Samanthe Beck’s #TopFive Tropical Vacation Movies

My latest Brazen, Dirty Games, takes place at an exclusive island destination in the Caribbean, and the Brazen I released just before that one, Compromised in Paradise, unfolds at a luxury resort in Maui. Now, I’m no expert, but I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something. (Namely, Mommy needs a vacation)! Since a tropical escape isn’t in the cards anytime soon, I opted for a more budget friendly alternative. I procured a bottle of Malibu Rum and binge-watched tropical getaway movies recommended by my guru for all things, the lovely and talented Hayson Manning.

Here, in no particular order, are my Top Five tropical getaways in movie form:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall – Speaking of forgetting, turns out I’d seen this one before. I’m going to guess I caught it on Netflix or VOD, because I definitely hadn’t viewed the whole thing from start to finish. It came out in 2008, as did my son, so I suspect this was something hubs and I tried to watch between feedings, changings, laundry, and exhaustion. It’s actually really good! I could bore you stuff like how hysterically awkward Jason Segel is as a dumped fiancé who escapes to Hawaii only to find himself at the exact same resort as his ex and her new boyfriend. I could talk about how gorgeous and snarky Mila Kunis is as his new love interest, or blah, blah, blah. All true, but none of it matters. Watch it for this scene with Kristen Bell and Russell Brand…

Note: Her feet aren’t even touching the bed!


Blue Crush – This one came out in 2002 and I actually saw it at the theater! You may not know this about me, but if there’s a wave in the movie, I’m all in. Endless Summer, Mavericks, Step into Liquid—the list goes on. For a girl who can’t actually manage to catch a wave of her own, I’m a freaking avid surfer! I notice Blue Crush doesn’t fare all that well on Rotten Tomatoes but even second time around it totally worked for me. It’s a sports-oriented hero’s journey centered around…gasp…women. Whaaaat? I know. Sorry, haters, say what you will. I loved watching the chicks be the sport stars, (including my secret girl crush, Michelle Rodriguez), loved the kick-ass waves, loved having hot, glistening, shirtless guys as window dressing. This movie crushed it. (Ba-dum-dum).



Aloha – I hadn’t seen this movie, and even though it was written and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, John Krasinski, Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin, I somehow missed it in the theaters. So I went in cold. I’m not going to lie to you. This movie was…not good. I don’t know how it managed to miss the mark with all that talent attached, but it did. THEN I had some of that Malibu Rum, and then I took half an Ambien. Best. Movie. Ever. It was the jumping off point for an incredibly vivid dream where Bradley Cooper looked deep into my eyes and said this to me…



Into the Blue – I saw this one on the big screen back in the day, and even though the plot was fuzzy in my memory (treasure, drugs, sharks), I remembered liking it. A lot. So, now I’ve watched it again and, to be honest, the plot is STILL fuzzy, but I still liked it a lot. It stars plenty of clear, turquoise water, loads of sunshine, and a young, stunning, shirtless Paul Walker. What else do you need?! Oh, right. Jessica Alba in a bikini, in case your significant other demands eye candy of his own.



Surf’s Up – Being a mom, I thought I should check out at least one kid-appropriate option. This animated movie about surfing penguins is super-cute, funny, and family-friendly, (although in the interest in full disclosure, my 8-year old son could not have been less interested). Maybe it’s the Malibu Rum talking, but I was thoroughly entertained. This flick revolves around a surf tournament that takes place on the tropical island of Pen Gu. White sand, blue seas, talking birds. WTF! I’m ready to move there and get a crazy chicken for a sidekick. Is that so wrong?



If you’ve only got ninety minutes to spend on a tropical escape, I hope you find this list helpful. If you’ve got a whole evening, and you’re ready for a decidedly…ahem…adult diversion, pack your e-reader for Paradise Bay and dive into Dirty Games!



Pick up Samantha’s newest release, Dirty Games today!


A five figure fee. A private villa at an exclusive tropical paradise. Absolute compliance. Top tier celebrity trainer Luke McLean demands all of the above, plus strict adherence to his zero bullshit policy. Especially when faced with six short weeks to whip a spoiled starlet into leading lady shape.

Quinn Sheridan suddenly has half the time she anticipated to turn herself into an action hero for the role of her career. Luckily, her agent calls in a secret weapon, but the demanding, drop dead gorgeous hardass fails to understand SHE’S the client. She has no problem taking direction, but Luke’s definition of cooperation feels more like complete and utter submission. And she’s tempted to give it to him…






Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California with her husband, their young son, a furry ninja named Kitty, and Bebe the trash talkin’ Chihuahua. When not writing fun, contemporary, melt-your-Kindle sexy romances for Entangled Publishing’s Brazen imprint, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.

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