All Aboard! Cruise through this shipboard romance by Kiran Manral


It’s been a while since I read something light and romantic. And set on a luxe Mediterranean cruise… All Aboard seemed just the ticket. I knew I was going to have some fun, travelling vicariously through the pages!

So, let me tell you right upfront that the story is like any other holiday romance, with a little bit of Indian tadka thrown in to spice up the proceedings.The plot revolves around the freshly dumped long-legged heroine, Rhea Khanna, and her aunt Rina Maasi, a former school headmistress with a penchant for pop colours.

The rest of the expected cast and plot points quickly come into the picture too… there’s the mandatory hot and handsome hero, the temporarily attractive alternative, the misunderstandings, the blowing hot and cold, the royal put down, the sudden storm, the overheard conversation, the hijinks, the hospitalisation, the saviour, the sudden clarity…

While I found Kiran’s first book The Reluctant Detective, quite laugh-out-loud funny, it also had a few twists and turns that took you by surprise and held you in thrall. All Aboard isn’t quite like that. You know how it’s all going to pan out in the end right from page two. And yet, you’re invested in the likeable characters, you want to know HOW all the loose ends are tied and what happens at each port of call. Kiran has described life on a Mediterranean cruise quite vividly (I’ve been on a similarly plush cruise on almost the same route, so I can vouch for that) and she sets the incidents around the shore excursions and gala dinners just as you’d expect it would happen on a real cruise.

Barring a couple of factual errors and grammatical glitches that the editors at Penguin Metro Reads should be properly spanked for (they allow a little boy to drink a full glass of LIMONCELLO!), the language is accessible and makes for a fun read.

Kiran has captured the sizzle and simmer of the couple’s chemistry very well. You can actually feel the palpable electricity between them in some scenes and you’re rooting for them to get together all the way till the end of the book, not even getting distracted by all those wonderful Italian destinations they drop anchor at. Now, I’m just waiting for the sequel to see how this shipboard romance fares when it comes ashore. LAND AHOY!

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