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Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins Book

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Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins Read Book Online And Download

From Rachel Hawkins, the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, comes Reckless Girls, a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

ONE ISLAND

Beautiful, wild, and strange—Meroe Island is a desolate spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. It’s the perfect destination for the most adventurous traveler to escape everything... except the truth.

SIX VISITORS

Six stunning twentysomethings are about to embark on a blissful, free-spirited journey—one filled with sun-drenched days and intoxicating nights. But as it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in, sending them on a dangerous spiral of discovery.

COUNTLESS SECRETS

When one person goes missing and another turns up dead, the remaining friends wonder what dark currents lie beneath this impenetrable paradise—and who else will be swept under its secluded chaos. With its island gothic sensibility, sexy suspense, and spine-tingling reimagining of an Agatha Christie classic, Reckless Girls will wreck you.


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Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins Book





Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins Book Read Online Chapter One


Sometimes I wonder if people on vacation think they’re actually on another planet.

Or maybe just another dimension?

It’s the only explanation I have for the shit that I’ve seen in the six months that I’ve worked at the Haleakala Resort in Maui. And I’m not just talking about the weird stuff you’d expect—sunburned couples asking if I’m interested in “joining them later that evening,” the groups of women who wear coordinated tank tops emblazoned with the phrase GO-GETTERS! while they spend several thousand dollars on tequila shots and eventually get into a weepy argument at the lobby bar, or the douchey Wall Street bros who leave lines of coke on the bathroom counter, then accuse the maid who serviced the room of snorting them.

Those were all messes I ended up cleaning up—one way or another—but I’m talking about the truly unhinged moments, like the guy who offered me $200 if I’d eat a whole pineapple in front of him (I didn’t), or the senior citizen who spent the entirety of her weeklong vacation in her suite ordering adult movies off the TV and endless french fries from room service (honestly, good for her). There was also the time I went to clean a room where some frat guys had stayed, and found concentric circles of urine all over the carpet (someone’s dad whipped out an Amex to pay for the replacement after I provided management with photographic evidence of the damage).

Which brings me to today, as I stand in the middle of the Makai Suite, looking at the array of sex toys laid out on the bed, considering where this particular moment falls on the spectrum of disgusting, disturbing, and deranged.

“This is so fucked up,” Maia mutters next to me, her arms still full of damp towels. “It’s like Stonehenge, but with dildos.”

I snort, already pulling on a pair of gloves. “To be fair, I only see two—okay, no, three—dildos. That one”––I point to the hot-pink disc on the right—“is a vibrator, and that purple thing is … yeah, I don’t know what that is, but anyway, good for these people, they’re clearly having a lovely time here on the island.”

Maia shakes her head, moving back toward the laundry cart. She’s shorter than me, and the skirt of her uniform hangs down past her knees. It should make her look dowdy or frumpy, but Maia is incapable of that. She looks like a hot actress on some CW show who is merely deigning to play a maid.

“I’m not against anyone having a good time, Lux. I just sometimes think they forget that, like, people will see this shit.”

“Or they wanted us to see this shit,” I counter, pulling a plastic bag stamped with the hotel’s logo off my own cart. “Maybe that’s part of their whole deal.”

“Gross,” she replies with a shudder, and I pick up the pink vibrator, dropping it into the bag.

“Prude.”

“Weirdo,” she says before disappearing into the bathroom. I grin at her, and turn back to my task.

Maia is new here at Haleakala, just started last month, and while I like her a lot, I have a feeling she’ll be gone within a couple of weeks. I’ve been here long enough to realize that the housekeeping staff tends to fall into three categories: the lifers, ladies who have been here ten years and will be here for another thirty; the “this is a temporary thing, but I’ve been here a year,” crew; and finally, girls like Maia who think working at a five-star resort will be fun, not too much work, and will earn them a decent amount of cash.

I was supposed to be in the third group, but after six months, I’m worried I’m sliding into the second one.

I’d come to Hawaii for a guy—which, I realize, sounds stupid—but I feel like any woman who’d had Nico Johannsen ask her to meet him in Maui would’ve bought a plane ticket on the spot.

