Port of Call: Aruba with Alyssa Laroche
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do when you’re not taking a cruise?
My name is Alyssa Laroche. I was born in Paris, France, but was raised in a small village on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
I do not cruise as a passenger. Instead, I am employed by the cruise line as a counselor for the Kids Kamp programs. I also perform other duties as needed. Since my assignments last for eight months, there isn’t much non-cruising time to fill. You see I work seven days a week, sometimes logging as many as eighty hours in that period. When I receive the occasional day off, I spend it shopping to stock up on personal items, perhaps get a haircut, and catch up with friends back home. Sometimes, if it is a new port for me, I will walk about the city or visit the beach.
Why did you take “The Love Boat” cruise?
I took the job with the cruise line at a low point I my life. I was about to graduate college with a teaching degree, and had all the bright-eyed dreams of a young woman fresh out of school—a career, one day a husband who would adore me, a home, and children. My grandfather had other plans.
You see, Lolo—that means grandfather—has been the chief of our small village for as long as I remember. The people look up to him. They respect his leadership. But he is torn between moving into the future and holding fast to what he knows best. The past. Two weeks before my graduation, Lolo brought someone to see me. Emman Racato, the man who will succeed my grandfather as chief. And the man Lolo pledged me to in marriage. As Emman has children who are older than me, I took exception to the arrangement.
As for why I took the Love Boat cruise—assignments are made by the headquarters office. I didn’t choose this cruise, but I will always be grateful for the experience.
Besides the port of call that your story brought to life, what did you enjoy most about the cruise: destination, activity, food, anything you want to share?
Sandy beaches, so white they blind you. A sun that always shines. Temperatures that remains constant at 85-90° year round. Trade winds that provide a steady breeze to cool you. Impossibly beautiful, crystal-clear water. And no typhoons—or hurricanes, as they are called on this side of the world. The natives call Aruba One Happy Island, and it’s easy to see why.
As a child, I swam in the oceans of my home country every day. Lolo used to call me a dolphin, so perhaps Aruba draws me because there I was assigned to tag along on a snorkeling expedition, to photograph the passengers’ experience. There I got to swim in the sea again. Of course, it could be because there I met Brent.
Now that you’ve sailed the Caribbean, is there anywhere else you’d like to see? Why does that location intrigue you?
As I mentioned, working on a cruise ship doesn’t allow much free time. The upside is that neither do you have much overhead. I’ve saved most of my pay since joining the cruise line for a special trip. You see, I have no memories of my time in Paris. I want to explore the city, learn the different personalities of such a grand city. I have a longing to see the home where I lived such a brief time with my parents, to walk in their footsteps, to see with their eyes.
So, what did you really think about Brent Teague. Now, come on. Give us the scoop.
Brent Teague. Oh my. Even now, I feel my cheeks warm. Brent stands out from the crowd, but not because of his height. There is a sense of power that surrounds him, but not from his muscular build. He knows the effect he has on women—of all ages, I might add—but isn’t ruled by his physical nature. So many men, had they his looks and physique, would preen and strut. They would use their physical appeal without regard for a woman’s emotions. Not Brent, though. He is confident, but humble, funny, and honorable. He is strong, a man’s man, but also gentle, and more honest than any other I’ve known. Best of all, he knows my Jesus.
More About The Love Boat Bachelor:
Romance is a joke.
After the love of Brent Teague’s life came back into his world only to marry someone else, Brent is through with women. He might be through with being a pastor, too.
Brent was so sure that God brought Mara Adkins home to him so they could marry and live happily ever after. Six months after her wedding to another man, that theory is obviously a dud. If Brent could be so wrong about that, who’s to say he’s not mistaken about God calling him to pastoral ministry?
Tired of watching Brent flounder for direction, Brent’s feisty older sister boots him out of Spartanburg and onto a cruise ship. Brent’s old college buddy manages the ship’s staff, and he’s thrilled to finagle Brent into the role of chaplain for the two-week cruise.
As the ship sets sail, Brent starts to relax. Maybe a cruise wasn’t such a bad idea after all. But there’s just one little thing no one told him. He’s not on any ordinary cruise. He’s on The Love Boat.
What’s a sworn bachelor to do on a Caribbean cruise full of romance and love? He’ll either have to jump ship or embrace the unforgettable romantic comedy headed his way.
Read all the The Love Boat Bachelor chapters.
Read our interview with the story’s creative mastermind, Jerusha Agen.
Remember to catch a chapter every day because we’re counting on our readers to choose the heroine who gets the guy. When all the voting is done, the winning author (that’s why we’re not sharing the chapter author’s name with you until after the voting), will present the happily-ever-after ending. It will be published, along with the preceding chapters, and offered free on Kindle, starting … when else … Valentine’s Day.
A Dozen Apologies (the sequel to The Love Boat Bachelor)
Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up. In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better. Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible. Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.