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Last Vacation - Sarah Elle Emm (Book Review)


Title: Last Vacation
Author: Sarah Elle Emm

Twin sisters Meg and Maddy are like chalk and cheese in their way of life. But the connection and love between them is strong as can be.
Maddy lives the life of a nomad, and Meg has a safe, monotonous life with a good job.

When Meg is not able to contact Maddy, she decides to go looking for her. That is when she meets undercover agent, Gabe at St. Croix Island, when she goes searching for Maddy.

As the story alternates between that of Meg and Maddy, the twins who are separated, but can sense each other's troubles, the expectation of what-next, keeps the pages turning quickly.
Last Vacation is a fast-paced thriller, which has characters that leave a mark.

For me, Last Vacation was a very quick read. I finished it in a day... kept going back to it whenever I had free time. And I made some free time for it too :)

With emotions, both romantic and evil, running high, Last Vacation is a story not just a story of one sister looking for another, it is also a tale of search for self, release from past, and pursuit of closure.

Last Vacation is a good, quick read for vacations.

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I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.



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About the Book
Seven days have passed since Naples real estate agent Megan MacKenna has heard from her twin sister, Madeline, who was vacationing on the beautiful, Caribbean island of St. Croix. Though authorities are not convinced there is a case to solve, Megan knows with all of her heart something happened to Maddy. When Megan receives a direct warning to leave the island or end up like her sister, she turns to the only person who has taken her seriously since she arrived, Gabe, a breakfast cook at a local diner. 

Undercover DEA agent, Gabriel Walker has been building his cover for months, waiting for the opportunity to work his way into the infamous Torrez crime ring. When Megan shows up asking questions and Gabe realizes her twin’s disappearance might be linked to the Torrez men, he has to convince her to go back to Florida before she becomes their next victim. 

The closer Megan gets to the truth, the more Gabe begins to suspect he is missing a huge piece of the puzzle. And someone is closing in on Megan…


Character Interview with GABRIEL:

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I’d pinch myself to see if it was real. My only mission since the night my family was murdered has been to bring to justice the man responsible for their deaths. Awake or asleep, my determination to bring down the Torrez Empire is always on my mind. But if I could spare a moment to enjoy myself, I would go for a swim at St. Croix’s Haypenny Beach. The turquoise waters and white sand are like something from a dream. Abuela always says the salt water can cure anything. Too bad it can’t bring down Torrez.

If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
Hands down, I’d spend the day with my Mom, Dad, and sister, Abigail. Ever since the night they were murdered, I’ve been haunted by the memories of them. What I’d do to see them. I wouldn’t even care about Abigail’s problems for once. I’d just enjoy seeing her. And our parents.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? And, what is your current state of mind?
Perfect happiness would be seeing Victor Torrez arrested and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for all of the deaths he is ultimately responsible for. Until that happens, I am not sure I can find peace…or be completely happy. It drives me, day after day, to keep trying to bust him. I won’t give up until it’s over.

What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue and why? 
Hhmm…maybe tolerance. Is that a virtue? I think tolerating ugly things about the world is almost like ignoring them. I wish my parents hadn’t tolerated the things my sister was doing when she first started running with a bad crowd. Maybe if they had intervened sooner, she might not have become an addict.  Maybe if people didn’t look the other way when Torrez or one of his guys does something illegal, he wouldn’t have become so powerful. 

Tell us 3 things about yourself that the readers do not know about.
Lately, I’ve been undercover, and no one would suspect that:
- I love to read. 
- I actually own clothes, nice ones, without holes in them, and I keep those back in Florida. 
- My lifelong pursuit to bring the Torrez Empire down is wearing me out emotionally and mentally. Still, I can’t let it go. And I feel like I’m close to something big happening. I won’t give up until it’s done. Period.

Excerpt:

Gabe sighed as he glanced over the report again, wishing he could just make her leave the island. Megan was about to be way in over her pretty little head. Everything the DEA had dug up on the two sisters verified that Megan had been completely honest with him at Captain Sully’s. The twins were identical in looks and opposite in behavior. 
The missing twin, Madeline, had never owned anything, never gone to college, never had had a job for more than a few weeks, and a trail of travel receipts since the age of eighteen, revealed she had been all around the world, basically living out of a backpack as she went. Travel records showed a stop now and then back to her sister’s place in Naples, but Madeline never stayed for long. 

The report further revealed the tragic, mountain climbing accident of the twins’ parents when the girls were only eleven-years-old. The parents had left the twins in their paternal grandparents’ care, the MacKennas, six months of the year for their adventure trips. Until the accident, after which the grandparents were granted full custody. The remainder of their youth was spent living in a small farm community outside of Naples in Immokalee, Florida, at the farm their grandparents helped run. Two years earlier, their grandfather had passed away, and Megan had moved Lynn to the retirement home in Naples. 


It was easy for Gabe to conclude, especially after the brief conversation in Captain Sully’s, that Megan had chosen a calculated, rational existence not like the adventuresome nature of her parents, and Madeline had chosen to follow in her parents’ footsteps. Yet this time, her carefree lifestyle had landed her in the company of real bad guys. The kind that killed to protect their lifestyle. If he didn’t get this message across to Megan, she could end up like her twin. Missing. 


And more than likely, dead. Gabe noted Megan’s hotel and room number, then pulling a lighter from his pocket, set the report ablaze. He dropped the burning papers into the street barrel and made a decision. He was going to pay Megan MacKenna a visit. 


About the Author:

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.




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