Friday, February 17, 2012

Carrie Goes off the Map by Philippa Ashley

Carrie Brownhill is an enthusiastic amateur actress. She has put aside her dreams of a professional acting life as she is happy in her relationship with her farmer fiance Huw. She takes an active role at the farm, and is kept busy. When Carrie met Huw at university, he was her first real love and she has been with him ever since. She is now busy planning her wedding and her life will be complete.

Or so she thinks.

When Huw breaks off the engagement four weeks before the wedding, Carrie is absolutely devastated as she had no clue it was coming. When she finds out that Huw is marrying someone else soon after she loses it big time and very nearly ruins the wedding. The only person who stops her is Doctor Matt Landor. He is on forced leave from his role as a mission doctor in the South Pacific and only turned up to the wedding of one of his best friends at the last minute.

Carrie's friend suggests that Carrie really needs to get away so this might be the perfect opportunity to travel around Europe in a VW camper van and Carrie agrees. The first sign that things aren't going to go to plan is when her friend pulls out of the trip, but luckily she has arrange for a substitute - Matt. Next problem .... his passport is off being renewed so they can't leave the UK. Carrie is not happy to say the least, but she agrees to at least start the trip.

For Carrie, this is a chance to live a little - maybe a couple of flings, and who knows what else. For Matt, this is a chance to recover from the emotional baggage he is carrying from his job, before he heads back again soon. For both of them, there is the chemistry between them to be ignored to the point where some times I wanted to yell at them both.

Matt was a good male character. He was caring and romantic, without being so perfect that he was unbelievable. His 'baggage' for want of a better word, was handled really well without getting too bogged down on it. Carrie worked a little less well for me. I guess the storyline really hinged on her devastation and drove her choices, but there were a couple of times when I was a little uncomfortable with her.

I loved that the author chose to highlight some of the English countryside, and there were a couple of places that I would love to have visited in Cornwall as a result of reading this book!

Another plus - neither character gave up their own life straight away in order to accommodate each other. The development towards the end of the book was a bit overly dramatic, but provided them both with the necessary impetus to come together.

Whilst there is some depth to the book, this is chick lit through and through, and as long as you don't go in expecting anything different then I don't think you will be disappointed. I read it on the Friday afternoon before Christmas (and have had this review sitting here unposted since then). I had a few things to do, I was tired and I wanted something easy to read and this was just a fun escape from all that. It only took a couple of hours to read and it was enjoyable enough that I will be reading more than Philippa Ashley.  If someone was to ask for recommendations for chick lit I would probably say start with authors like Jill Mansell and Marian Keyes, but this author might be another option.

I am not really sure why, but I seem to enjoy British chick lit a lot more than I do the American equivalent. I am not sure if that is because we see quite a bit of British comedy on TV here, or if it is our shared heritage, or the five years I spent living over there, but I definitely seem to have an more of an affinity for it.

Rating 3.5/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for the review copy


Carrie lets her best friend talk her into a scenic European road trip as the perfect getaway from a nasty breakup. Unexpectedly along for the ride is the gorgeous Matt Landor, MD, who sorely tests Carrie's determination to give up men altogether. Careening through the English countryside, these two mismatched but perfectly attuned lonely hearts find themselves in hot pursuit of adventure and in entirely uncharted territory.


  1. Lol, I saw the timestamp and wondered if I had lost time for a moment ;)

    Fun book. They should make another cutsie hallmark movie

    1. I haven't actually read Dating Mr December, but I do have it here to get to eventually. I think I saw part of the Hallmark movie though!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes keeping our expectations in check is the best way to enjoy a book.

  3. I hadn't heard much about this book before, but it sounds rather interesting, and like something that would make for a light reading snack when I am a bit overwhelmed. Glad to hear that you liked it. It seems like something I would like too.