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Sarah Grunder Ruiz Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Luck and Last Resorts (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Call at the Local (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sarah Grunder Ruiz is an American author of contemporary romance books best known for her Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships series. Besides writing, Sarah is an educator and karaoke enthusiast. Originally a resident of South Florida, Sarah is now a resident of Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and their two children. She has an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University and teaches First-Year Writing.

It’s important to note that Sarah was diagnosed with ADHD at 20 years old, and this was a pivotal moment in her adult life. This made her want to write more about the neurodivergent experience in a way that celebrated its beauty without looking away from the real-life difficulties of being a neurodivergent person in a world designed for neurotypical people. Sarah’s novel Last Call at the Local is a neurodivergent book for neurodivergent and neurotypical people. It’s more than a love story between two neurodivergent main characters, it is a story of self-acceptance and self-love.

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships is the first novel in the Love, Lists and Ships series by Sarah Grunder. Sarah Grunder Ruiz’s debut novel, Love, Lists & Fancy Ships, was a delightful surprise, surpassing expectations with its depth and emotional richness. Anticipated as a women’s fiction story with romantic elements, the novel goes beyond this, delving into the heartfelt emotional journeys of its characters. This exploration of loss, including the recent death of a child and the past loss of a parent, adds layers to the narrative. The way these tragedies shape the protagonist and those around her is both moving and beautifully depicted. The story balances emotional depth with moments of humor, sadness, and occasional outrageousness, creating a rich and engaging tapestry of life.
Jo’s main character is a yacht stewardess, a career she stumbled into but has grown to love for the travel opportunities and leisure moments it offers. Approaching her 30th birthday, Jo is determined to complete her ’30 by 30′ list – thirty goals she hopes to achieve before the milestone. However, a family tragedy throws her off balance, challenging her resolve.

After the yachting season, a spontaneous moment at a bar, orchestrated by her best friend and co-worker, Nina, leads Jo to share a magical kiss with a stranger. She dismisses the encounter, convinced that a relationship is not in her plans. Unexpectedly, Jo’s life takes another turn when her nieces come to stay with her for the summer, a development she hadn’t anticipated following their family’s recent loss. Their presence proves to be a reminder of their collective grief.

To Jo’s surprise, the mysterious ‘Hot Bar Guy’ turns out to be her neighbor, and his teenage daughter seamlessly blends into the summer dynamics with her nieces. As the story unfolds, Jo navigates this new landscape of family, unexpected romance, and pursuing her personal goals while coping with the undercurrents of loss and recovery. Love, Lists & Fancy Ships is a story of resilience, love, and the unexpected paths life can take, told with a blend of sensitivity, humor, and poignancy.

Alex, a former Michelin star chef, made the life-altering decision to prioritize his daughter over his career, which he would readily make again. To provide her with the best educational opportunities, he moved to Florida and became a yacht chef. Despite his daughter’s dissatisfaction with the move, Alex is confident she’ll eventually understand its necessity. An unexpected twist occurs when he discovers that the woman who passionately kissed him at a bar is his neighbor and a new colleague. Alex has sworn off relationships to focus on his daughter, yet working alongside Jo and witnessing her affectionate interaction with his daughter and her nieces challenges his resolve.

Love, Lists & Fancy Ships intricately weaves together three distinct yet interconnected narratives—first,. First is Jo’s quest to complete her ’30 by 30′ list while navigating her grief. Secondly, the story explores her evolving relationship with her nieces as they grapple with their loss. Lastly, the novel delves into the budding romance and chemistry between Jo and Alex. Each element is a journey, contributing to the story’s dynamic evolution. The narrative oscillates between humor and poignant moments, capturing the essence of Jo’s life as she juggles her nieces’ antics, her burgeoning feelings for Alex, the demands of her job, and the possibility of new love. This novel is a heartfelt exploration of grief, family bonds, and the complexities of starting anew, all while balancing the various facets of work and personal life.

Raine Hart finds an unexpected partnership with Jack Dunne, a charming Irishman in the second novel in the Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships series. Together, they journeyed to revitalize his family’s pub, discovering love and understanding.
Raine, accustomed to the hurdles of living with ADHD, had left her life in Boston to embrace the freedom of being a traveling musician across Europe. The lifestyle suited her – no boss, no rigid schedule, and no expectations to meet but her own. However, an unforeseen mishap in Ireland leaves her unable to perform, forcing her to reconsider her nomadic existence.

Jack, who inherited his family’s pub, the Local, dreams of transforming it into something uniquely his. Yet, managing a family business and coping with the intrusive thoughts that come with his OCD prove challenging. The weight of these responsibilities clouds his vision for the pub.

A chance encounter over a pint brings Raine and Jack together. Raine, in a candid moment, unintentionally insults Jack and his pub. Instead of taking offense, Jack is struck by Raine’s vision for the pub and offers her a job to help realize it. As Raine and Jack grow closer, they grapple with feelings that seem incompatible with their distinct lifestyles. This realization brings to light that not just the pub needs reinventing, but perhaps their approach to life and love. As their collaboration nears its end, they must confront their self-imposed limitations or risk losing a love that could stand the test of time.

What makes this novel unique is the book is its authentic portrayal of Raine’s ADHD and Jack’s OCD. The author delves deeply into how these conditions affect their thoughts and lives, particularly highlighting Jack’s struggles with OCD. Jack’s endearing, quirky personality shines through, while Raine’s character challenges stereotypes about ADHD, depicting the isolation it can sometimes bring.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sarah Grunder Ruiz

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