In the midst of a dry spell where it comes to actually finishing books, I did have a wonderful reading session with Phillipa Ashley's book Carrie Goes off the Map. Yes, I have an interview at the end of this week with Phillipa, but I just really like her novels and the great romantic escape they serve up!
Thankfully we're off for the holidays. It couldn't have come sooner for me. I still have 100+ essays to read over the break, but I think that with some much needed sleep and R&R, those will feel like nothing! Also, this will be my first Christmas back on the mainland for about four years. Every year I've traveled to Hawaii to spend it with my mother, but since she moved home, we'll be spending it at my house this year. I'm sad to not spend Christmas Eve at a luau or Christmas Day on the beach (or the entire holiday in a pair of shorts and sandals, for that matter), but I am kind of happy that I didn't have to pack everything up this year and will be spending it at my home. It will be a really nice Christmas. Trust me when I say that I'll be spending as much time as possible reading! I can't wait. Let me, however, share this great read. It was a great book to start off my holiday.
Carrie Brownhill has to find a way to pull her life together and show herself and her ex that her life isn't over. At the same time, Matt Landor, MD has just returned from a tropical island, where he had been doing medical service and just traumatized by an accident that had him shipped home to recoup and repair. Together, he and Carrie somehow end up in each other's paths to healing. Strangely, it comes in the form of an antiquated camper and a road trip. Can a road trip do anything more than cause the travelers to bicker and fight?
Review: Phillipa Ashley has a fun, lively style to her writing that keeps the tempo moving in her stories, and her characters progressing. I'm always struck by writers who can get me to care about the main character quickly, and I always seem to feel that way with Ashley's heroines. In this case, Carrie could be any woman who has been dumped by her man/fiance. However, her situation seems compounded by feelings of all the time she lost and for being played a fool. It's not as if the relationship fizzled out and they both knew it wasn't right, it was like being jilted and left the outsider and the unwanted. All you have to do is add a main male lead character who is charismatic, attractive, aloof, and a Mr. Darcy comparison, and you have a real recipe for sure romance.
Whatever it is about a woman who has been scorned and left aside that draws a man in, I'll never quite understand, but we all seem to love it. I can't say that I know of anyone who has done that in real life (gotten together on the back of a nasty split, although I know they exist), but there is something appealing about having that resolution. This story isn't an easy get together though. Much of the story is spent traveling the countryside, as Carrie and her handsome doctor, Matt, take a road trip to forget their woes. As any road trip is bound to do, the two get into their quarrels and eat their fair share of gas station fare. With that comes short tempers, but also a number of conversations brought on by fatigue and heightened emotions.
As with Phillipa Ashley's novels, I really enjoyed this newest one. Carrie's story is one that many women will recognize and see themselves in from start to finish (or at least wish to).
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on an advanced copy provided by the publisher.