Monday, February 27, 2023

Book Review: Off The Map by Trish Dollar


Carla Black’s life motto is “here for a good time, not for a long time.” She’s been traveling the world on her own in her vintage Jeep Wrangler for nearly a decade, stopping only long enough to replenish her adventure fund. She doesn’t do love and she doesn’t ever go home.

Eamon Sullivan is a modern-day cartographer who creates digital maps. His work helps people find their way, but he’s the one who’s lost his sense of direction. He’s unhappy at work, recently dumped, and his one big dream is stalled out—literally.

Fate throws them together when Carla arrives in Dublin for her best friend’s wedding and Eamon is tasked with picking her up from the airport. But what should be a simple drive across Ireland quickly becomes complicated with chemistry-filled detours, unexpected feelings, and a chance at love - if only they choose it.


Ever since I read Float Plan I have been a fan of Trish Doller, her romances are fun but also very heartwarming and relatable. I was excited to get an advanced listen to her new book Off The Map, which is the third in the Beck Sister’s Stories. 

Float Plan and The Suite Spot instantly pulled me in, and I had very few complaints about either of them, but unfortunately Off The Map did not have the same effect on me.

This was a fairly short read, only 275 pages, I listened to it on audio and it was a day of house cleaning. I did not hate the book, I just felt it lacked something. I think Doller writes an entertaining story and I can see people loving this one as I loved Float Plan.

Basically  Carla Black travels the world, she use to be with her dad, but he is now struggling with dementia and has had to stop traveling. He has asked Carla to continue her travels and doesn’t want her to see his decline. She heads to Ireland to be the Maid of Honor at her best friend's wedding. The groom's older brother Eamon will meet her at a pub in Dublin and they will drive across Ireland to the wedding.

Eamon and Carla hit it off at the pub…and by that I mean, they met and are back at Eamon's apartment in bed together before you can blink. Now I am not a fan of insta-love, and I found out reading this I am surely not a fan of insta-lust. I mean I am not a prude, I love a good smut story, and I expect the characters to hop right in bed, but in a general rom-com I realized reading this I really didn’t want a wham bam thank you ma’am kinda meeting. I would have just preferred a bit of build-up to their romance, you know.., a meet-cute…that sorta thing. Off The Map was way sexier than Doller’s previous two books, and maybe it just threw me off a bit, thinking it was going to be more like them.

As far as the characters, I really didn't feel much of anything for either of them. They seemed selfish to me. I know Carla’s father wanted her to go on with her life while his health declined, but it was several years since she had found out he had dementia and she hadn’t been home to visit him. There is NO way I could do that. My dad is no longer here and I would have given anything to have known I needed more time with him. Not only that, but she was going to this wedding to be her best friend's Maid Of Honor, not to mention Eamon was the best man and carrying around the wedding rings, and they both set off together on this bizarre sex-filled trek across Ireland to camp and surf instead of going to the pre-wedding festivities and hope they can get there in time. I WOULD BE PISSED if I were the bride.

I know there will be plenty of people who disagree with me and will love this book, and I hope there are, I like the author’s writing, but this one, it just wasn’t for me. I found that it was very rushed and even the ending was not enough to save it for me.

However, as I mentioned at the first of this rant, I did listen to this on audio, and it was the narrator who saved the book for me and kept me from turning it off and walking. Her Irish accents were entertaining and made an otherwise disappointing book bearable. I give her 5 big stars on this one!


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