Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Float Plan by Trish Doller! I am thrilled that I was invited to participate by St. Martin’s Press!
Heartbroken by the loss of her fiancé, adventurous Anna finds a second chance at love with an Irish sailor in this riveting, emotional romance.
After a reminder goes off for the Caribbean sailing trip Anna was supposed to take with her fiancé, she impulsively goes to sea in the sailboat he left her, intending to complete the voyage alone.
But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.
In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future.
“The perfect escape. Fresh, funny, and romantic. I wish I could sail away with this book.” – Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries and Little Bridge series
TRISH DOLLER is the author of novels for teens and adults about love, life, and finding your place in the world. A former journalist and radio personality, Trish has written several YA novels, including the critically acclaimed Something Like Normal, as well as Float Plan, her adult women’s fiction debut. When she’s not writing, Trish loves sailing, traveling, and avoiding housework. She lives in southwest Florida with an opinionated herding dog and an ex-pirate.
I have read many second chance romance stories, including those where the loved one passed away. Float Plan addresses this type of story and gives a heart-warming story about grief and how the main character attempts to put her life back together. Our two central characters were very likable and their thoughts, feelings, and actions all feel very relatable and enjoyable. The novel feels very genuine as the dialogue, characters, and events all seem like could happen in reality. Although the book is centralized on some heavier topics, it is done with grace and heart that take the world of sailing and seamlessly blends it with a story of love, loss, and personal growth.
Anna Beck is a twenty-five year old waitress/bartender at a pirate themed Hooter’s style restaurant. Her fiancé, Ben, killed himself via suicide ten months prior to the story taking place. From the day Anna found out, she lived in a state of depression wondering how to move on and trying to deal with the shock of the sudden loss of her other romantic half. A notification on her phone saying that the day has come for a trip brings a sudden epiphany to Anna. The notification was an alert that the sailing trip from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Trinidad was about to begin. Anna decides to drop everything and go on the trip that she and Ben planned to do together with their wedding taking place on the beach when they reached their final destination. Unfortunately, it would be without Ben and she would be making the trip alone.
She sets sail and everything seems to be going well, except when it all starts going haywire. She soon realizes that maybe she might not make be able to make the journey alone, so she decides to post an ad for a professional to assist when she finally lands on Bimini. Enter, Irish, late twenties/early thirties (he has a birthday during the story), professional sailor, Keanne Sullivan. He is looking for a chance to prove that he is still an excellent sailor, as it is his true passion, after an accident leaves him with the loss of one of his legs. Anna agrees to hire him for the journey and the two of them set sail on a breathtaking journey through the Atlantic/Caribbean. Keanne is from a small town near Killarney and it was very relatable when it was mentioned that he learned to sail in Tralee, Ireland. I was very excited as I took a sailing course in Tralee when I lived briefly in Ireland. Granted, I took a brief introduction course, but it was a very fun surprise for me as a reader to relate to a character.
The story sails through Anna and Keanne’s journey through all the islands starting in the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and other islands scattered throughout the Caribbean. As the two of them are sailing along, the two of them get to know each other and they introduce their backstories and their thoughts/feelings to the reader. Each island brings a new adventure as they meet new people and reunite with some old friends, have new experiences, and slowly heal their own wounds while supporting each other. Sometimes the seas were smooth and everything is lovely and other times the sea turns on them and the harsh realities of the journey are illustrated, both literally for the sailing and metaphorically when describing the characters’ journeys.
The writing is well-done as it felt natural when reading. There were times when some sailing terminology was used and it took me a minute to try to remember what it means or try and place it in the context of the paragraph. I am the type where I want to picture the story in my head, so I wanted to officially know what each term meant. I loved reading about the sailing aspect and their at-sea and anchoring adventures as it was very interesting. The descriptions of each of the islands make me immediately want to go to each of them and explore as much as I can!
Overall, the story was excellent as it gave a more realistic description of moving forward after setbacks. Both of our main characters were on their own journeys and they each grew in their own way. Each character remained true to their nature and grew at their own pace without wavering for the sake of moving the story along. Everything felt sincere in their journeys. The romance between Anna and Keanne has a natural progression as they understand that neither is in a place to immediately jump into a new relationship. The story seemed a little rushed at the end as I thought there was a lot to wrap up and yet I was already at the 90% mark. It was still a satisfying ending and I walked away from the story feeling like I spent my time well by deciding to take the time to read this novel. This was my first novel by Trish Doller and it will certainly not be my last!
**I give another special thank you to St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of this book that I received via Netgalley and for inviting me along on this blog tour. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**
Feel free to visit yesterday’s posts for the blog tour: