Below Deck by Tara Sivec

Declan McGillis can't stand rich people. But working as a deckhand on a luxury charter yacht, he also can't escape them. Declan has spent years kissing their ass and doing their bidding...whatever it takes to make his dreams come true, and nothing will get in his way of being the captain of his own yacht one day. 

Mackenzie Armstrong knows what people think when they look at her. She knows from the outside looking in, it seems like her family has it all and doesn't have a care in the world. Things aren't always what they seem, and not only does Mackenzie have the weight of her family's struggles on her shoulders, she also needs to prove to Declan that she's not the spoiled princess he believes her to be. 

Declan can't ignore the sparks of lust between them, even though Mackenzie is completely off limits and absolutely out of his league. 

Mackenzie thinks a vacation fling is just what she needs to forget about the mess her life has become, and Declan is the perfect man for the job.

Will this be a quick romp in the water, or will it turn into something more when Mackenzie finally gets below Deck?

 Pet’s $0.02

I’m not sure why, but I was expecting more of a comedy from Below Deck and although it was humorous in parts, it’s definitely not a comedy. And there is a ton going on in this book, from the new friendship between Declan and Mackenzie, to the new stepmonsters that Mackenzie’s dad has brought to the mix to the vacation fling between Brooke and Ben. I’m just saying, there’s a lot going on, but that doesn’t take anything away from the focus on Declan and Mackenzie.

I had a hard time with Declan. On one hand I admired his dedication to his career goals, the way he treated the people he supervised and his professionalism. I also liked that he seemed to have a great sense of humor and tried to do the right thing by Mackenzie. On the other hand…and this is pretty big. Declan is one great big ball of insecurity and self doubt which is makes him emotionally unattractive. I got fucking whiplash from the number of times he flipped his opinion of Mackenzie and how he treated her. He was so self assured in every other aspect of his life. It just made the emotional baggage seem so much worse.

Mackenzie, I adored. She was also dedicated to her career and making sure her father’s company was protected. She put up with a ton of shit from her new step-mother and sister because they made her father happy and she was a fantastic friend to Brooke. Some of my favorite parts came from the interactions between Mackenzie and Brooke or Marcel. And luckily for Declan, she was pretty damn forgiving of Declan and all his unfounded personal attacks. I really wanted her to call him out more on his bullshit.

Marcel and Ben are the ones who took me by surprise. Marcel was very astute and saw more than anyone gave him credit for and was a true friend to Mackenzie while she was on the yacht. And Ben, for being a self proclaimed man-whore showed a lot of character when it came to how he treated Brooke and the advise he gave Declan.

So while this wasn’t the comedy I thought it was, it was a good story. I only wish Declan would have learned to apologize and mean it the first time so that Mackenzie didn’t have to experience all of the heartache. But, it’s working through all the misunderstandings that will keep you hooked to the end.