The Travel Auction by Mark Green
It should have been their trip of a lifetime. But with just days to go, Jonathan
Cork finds himself dumped by his girlfriend, Kate Thornly. Even worse, a
life-threatening allergy means he can’t travel alone. Unable to change the name
on the spare ticket and fast running out of time, Jonathan resorts to desperate
measures. He advertises on eBay for a travel companion with the same name as his
ex. The problem is, it’s a complete lottery who he’ll end up with.
Thornly (the second) is aware of the unusual eBay auction, but she can’t be
persuaded to bid. Enter Maria, her best friend, who secretly applies on her
behalf! With her nursing credentials and erotic photo, Kate seems the perfect
travel companion. But there’s just one small detail Maria’s conveniently left
off Kate’s bid...
What follows is a funny, page-turning, rollercoaster
ride around South America.
This book is catchy, right from the get go. When dumped by his girlfriend, Kate Thornly, whom he catches in bed with the plumber, Jonathan Cork finds himself in quite a pickle. They had booked a dream vacation, which Kate was supposed to accompany him on and pay him back half the expense. Now she will do neither. So, he needs a new travel companion, someone who is also named Kate Thornly because the tickets could not be changed or used by anyone by any name but Kate Thornly. Jonathan has a nut allergy and needs someone who can administer his injection if he ingests anything he shouldn't. He comes up with a brilliant plan to advertise for a travel partner on ebay, trip of a lifetime, all expenses paid, and lists his requirements.
Kate Thornly the second, a former nurse, is mixed up in the plot by a well meaning and mischievous best friend who answers the ad behind her back. When she finds out what Maria has done, she decides to go with it. Jonathan and Kate meet for the first time and he realizes she is blind. He isn't sure what to do and struggles with his decision a little because he can't imagine a disabled person will be helpful to him on this kind of trip.
He takes a chance on her and the roller coaster ride of laughs and unpredictable situations begins. They travel closely, even sharing the same bed most of the time, and grow to like each other more than either probably thought was possible. There are some bumps in the road that they have to sort out, each revealing parts of their past that weigh them down. In the mean time they enjoy a fantastic trip, and even become fugitives trying to run from the press and celebrity status the ebay auction seemed to bring them.
I completely enjoyed this book. It was interesting and relevant to see the story unfold from both the perspectives of Jonathan and Kate. It was romantic, inspiring, endearing, and real. The places the couple traveled to were described so vividly and beautifully it was almost like being there.
I highly recommend reading it.
I was given an copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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