Off Shore Secrets

OFF SHORE SECRETS by Maya Berger, ChickLit, 252 pp.

Author: Maya Berger
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 252
Genre: Chick Lit

Single again, Maya and her bestie, Una, make plans to sail around the beautiful Adriatic Coast on board a luxury yacht. Fun in the sun with friends is just what these two need this summer.
Maya shouldn’t be attracted to Adrian—the cocky, handsome Spaniard on board—especially when after a passionate night, he calls out another girl’s name in his sleep.

Una, who is supposed to be in a long distance relationship, hooks up with a stranger and sneaks him on board. The next day, the stranger is gone and so is some very expensive jewelry. When Una goes missing too, Maya wants to help her, but what is Una’s involvement?

And who is the mysterious girl Adrian mumbles about in his sleep? Perhaps it is something to do with Una’s secretive and reckless behavior. Maya has a lot of questions, but no one seems ready to give her the answers.

My Review

I like Maya and Una. They were sweet and good best friends. Yet, for me I needed more than just these two ladies. Yes, there are other characters but they were not as interesting or engaging as these two ladies. In addition, the story was "too" cozy mystery for me.

I did feel like I was on a vacation along with Maya and Una. I was swept away by the locations in this story. Yet, as I stated previously I struggled with this book.  The mystery aspect was fine but I did figure it out half way through the storyline. However, this did not deter me from finishing this book until the end. Which speaking of the ending. It was a good one. So this was a bright spot in the story. There is nothing worse than to read a whole book just to get to a weak ending. Overall, this was a fine read. This may not have been for me but other readers seem to really enjoyed it.



“Finally, I can’t believe we have started our adventure!” Maya was driving with Una next to her and Daria lounging in the backseat. She had positioned herself in the middle of the backseat so she could push her head forward to be almost in line with theirs.
Their trip to Krk was supposed to be a short one—only two hours or three if the traffic was bad—and they planned to be in Malinska by noon. They had a friend there who had offered them a room to sleep, but they didn’t plan to stay in Malinska for more than one night. It was a place that was getting wilder and bigger by the minute, and it didn’t really have a charming old center like some of the other towns and villages on the coast of the Adriatic Sea did.
“Can we stop so I can smoke a cigarette?” Though Una smoked in her car, Maya didn’t allow it as she didn’t want her car to constantly smell of smoke—she didn’t consider herself a real smoker anyway. She smoked when she drank and these days, though she went out a lot and consequently smoked almost every day, it wasn’t the same in the winter when she didn't go out as often. She could go for days without smoking and wouldn’t miss it.
“We’re almost there. Can’t you endure just a bit longer without the cigarette?” Maya asked imploringly.
“Why? We’re on holiday, why should I have to endure anything? Let’s stop and have a coffee and a smoke.” Una was persistent, and Maya gave up and pulled off at the nearest gas station.
Una and Daria sat on bar stools, drank their coffee, and smoked while Maya ate the croissant she bought at the café. It was filled with peach jam and still warm, and Maya thought she was eating one of the best croissants she’d ever had.
“Have you heard from Helena yet? Are they on their way?” Daria was curiously peering at Maya and Una while simultaneously stirring her coffee. “Who’s on the boat?” She raised her eyebrows and continued, “I can’t wait to embark it. We had the greatest time last year, didn’t we?”
“We did,” Maya confirmed, looking at Una for consent. She looked like she was enjoying her second cigarette and was blowing out a cloud of smoke, which made Maya feel sick.
 “I last heard from her a week ago, and they weren’t on their way yet,” Una informed them while Maya waved away the cloud of smoke. “But we still have like five or six days before our meeting in Split.”
While Una was talking, Maya wondered how come she was bothered by the smoke of the cigarette. She knew that a few hours later when they would drink alcohol, she’d be ready to smoke, too. Then she remembered that Helena called her two days ago and left a message on her secretary, so she shared her intel. “She said they’re on their way and that we’ll see each other soon.”
“Why didn’t you call her back?” Daria insisted. When she wanted to know something, she didn’t let it go. “Now we don’t know who’s on the boat.”
 “Why do you care anyway? It’s Juan’s boat, he can invite whoever he wants, and we have to be okay with it, right? I hope you don’t make some drama again this year; I wish for a less turbulent holiday,” Una snapped.
Daria’s face contorted with offense, and she looked like she was ready to launch a stream of words at Una. Before things could get awkward between her friends, Maya stepped in. “All right, that’s enough. Last year was last year. I don’t know who’s going to be on the yacht, but isn’t that what makes everything more interesting and appealing?” This was enough to make everyone quiet and relaxed again. Still, it reminded Maya what a peculiar character Daria was and wondered if they made the right choice by inviting her on the trip again after the last one ended in disaster. Although Una was too harsh with Daria, it was only because Daria could drive them both crazy. The best explanation was that they invited her because she was fun to be around—most of the time—and she was always keen for any kind of action—dancing, flirting, drinking, playing games, you name it, she was for it.


Maya Berger is the author of a memoir focusing on women’s personal growth called Luna Tree and its sequel In the Pursuit of Change. She took a break from writing about life and personal growth to write adventure stories about two young women just out of university trying to make important decisions in their life like who to date, who to socialise with, how to travel with no money and how to act in potentially dangerous situations. The most important lessons they learn are how to depend on each other and rely on themselves.

Maya is a 44-year-old living in Zagreb, Croatia with her husband and their three-year- old daughter. She is a marketing graduate, pilates instructor, she promotes Croatia as a tourist destination and she loves to read and write.



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