Pig: OH HAI. It’s me again. This book keeps blowing my mind hole.
Kindle Loc 337:
When she’d first gotten this assignment she’d been more than a little nervous because her boss had told her the owner, Sean Guthrie, was a personal friend of his. He’d also said Guthrie never, ever did anything halfway, so he expected the place to be knock-your-socks-off fabulous. Zoe had interpreted his enthusiasm to mean she’d better come in with a high rating or she could kiss her promotion to the A-Team goodbye.
Three words for you: Quid. Pro. Quo.
Two more: Mr. T.
But Zoe had always been scrupulously honest in her evaluations. She didn’t plan to change that, not even for a personal friend of the boss. So, inwardly she’d been terrified the Indigo Inn wouldn’t match up to her employer’s superlative expectations.
But in fact, the luxurious bed-and-breakfast had far surpassed anything either of them had imagined.
How does she know what her boss imagined? HOW? And it’s not a bed-and-breakfast. It’s an Inn. There’s a difference.
The rooms were splendid and expansive, the furnishings rich and the appointments lavish. (Appointments? What?) If the guest services were even half as good, a high rating would be no problem.
WHAT GUEST SERVICES? THERE ARE NO GUESTS TO SERVICE AND NO STAFF TO SERVICE THEM.
Provided there were no more little…incidents…with the staff.
However, the rest of the afternoon went very well. She explored every nook and cranny of the Indigo Inn (Inn, not B&B) and loved it all. Even better, before the inn’s hostess arrived back from her break, Zoe was nearly finished filling in her endless rating forms. Sometimes it took her days to casually acquire all the needed info without her cover being blown.
*more with the head and the exploding and the what the fuck*
I feel like I’m nitpicking, so let me explain. My suspension of disbelief is vast. You tell me you think tomato juice is blood, and I’ll laugh. But I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt. Maybe they main character is myopic. Maybe she’s scarred by the color red, like Hitchcock’s Marnie. Maybe these are blood tomatoes, native to Fiji, and their juice really does look like blood. Whatever. I’ll go with you on that. I’ll go with you on a loooooot of shit. But when you tell me no one is there in chapter one:
Kindle Loc 109: “…The Indigo Inn’s owner, Sean Guthrie, had profusely apologized in his last e-mail that he would most likely be away on business until morning and the new staff wouldn’t be arriving for three days…”
Kindle Loc 221 “There won’t be any other guests arriving for a few days.”
and then people start showing up in chapter three, I call bullshit.
Zoe and she and Breeze (whose stormy eyes later shoot flames of orange:
His blue eyes were stormy as he gazed down at her, shooting flames of orange that weren’t all from the reflected tiki torches. -Kindle Loc 655)
have drinks (seabreezes, of course) on the verandah and watch the sunset. He’s set up this little meet-and-greet “for the guests” and OK FOR REALZ THIS TIME I AM OVER IT.
Breeze tells her all about how one of his charter boats, the Hasty Breeze, was misplaced by American tourists. And also there’s this thing with two native “youths” from different villages eloping, or whatever.
The Hasty Breeze. Dude totally named a giant phallic object after himself, and added “hasty”. Not giant or orgasmic or erect. Hasty.
Aruna, the cook, bustles out and is like, “Hey guys, you coming to the party?”
And then Breeze goes on to explain that they’ve been invited to the village chief’s birthday party.
That’s right: the chief of the village, a village you can only get to by walking through a jungle (that part’s coming. As is Hasty Breeze, apparently. #BURN!), knows enough about Zoe the Secret Traveler to invite her as a special guest to his birthday party.
Like, what the hell. Why are we even calling her a SECRET Traveler anymore? Why is it they know enough to INVITE HER TO COCKTAILS or MAKE HER A FUCKING WELCOME BASKET but not enough to deduce that with the exception of the chief and the natives and Breeze and Aruna and the disappearing reappearing hostess, the only other person on the island is this chick who showed up and started fucking nosing around for no apparent reason?
Breeze admires Zoe’s beauty, and by beauty I mean what she’d looked like before, when she was naked, and wonders if perhaps he could re-evaluate the whole hands-off policy he’d talked himself into earlier:
Kindle Loc 451-458
Despite his suspicions, he really didn’t know for certain that she had been sent by the Secret Traveler. What if the evaluator was someone totally different, and he missed the opportunity for a fantastic few days with Zoe?
Yes, it merited consideration.
WHAT THE FUCK. NO, IT DOESN’T. WHO ELSE COULD IT BE???
Good God in heaven, I want to stab them both with celery stalks right now.
She changes her shoes–from strappy sandals to flip-flops–and she and Breeze head down through the verdant jungle toward the village, carrying pots of whatever-it-was Aruna cooked earlier. There’s a rustle in the jungle foliage, and Breeze assures Zoe there’s nothing to be scared of, it’s just Scarlett and Rhett, his annoying parrots, who sometimes make animal noises.
They stop to put on their sulus–kind of a sarong–which leads to a kiss and one of those “Don’t get involved with me, Zoe! I’m a mess!” / “Who me? I’m not looking to get involved with anyone, ever!” conversations, followed by…
Kindle Loc 554
[Zoe] tried to speak but couldn’t squeeze a single sound past the acute dryness in her throat. Which was somewhat surprising considering the amount of spit they’d just swapped.
Because ain’t nothing sexier than having someone else’s SPIT in your mouth.
Mind you, I’ve kissed guys before. And sometimes there are saliva issues associated with the kissing of said guys. HOWEVER. In the same way I don’t want to read about a hero who farts during ejaculation or know about the ratio of Mountain Dew to backwash in a shared drink, I do not want to know about spit. Say it with me now: spit is not sexy.
Anyway, they’re at this party, which is painted as kind of like a luau, and she’s all, “I could use a drink.” And Breeze is all,
“No seabreezes,” Breeze whispered, pointing to a large, carved wooden bowl at the center of the mat, “but there’s always the yaqona.” “What’s that?” she asked, slightly alarmed at the sight of a thick layer of brown powder at the bottom of the bowl. “In English, kava. Not alcoholic, but it has some interesting effects.”
(Kindle Locations 598-601)
And here’s where I raise my eyebrow at Breeze, because I know enough about yaqona to know that it’s derived from kava-kava, which is similar to datura in that both are wicked fun but will kill you if you’re not careful. They also both produce things like hallucinations and relaxation and euphoria. And the always popular tachycardia and amnesia and photophobia. GOOD TIMES ALL AROUND.
So anyway, he keeps refilling her coconut shell with this poisonous herbal ketamine-like social lubricant, and then when she’s had enough, drags her back through the jungle so they can get it on in his boathouse. There’s no time for pleasantries, remember, as this Breeze is a Hasty Breeze.
Before they can get there, though, they’re interrupted by a trio of brawling boys–the brothers of the woman who eloped plus her jilted ex-betrothed. Breeze, whose real name is Sean, having first-hand knowledge of being cheated on by a hobag slutface, steps in before anything can get out of hand, and reminds the boys that there’s nothing to fight over since Jeela–the elopee cum hobag slutface–has shamed all of them.
Kindle Loc 676:
George scowled. “But my honor—”
“Screw your honor. Do you really want a wife who’s betrayed you in bed with someone else?” Sean sure as hell hadn’t. George’s jaw clenched.
Sean reached out to put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and tried not to sound bitter. “Good riddance and forget her. Get drunk. Take one of my boats and go fishing. Just don’t do anything foolish….”
Like, say, getting drunk on a boat?
The three boys go off to go fishing–drunk fishing–together, and Sean is all, “OK WHERE WERE WE. OH RIGHT WE WERE HAVING WITH THE SEX.”
But Zoe has changed her mind. She’s pissed that he didn’t take up for Jeela to her family and ex-fiance. But more than that, she’s pissed that he doesn’t believe in lurve. And if he doesn’t believe in lurve, how could this…thing ever work between them? She hadn’t realized in the…oh, six hours or so since she met him that he was so cynical, and now all bets are off.
“What are you talking about?”
“Jeela. Not one of you tried to understand what she did, from her perspective.”
“What’s to understand?” He kept one hand firmly on her wrist, put his other arm around her waist and started walking again. “She disobeyed her father’s wishes, shamed her family and village, dishonored the man she was promised to, and put her own future in serious jeopardy.”
She shook free of his hold, pushing him away. “You are truly unbelievable.”
“Why the hell does it matter, anyway? It has nothing to do with us.”
“No. Damn it, woman. Who are you and what have you done with the sweet thing I kissed earlier?”
That lasts about two seconds, until he mashes her into his chest and her nipples go hard, which in turn cause him to go hard.
He snagged her arm and spun her back. Now he was getting angry.
“Look. We already agreed we don’t want to get involved, right? I told you I was a mess and I meant it. My ex-wife screwed me so bad it’s taken five years to dig myself out of the hole, both financially and emotionally. So, yeah. Forgive me if I’m a little cynical about love.”
He heard her swallow. He tugged her hard, so she mashed into his chest.
“But I didn’t think we were talking about love here, Zoë. I thought we were talking about something else entirely.”
She sucked in a sharp breath and for a nanosecond he was sure she would slap him. Instead her nipples went hard. He felt them all the way through the silk of her dress and the cotton of his shirt. Instantly he went hard. This was more like it. He swooped down and kissed her. But this time it wasn’t a soft exploration or a tentative kiss of seduction as he’d given her before. This time it was rough and needy and uncivilized. Just like him.
They get on with the getting on, until Zoe comes to her senses, slaps Breeze, and takes off on her own. She makes it a good two feet before she falls on her ass, and Breeze, hasty as he is, grabs her up and throws her unceremoniously over his shoulder, and stalks off toward his boathouse.
That brings us up to chapter…five. And it’s like, whoa and hot damn, dude, because if this ain’t a good book, it’s at least an entertaining one. At one point, the Pretzel and I burst into a rousing chorus of Fuck the Secret Traveler! set to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. I’m this shy of creating a drinking game, but I fear it’ll be more toxic than the yaqona Breeze’s been loading Zoe up with.
So, who else bought this book? I did. I’m totally reading it. How can you not?