My journey reading this book started off slow, very much like the folks in Beth O’Leary’s latest release, The Road Trip.
Addie and sister Deb are on a road trip in their mini for their friend Cherry’s wedding in Scotland, with randomer Rodney they found on Facebook who also happens to be going. He’s harmless, so why not let him come with?
However, despite their early getaway on the road, they soon encounter their first setback of many: what are the chances that Addie’s ex, Dylan, drives into the back of their car on the way to the same wedding? Turns out very likely, as is expected in rom-com fiction. After writing his car off, Dylan and his (dislikeable) mate Marcus squeeze into the already packed mini.
Addie and Dylan have a lot of history from an intense time of dating, where the trip gives them time to reflect on their romance, especially as they are crammed next to each other for the next 8 hours at least…
I like how O’Leary reflects between ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ as the reader slowly learns more about the reason each of them are the way they are with one another, from side looks to narky comments and silence, making you wonder why these two split in the first place as there is still clearly a connection. This isn’t so fun for Marcus who seems to have a major problem with Addie, borderline obsessed with keeping his best mate apart from her.
Marcus sounds like anyone’s worst nightmare: arrogant, rude, a ‘lad’, bad influence, spoilt and just a kn*b.
Despite this, I was chuckling frequently as I managed to progress after the slow start – myself and them included – where they face multiple setbacks as they try to reach Cherry. They break down and meet the very kind lorry driver Kevin, who Deb pulls. Get in girl!
The one that got me was when Deb gets out of the car in motorway traffic to wee in the bushes, only for traffic to pick up for her to be left behind!
Rodney remains quiet throughout the trip, contributing pointless conversations but not being in anyone’s way – but I will say, it is always the quiet ones…
I like how O’Leary reflects back to happier times between Addie and Dylan, emphasising why she feels so cold towards Marcus, and perhaps vice versa – he is very unpredictable with his moods. O’Leary is good at making you think one thing, but instantly questioning it the next to see if there is a catch as initial impressions can inevitably be deceptive.
I will reveal that they DO make it to the wedding, but I will leave it to you to find out if they make it on time and how, as even more mishaps pop up: punches are thrown, cars are stolen, people are tied up (I promise you this is not Fast and Furious…), accusations of cheating are made and darling Kevin comes to the rescue – but why?
I’m sure it is a trip of a lifetime for them!
A hearty, British read which made me smile and feel warm inside.
rating – 4/5
genre – romance, contemporary romance, fiction, comedy