a friends to lovers romance, part of the Love at Sea multi-author series. Get ready to set sail through the Caribbean on Festival Cruises’ most alluring voyage with eight of your favorite authors – happily ever after guaranteed!

Experience everything the Love at Sea series has to offer. From speed dating to masquerades, guests are sure to enjoy the hot days and steamy nights. Explore hidden waterfalls, swim with dolphins, and watch as eight couples find their forever on the open ocean.

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Copyright 2021 @Kate Stacy

“I’m not going to apologize.”

Of course, she isn’t, but she could have at least said “hello” when she answered the phone. I guess she lost her manners as well as her fucking mind.

“What the hell were you thinking, Taryn? A singles cruise?” I ask, putting the phone on speaker and tossing it onto the bed. Might as well unpack while I talk to her. There’s more space in my cabin than I thought there would be, and I’m happy I don’t have to live out of suitcases for the next week.

When I got to my cabin and looked at the itinerary for the week, I realized we’ll be spending the next two days at sea. This is my last chance to confront my sister before we set sail, and this conversation needs to happen. It can’t wait until I get home. I’m irritated and I don’t want the bad vibes ruining my vacation if I don’t talk to her about it.

My dear older sister apparently took it upon herself to not only book me on a singles cruise, but to plan most of my week for me as well. My shore excursions are already booked at all three ports. She even made dinner reservations on my behalf for a couple of nights.

The one thing on this ship she should have known I would be interested in is the tattoo studio. She could have at least got me on the books while she was at it, but no, I took care of that myself as soon as I realized it was an option.

“You’re a single guy and you need a vacation,” she replies after a minute of silence. That’s all she says, as if it explains everything.

“Taryn,” I growl.

“The why doesn’t matter, Tate,” she says with a sigh. “You’re on an oversized party boat and you’re getting ready to sail to the freakin’ Caribbean. I don’t see a down-side.”

“You wouldn’t,” I mutter, shoving an empty suitcase under the bed.

“What are you doing?” my sister asks.


I can almost hear her eyes roll at my one-word answer. It’s a sure sign that I’m not happy with her and she can’t stand it.

“Don’t be mad at me, little brother.”

Despite my frustration at the situation, I snort. She may be the oldest, but she and my baby sister are pint-sized compared to me and my brothers. There’s nothing “little” about me.

“I don’t like that you all went behind my back,” I tell her.

“But if we told you, would you have gone?”

I don’t know the answer to that.

“I want to say yes, but I’d probably be lying,” I admit.

Taryn sighs, and I know she hates that she’s upset me. I’m not exactly mad, but I’m not happy about the fact that every single one of my siblings plotted and planned to get me on this singles cruise knowing it’s not something I would have chosen for myself.

“If I promise I had good reasons, would you trust me and try to have a good time anyway?”

Plopping my ass onto the bed next to my other suitcase, I sigh and rub the back of my neck.

“Of course I’m gonna try to have a good time, sis. I just… you’re really not gonna tell me?”

“You’ll figure it out soon enough, and when you do, you’ll forget that you were ever mad.”

The smile I hear in her voice makes my remaining irritation fade. She sounds so sure of herself. I’m dying to know what she’s refusing to tell me, but she’s the most stubborn of all my siblings. I won’t get her to cave and reveal the truth. Not now.

“I’m gonna hold you to that,” I tell her.

“Good,” she says happily. “What are your plans for the rest of the day?”

“You booked everything, so you shouldn’t have to ask.”

“Which is why I know you have nothing going on until tomorrow evening. How are you gonna fill your time? I’ve never been on a cruise. I have to live vicariously through you.”

Chuckling, I get up to finish unpacking while I resist the urge to be a smartass. She could have easily booked the cruise for her and Wade instead of me. I would have even volunteered to babysit. I don’t say it, though.

“As soon as I finish unpacking, I’m gonna plant my ass in the hammock on my balcony and watch the scenery as we set sail.” I hear her sigh. “At least until I get hungry. I mean, I’ll eventually have to go on the hunt for some food.”

“And tomorrow?”

“I’ll worry about that tomorrow.”

My Review

This is my first book by this author. And really I was hooked right away! It had some aspects to it that reminded me a bit of my own kind of fwb to more story that I wrote in a novella. In a good way! Not the same story at all, just had some of the things I connected with. Both characters were real to me, and their relationship made sense. I got why both of them were a little unsure how to tell the other how they felt based on the rules they’d set. However it was great how those feelings got expressed. Even if I was frustrated a bit with how Macy left Tate hanging a time or two, again, it felt real, because I know I would probably do things similarly! I like how the ending didn’t contain any extra added drama. I like that we got to see how things would go and it was more like what I feel real life is like.

This was a great start to the series. It had steaminess, humorous parts, and a wonderful set up of this cruise for sure. So much I wish there was one of these trips I could go on. Or that someone in my life who wanted to help me out would send me on the cruise. I wish I would have time to read more in this series, because I’m guessing they’ll all be fun to read!

About the Author

Author of emotionally-gripping, contemporary romance, Kate Stacy’s novels feature sassy heroines, swoony heroes, life, love, friendship, and all the angst. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family and friends in small-town North Carolina, Kate can most likely be found nose deep in her Kindle. She stays up too late, swears too much, and loves too hard.


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About the Love at Sea Series

Get ready to set sail through the Caribbean on Festival Cruises’ most alluring voyage with eight of your favorite authors – happily ever after guaranteed!

Experience everything the Love at Sea series has to offer. From speed dating to masquerades, guests are sure to enjoy the hot days and steamy nights. Explore hidden waterfalls, swim with dolphins, and watch as eight couples find their forever on the open ocean.

Each story features a brand new couple and a fun trope from our amazing line up of authors including: Kate Stacy, HM Thomas, Mari Sol, S.A. Clayton, T.L. Anderson, Karigan Hale, Susan Renee, and A.M. Williams.

This promotional event is brought to you by The Indie Pen PR

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2 responses to “Blog Tour Review: Ship Happens (Love at Sea #1) by Kate Stacy

    • Lisa Mandina

      Agreed! I’ve never been on a cruse, and I tend to get motion sickness when I’ve been on other ferry types of boats, but I still think I’d like to try a cruise just once in my life!

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