I have been craving Off Course with something bordering obsession. I stalked facebook, waiting for any sign that it might be live early. I typed the title into the Amazon search bar on what seemed like a daily basis, hoping that it would appear.
So when it did indeed appear early, I frantically one clicked and sat down to read.
In the end, I have to regretfully say it wasn’t everything I hoped.
What I liked: I loved the change of setting from the rest of the series. Ireland was a nice change, and added lots of new, unique people and elements to the story. We’ve still got a connection to the rest of the crew back in New Jersey ( Renner is Linc and Nix’s cousin) but they are only mentioned in passing for most of the book. Nix does make a brief appearance, which was nice to see.
The chemistry and sex appeal between Renner and Cillian was smoking hot. I have absolutely no trouble imagining that these two might never get tired of each other in bed. I loved the descriptions about Cillian’s voice and his music. And I loved Renner for being strong enough to make some of the choices she did.
What I didn’t like: Unfortunately, this book fell a bit flat for me. That could be because I had such high expectations. But I never got a true sense that Renner and Cillian actually loved each other. Sure, Cillian wanted her, and he pursued her relentlessly which was fun to watch, but he isn’t used to being told no, and that made it almost a game for him. She liked the way he was different. He was a breath of fresh air for her, but I don’t know that that is enough. The end gives me hope that maybe they have something real, but part of me feels like theirs is only a relationship based on sex, and I don’t know that they can stand a test of time.
I also feel the need to briefly comment on the smattering of editing errors. Generally speaking, I’m pretty forgiving of typos. They happen and I get it (lord do I. I think I’m the queen of them.) I don’t honestly know if there are enough typos here to bother most readers, but they bothered me more than most and distracted me several times. That in and of itself is indicative of how much this story didn’t keep me as captivated as the rest in the series, because if I had truly been enthralled I don’t think I would have noticed them.
In complete fairness, I’ve been in editing mode lately, so I’m probably more tuned to noticing errors. Unless you are a reader who hates typos, please don’t let this sway you from reading the book if you were going to. I’m probably just being too picky.
My Recommendation: Proceed with caution. It is worth a read, but go into with an open mind and don’t expect the same level of swoon as the last few in this series. (And if you haven’t read those yet, DO.) I’m giving it 3 and a 1/2 stars.