ARC Review: Bali Blue by Cher Terais
Whew!!!!! This review is well overdue! I got this book as an ARC back on 12/30/22 and started reading it 1/3/23. According to Amazon, the book is 248 pages which is definitely a normal size book for me to read in only a couple of days. Ashamedly, it took a little over a month to finish reading this book. Not that it was a bad read. But if you read my latest book wrapup... that I just posted today... you will know that life has truly been lifing on me for the last 2 months. Either way, that's not what this post is about. We're here to hear about Bali Blue. Now, before I dive in, I will say, part of the reason it was so difficult for me to get into this book was the format in which I received it. PDFs on BookFunnel suck and make it hard to read comfortably. This ARC was for the re-release of Cher Terais' first book and once the re-release was done, I downloaded it from KU and read so much fast than I had in the beginning. Now, on to my review...
Bali Blue is an enemies to lovers romance (MY FAVORITE TROPE) and when I tell you Rhiyan and Kendrick gave each other the business!!! Whooo, the tension was palpable from first impact, literally. Rhiyan Carson is an Executive Vice President & only black woman at an architechtural and engineering firm right outside Atlanta while Kendrick Kekoa owns the largest architectural and engineering firm in the Hawaiian Islands. (See that connection there???)
The book opens with Rhiyan being called into her bosses office because her personal life (a recent-ish divorcee) is taking a toll on her work life and head honcho has taken notice of it. To avoid having to fire her, he suggests she takes a vacation of sorts; basically phone in on the major meetings with her team to make sure they are catching up on the deadlines she promised him they were working on. So, she takes the hint and leaves work. She finally decides what she's going to do for her vacation after she finds out about a hurricane in Bali, Indonesia that was more than just destructive. Rhi comes up with the idea to go to Bali to volunteer help rebuild during her 2-months off. At the same time, Kendrick gets a call from a family friend, requesting his companies assistance with rebuilding the very same province.
Kendrick is a single father of a pre-teen girl and his child's mother is an addict who drops in and out in spurts. His saving grace when it comes to receiving help with his daughter, Jada, is his aunt Ona. So, when he has to fly out to Bali, he is very grateful to have her assistance in such a short notice.
Our couple meet when Rhiyan was on her way out of the hotel, that both main characters are staying at, and Kendrick is heading to his room after checking in. Someone wasn't paying attention and BAM! They run right into each other, making Ms. Rhi hit the floor. When she looks up to apologize, Ken's slick mouth and aviator glasses gives her triggering memories from her ex-husband. So, off rip, she doesn't like his ass. The problem is, when her volunteerism is underway, his construction crew drops in telling them they aren't supposed to be in that building. Ken's cocky ass attitude continues to rub Rhi the wrong way. And she can't quite understand why the very thing that irritates her about him is turning her on. Even her fellow volunteers at the school take notice and tease her about it.
It isn't until a second quake that almost takes Rhiyan out while she's visiting the hospital, with the kids from the school, that she takes notice of Kendrick's sweeter side. Kendrick has been tasked with taking care of the woman he's been affectionately calling Vixen and their connection with each other blossoms full bloom.
While I won't go into detail about what all happens in that time from him rescuing her, I will say they were exactly what each other needed, even if she tried to play it off as a vacation fling when things didn't go how she thought they should in the end. There was no doubt in my mind that these two would reconnect once they left Bali for Atlanta and Waikiki. And when they did, it was the most comical turned endearing moment ever.
As I stated in the beginning of this post, it took a minute really dig into this book. I enjoyed it overall. However, I felt like there were a few parts that could have been left out since it either made the story drag a little or left me curious for more of something that in the end was irrelevant for the overall plot. Nevertheless, once the story picked up, I was all in. I loved the chemistry between the two main characters and Kendrick's relationship with his daughter and aunt were adorable. Like, swoon-worthy in the daddy/daughter category. I look forward to more from this author... Especially since she gave us a snippet at the end to whet our appetites. I also want to thank this author for an advanced copy of this re-release for an honest review and I apologize the tardiness in this upload.