Staff Pick: Shipped by Angie Hockman

Title: Shipped

Author: Angie Hockman

Narrator: Inés Del Castillo

The only media I want to consume right now is escapist comedy – no explanation necessary – and this brand-new rom-com meets travelogue by debut author Angie Hockman absolutely fits the bill.

Shipped is a quick, easy read centered around Henley, an overworked marketing manager at an adventure travel company. She’s up for a big promotion, but so is her rival Graeme, the remote social media manager whom she’s never met.

When their boss tasks them with taking one of the company’s cruises through the Galápagos (best proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos wins the promotion) Henley doesn’t expect to fall in love with the Galápagos – or with her hunky competition – but of course that’s exactly what happens.

I found comfort in that predictability and enjoyed the twists and turns the author added along the way. Shipped offers a great dose of armchair travel while we stay at home, and was sweet, smart and fun. Listening in audio made the armchair travel experience all the more immersive. Narrator Inés Del Castillo made me feel like I was really seeing the flamingoes on Floreana Island, feeling the sand on my toes during a wet Zodiac landing, or sighting wild tortoises in the highlands of Puerto Ayora.

Del Castillo also beautifully brought to life Hockman’s multi-dimensional characters – no one fit an overused archetype – and I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity in her cast. Hockman also brings an environmental angle to her plot, and gave me food for thought about the ecological problems and opportunities with the modern travel industry: not often the case with your typical rom-com!

With characters to root for, a romance to swoon for, and a setting to pine for, Hockman hits one out of the park in her first novel. Just be warned: you’re going to want to add the Galápagos to your travel bucket list after reading this book, so start saving now!

Publisher Summary:

The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, Shipped is a fresh and engaging rom-com that celebrates the power of second chances and the magic of new beginnings.

Read more and sample the audio →

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