And besides, it hadn’t just been the guy himself—it had been what the guy was offering. A chance to travel, to sail around the world, to finally have some experiences.

An adventure.

“Livin’ the dream,” I mutter, surveying the bed, unsure how to proceed. Should I lay all of the toys out on a towel on the bathroom counter, the way we do makeup brushes?

Suddenly, all I want to do is leave. Tear off this uniform, abandon my cleaning cart, walk out of the resort, and go back home.

But where even is that now?

Technically, I live in a tiny ranch house on the south side of the island, a place Nico and I share with two dudes he works with at the marina, plus their girlfriends. Except we don’t even have a room there—we sleep on a mattress they put out in the living room at night. The whole place constantly smells like salt and sunscreen, and the sheets always feel a little damp and gritty. The six of us share two bathrooms, with wet swimsuits dripping from the shower rod, and towels with little dots of mildew because nothing in that place ever seems to stay dry.

Home was supposed to be Nico’s boat, the Susannah.

Even thinking about it hurts, imagining it in its dry dock, with a big fucking hole in the hull. Nico had sailed her down from San Diego after we’d met, and I’d flown to meet him here. One-way ticket, my entire life packed into one roller bag and a backpack.

But when I’d gotten to Wailuku, I’d learned that not only had the Susannah’s engine busted on the trip over, but when Nico had it moved to the marina where it could be fixed, an accident getting it off the trailer had pierced the hull, a repair Nico didn’t have the funds for.

Correction, Nico wouldn’t ask for the funds to repair it. His family has more money than God—they run this massive law firm, personal injury, litigation, shit like that—but Nico wants to make his own way in the world on his own terms.

It’s a really admirable quality, when it isn’t also wrecking our plan and keeping me stuck here, cleaning up strangers’ sex toys.

Maybe the boat is cursed, I’d said to him just the other night, whispering against the warm, salty skin of his neck as we huddled on our mattress, rain pattering on the tin roof.

Maybe it’s you, he’d murmured back. Letting a woman on board a ship was thought to be bad luck back in the day.

Maybe you’re an asshole, had been my reply, he’d only laughed and kissed me, and then our tiny, sandy mattress hadn’t seemed so bad. Nico was good at that, distracting me, his unflagging optimism bringing me out of those spirals of worry and doubt and what the fuck now? Nico didn’t worry about the future—and if an uncharitable voice in the back of my mind occasionally hissed that Nico didn’t have to worry about that kind of shit because I was always doing it for him—I ignored it.

Or, I tried to.

Anyway, before the Susannah and Hawaii, I’d been in California, but that had never felt like home to me, not really. I’d moved there with my mom from Nebraska when I was twelve, and when she’d died eleven years later, I’d just stayed in San Diego because I couldn’t think of where else to go.

Now, at twenty-five, all of it is starting to feel like a series of wrong turns and missed chances. Heading left when I should’ve gone right. Zigging when I should’ve zagged.

I strip the bed and shove the sheets in the bottom of my cart. I hear the door to the suite open as Maia goes into the hall to get more towels or shampoo that smells like bananas and hibiscus.

“So, do you think I should make these assholes a festive towel sculpture shaped like a cock?” I call out to her. “I know a swan is the normal thing, but given their tastes—”

Behind me, someone clears their throat, and I straighten to see two people standing in the foyer, a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt in violent shades of red and green, a woman in a matching dress. They’re holding mai tais, their faces bright with embarrassment or sunburn or both, and I offer a weak smile.

“Aloha?”

An hour later, I’m standing in the parking lot of the Haleakala, in my cutoff shorts and T-shirt, my uniform and name tag back in the hands of my boss—well, former boss now—Mr. Chen, and while I should be freaking the fuck out, I tip my face up to the sun and smile.

No more sheets. No more towels. No more stray fingers “accidentally” brushing my ass. I’ve wanted to quit for over a month now, but there’s something freeing about having the choice taken out of my hands. It’s not my fault the Sandersons walked in when they did. Not my fault they’d left all that stuff on their bed in the first place.

Not my fault that I don’t have a job anymore.

Now, I just have to tell Nico.


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