This review was originally posted on The Geeky Waffle. It has been reposted here with permission.
For fans of Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert and All The Feels who were fascinated and made curious by the dynamic between Peter and Maria, the co-stars of the previous novels heroes Marcus and Alex, you wish has been granted with Ship Wrecked, the can’t-miss conclusion to the Spoiler Alert series.
Set once again among the cast of the Game of Thrones-esque series Gods of the Gates, the novel follows the aforementioned Peter and Maria, whose roles call for them to spend the entirety of the show’s run sharing scenes with virtually only one another on a remote Irish island. This wouldn’t be such an issue if the night before they were both cast, they hadn’t had a fantastic one-night stand, after which Maria snuck out and left Peter alone with no explanation.
Awkward to say the least.
But rather than letting the two of them wallow in their hurt for the length of the book – and by extension the six years they spent on the show – Dade lets Peter and Maria build a close, teasing friendship. One that never crosses the line, lest it interfere with their work. In this way, rather than them giving in to their desire for one another in a sudden burst of passion, when they do finally reconnect in that way, it feels inevitable in the most stomach-tingling, toe-curling kind of way. Not an “oh shit” kind of gasp, but a soft sigh of “finally”.
Of the three books in Dade’s Spoiler Alert series, Ship Wrecked ranks highest on the flame emoji and/or chili pepper scale. Not to say the first two weren’t also extremely hot (they absolutely were) but there was something so emotionally raw in the way Peter and Maria truly desire each other that took it over the top – no convoluted innuendo intended. When the fifth word of the book is “orgasm” you just know you’re in for a spicy ride. Plus a certain something happens at a certain moment and I was absolutely positive I was about to pass out from the vapors.
I loved their relationship so, so much. Not just the spice factor, but every aspect of it. The way they were both filled with pure desire for one another, but didn’t cross the line not just for their work but out of respect for the other. Also the way they never let that desire affect their ability to be friends, and to build up a solid foundation of friendship that made the inevitable romance all the sweeter.
Though speaking of sweet — or perhaps not so sweet — I’m afraid I have to side with Peter when it comes to salty Swedish licorice. I’ve never liked licorice and making it salty did not improve matters.
The emotional resolution to the conflict in the book is extremely thoughtful. Peter and Maria’s issues are not handwaved away or brushed aside with a general “we’ll make it work”. Neither of them is ever really “wrong” in how they feel, and rather must work to best convey their feelings to the other. Relationships are not easy, balancing professional wants with personal ones is not easy either, and we actually get the time to see Maria and Peter really try and make a go of it before we get that happy ever after.
As much as I adored Ship Wrecked, I’m now sorry I have to say goodbye to the Gods of the Gates crew — apart from the many, many rereads I anticipate once I have a physical copy in my hands. But Dade can rest easy knowing that unlike her Ron and RJ (and their perhaps less fictional counterparts), as far as this series goes, she definitely stuck the landing.
Ship Wrecked is out November 15, 2022. Special thanks to Avon Books for an advance copy for review purposes.