Star Rating: 4
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Date of publication: March 7th, 2023
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Adult, Fiction, Chick Lit, Ireland, Travel, Audiobook, Road Trip
Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat
On the road to love, you don’t need a GPS…
Carla Black’s life motto is “here for a good time, not for a long time.” She’s been travelling 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.
My dad always says that the people waiting for you at the airport should never be strangers.
Off the Map by Trish Doller
Carla has traveled the world in her red Jeep. Traveling has always been her way of dealing with issues. She hasn’t been home in years because her father is slowly developing dementia. She doesn’t believe in love because of what happened to her father and her when she was a child. Everything changes once she travels to Ireland for her best friend’s wedding and meets Eamon, the groom’s brother.
Eamon is not living his best life. His wanna-be Influencer girlfriend has recently dumped him, he is unhappy in his job, and his dream of traveling the world in his Land Rover has been shelved. He does not expect a gorgeous bombshell to upend his life when he meets Carla. And Carla doesn’t expect to fall hard and fast for Eamon. But with Carla’s father worsening, she chooses to go home and help care for him. Will Eamon and Carla be able to travel together? Or will they not take the chance given to them in Ireland?
I did something I usually don’t do when I first get a book; I read the reviews. I wish I hadn’t because the ones I read influenced what I thought about Off the Map. And yes, that made me push it to the back of my review pile. But, once I started reading it, I realized I greatly liked this book. So, note to self, no more reading reviews before reading the book.
Off the Map is the 3rd book in the Beck Sisters series. You can read this book as a standalone. Let me say it louder for those in the back: It. Can. Be. Read. As. A. Standalone. I started with book three and had zero issues understanding previous characters or their stories.
Off the Map wasn’t your typical chick-lit book. Some serious issues arose while reading it. Child abandonment, dementia, and not living up to parent’s expectations were among some of the issues. The author tackled these issues tactfully while not taking away from Carla and Eamon’s story.
Speaking of our main characters, I loved them. Did I think Carla was a bit brash and immature? Yes, yes, I did. And did Eamon need to grow a set during several scenes? Of course. But it did take away from how much I liked each of them? No, if anything, it added to their likability.
The main storyline with Carla, Eamon, the journey across Ireland, and their relationship was wonderfully written. I liked that Carla and Eamon clicked from the beginning. I also liked that Carla challenged Eamon to make his dreams come true. In return, he was there for her when her world turned upside down.
The storyline with Carla, her father, and why she avoided coming home/always traveling was heartbreaking. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I had been given that news. I also wouldn’t have responded too well to having my father, just being given that diagnosis, telling me to travel. But, considering Biggie (Carla’s father) and Carla’s relationship, it made sense. It also made sense when she decided to come home to help with his care. This storyline was heartbreaking in so many ways too.
I will be honest with this, but Carla and Eamon were struck with a severe case of Instalove. I am not a fan of Instalove and never will be. I will never believe you can be in love after four days together. I believe you can be in lust, but love, nope. I liked how the author kept their relationship growing despite being apart.
Speaking of lust, the sex scenes in Off the Map were out of this-world hot. I did get a giggle at Eamon and Carla almost getting caught in the act by the farmer while waiting for the sheep to pass. They did have great chemistry.
The end of Off the Map was a little bittersweet. I liked that the author went a year into the future and showed us how Carla and Eamon were doing. I liked the strides Carla took with her life after Biggie died. And I was touched by how she honored Biggie. Also, I was impressed with the traveling they did.
I would recommend Off the Map to anyone over 21. There is language, mild violence, and explicit sex scenes.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, NetGalley, and Trish Doller for allowing me to read and review Off the Map. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of Off the Map, then you will enjoy reading these books:
Other books by Trish Doller: