FIVE STAR READ: Off the Map Review

Summary (from the publisher):
4186VHILqDLCarla 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 Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I’ve been reading at my usual (fast) pace lately, but I haven’t found too many books that I’d call favorites in March – and Trish Doller’s Off the Map came at just the right time because this book was an absolute home run for me. I devoured Off the Map over the course of one day, eating it up in three sittings. If this were summer, I so would’ve read this 250 page read from cover to cover while floating around the pool one afternoon. I should’ve known from the fact that most of this book is set in Ireland that this would’ve be a five star read.

Off the Map is the third book in the Beck Sisters companion series, following Carla, the best friend of Float Plan’s protagonist, as she takes a mini break from her worldly adventures to attend her best friend’s wedding in Ireland. Carla finds instant chemistry with the best man, Eamon, and the two get into some mini detours and adventures as they travel to the wedding. 

Trish Doller has been known for writing these quiet books that often feature a protagonist dealing with some sort of loss and/or life change. I really enjoyed Float Plan and The Suite Spot for these qualities and their settings, but something especially clicked for me with Off the Map. Going back to Ireland (I went pre-pandemic in 2020) has been back in my mind recently, & this book is giving me another nudge to go back. I loved seeing Carla and Eamon explore the Irish countryside (the cairns brought me right back to hiking there) and surfing (I literally went through my photos to see if I surfed in the same spot as them). That being said, you don’t need to have traveled to Ireland to fall in love with this book. 

There’s this no nonsense or no fluff quality to Trish Doller’s writing that just clicks with me. I know normally some readers, myself included, would not be for the insta-chemistry between Carla and Eamon, but it just works in this book and overall in the Beck Sisters companion novels. Carla and Eamon’s banter and growing feelings for one another were so fun to read. Carla is this super adventurer, only taking breaks from traveling to return home to make money bartending, while Eamon has all the aspirations to go travel the world, but can’t seem to leave his job and the expectations his family has for him. I really liked one of the book’s themes of traveling now, not later (something I definitely need to encourage myself even to do more!). 

Carla’s love for travel & adventure comes from her father, who took her traveling every summer since she was five years old. That brings me to my next point that this book is way more than an Ireland-set romance, as one of the reason Carla stays on the road is that her father has dementia and has instructed her to stay away home to prevent her from seeing his health decline. Carla reflects on her relationship with her father throughout the book, but their relationship takes the spotlight in the book’s last quarter and definitely lead to some tears running down my face. 

Overall, Off the Map is my favorite Trish Doller book yet. I believe this is the last book in the Beck Sisters series, but I really hope there will be more contemporary romance from Trish Doller soon. 

Have you read Off the Map? What did you think? Have you read Float Plan or The Suite Spot? Share in the comments! 

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