‘What could possibly go wrong on a Caribbean cruise?…Everything!!’
All at Sea is the latest release from Pauline Lawless, bestselling author of The Birthday Girls.
Just published by Poolbeg Press, All at Sea is an entertaining romp on the high seas where a ‘group form what they laughingly call ‘the Irish Mafia’ on board the Liberté and, between the drama and the shenanigans, there is never a dull moment!’
I received my copy from the publishers and here is my unbiased and voluntary review…
‘Could there be a better Christmas present than a luxury Caribbean cruise?’
Dublin socialite Bunny McElroy thinks not and invites her family on one for the holidays. Her husband Richard is not so sure about it, and her son Gavin and his down-to-earth wife Fiona are apprehensive about spending two weeks cooped up with his family. But even they could never imagine the havoc Bunny’s two beautiful daughters, Sarah and Jess, will cause on board.
Meanwhile Tony Kenny, a wealthy Galway businessman, fed up with his wife’s family who descend on them every Christmas, thinks a cruise is the perfect way to escape them. His timid wife Ann is nervous about it all but, as always, Tony gets his way. His children are less than enthusiastic but, as it turns out, their handsome son Jack is pleasantly surprised by the action on board and his shy sister Emily begins to come out of her shell.
Declan Jordan is terrified that his sexy mistress Alix will reveal their affair to his classy wife Cassie, so he whisks Cassie away for what he promises will be a second honeymoon. However, it turns out to be anything but . . .
This group form what they laughingly call ‘the Irish Mafia’ on board the Liberté and, between the drama and the shenanigans, there is never a dull moment!
All at Sea is a novel centered around three Irish families, who all set sail on an extravagant Caribbean cruise as an alternative Christmas holiday.
The ‘Liberté is a exclusive cruise ship catering to the daily whims of those looking to indulge their passion for the good things in life. It’s extremely luxurious on board, staffed by top class individuals who are skilled at what they do.
It is also the holiday of choice for three Irish families looking to escape the reality of their lives at home in Ireland.
Bunny McElroy is the epitome of the high maintenance lifestyle. With her husband Richard, an extremely successful businessman, Bunny enjoys a lifestyle many of us can only dream of. A socialite on the Irish ‘IT’ scene, Bunny loves to throw a party but she also loves to surprise. Deciding the family needed a change, Bunny announced that, this year, Christmas was to be spent on a cruise in the Caribbean, as a special treat from herself and Richard.
Her son Gavin and his wife Fiona initially balk at the prospect but over time they warm to the idea and the excitement soon kicks in. Sarah, the youngest of Bunny and Richard’s children, is a wild one. City centre night clubs, parties and being seen with the right people is all Sarah wants. The idea of two weeks on a cruise sounds like her idea of hell!! But surely a family cruise will be just what they all need………
The Kenny family have a completely different story.
Tony Kenny is a pig of a man. A bully to his diffident wife Ann, Tony has always got his own way. A prosperous businessman, based in Galway on the West coast of Ireland, Tony is sick of the same Christmas every year and decides to whisk Ann, and their two children Jack and Emily, off on a cruise. Sure the break away is just what they all need…isn’t it?
Declan and Cassie Jordan are the third family to join the cruise. Declan is a serial womanizer and Cassie is in denial. With Declan’s current mistress, Alix, wanting more from the relationship, Declan decides it’s time to get away for awhile. Cassie is delighted and truly believes that this could be a restart for their marriage. She loves Declan, even with all his faults, and is hopeful their marriage will survive. But does it???
As is typical with the Irish on holidays, it’s not long before all three families cross paths. With the promises of shared spa days and shopping excursions, dinners at the Captain’s table and lots more, the three families become very close and affectionately call themselves ‘The Irish Mafia’.
There is drama aplenty as the Liberté sets off on it’s voyage.
Sarah decides to take full availability of the free bar, and to Bunny’s horror, she starts mixing with an older bunch of loud Italians.
Jess, her older sister, is in the middle of a marriage crisis and decides the cruise and ‘all’ it offers may just be the medicine needed to lift her out of the doldrums.
Tony, poor Tony…..there’s no fool like an old fool!!!
Declan is a conniving, sly, two-faced coward of a man who will literally let nothing get in the way of what he wants.
The characters in this novel are a combination of the meek and the strong. Pauline Lawless has incorporated all the personality quirks that make for a highly entertaining read. Bunny, though somewhat patronising and high-handed at times, is ultimately a mother who wants her children to be safe and looked after. All the money in the world cannot protect them from the ‘sharks in the water’ and, even though they are all grown up, she still sees it her duty to insulate them when she can.
All three families are portrayed so vividly by Pauline Lawless in All at Sea. As a reader you start to invest a bit of time in their well being and happiness. Their wealth becomes a side issue as dramas unfold and hearts are broken.
All at Sea is the perfect beach/pool read. It is light. It is whimsical. I think one line from the novel says it all ‘They should rename it The Love Boat!!!’ (Fiona speaking to the her husband Gavin)
I couldn’t put it any better myself 🙂
Purchase Link ~ All at Sea
About the Author:
Pauline Lawless is a lively mother of five and a grandmother who when she retired decided to try her hand at writing with great success.
She founded Superslim Slimming Clubs, taught aerobics and ran wine courses in the midlands for many years. She then joined an international cosmetic company as Midlands Area Manager.
She now lives between Ireland, Belgium and Florida, where she continues to write.
Twitter ~ @PaulineLawless
This book sounds great fun. As I read the blurb I thought it sounded a bt like “Carry On Cruising”. All the different interpersonal relationships between the various characters appealed to me; I do like stories where a diverse group of people with different personal agendas all come together in an enclosed situation, where the group dynamics then rise to boiling point. The high seas might be an open environment, but a cruise ship is certainly an enclosed community. I shall put”All at Sea” on my TBR list.
Love that reference to Carry On!! V much The Love Boat I think!! A very light summer read….bit of fun with all the various tribulations of life…albeit quite a ‘well-to-do’ one. Hope you enjoy!!
Hi Mairead, I read this book and some of her others based on your recommendation. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it!
Delighted you enjoyed it Olga. X