Author: Audra North
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: She’s not at all what he expected. He’s just as sinfully sexy as she remembered. And together they’re about to heat up the track.
Grady Hart is the black sheep of his family. For years he’s managed the Hart Racing team, but while racing is in his blood, his real passion lies under the hood. Ready to start out on his own, all he needs to do is find a replacement for his old job. However, the best candidate for crew chief isn’t someone he would have expected: sweet, proper Annabelle Murrary, the literal Girl Next Door who’s definitely grown up since high school.
All her life Annabelle has tried to fit into the role of perfect daughter-and failed. Divorced, broke and living back home with her mother, she’s tired of trying to live up to her parents’ impossible standards. Taking on the position as crew chief for a successful racing team-and getting her hands dirty-is just what she’s looking for…but first she has to get past her old crush on her new boss. After all, it’s never smart to mix business with pleasure, or is it?
Review: What a great ending! This was a tricky and sometimes frustrating read because I really liked these two characters and wanted them to end up happy and, hopefully, together. But man, were they insecure! However, I really enjoyed all the things I kept reading about their paths, their dreams and goals. They really seemed to be meant for each other.
Annabelle Murray’s life was a mess. Her ex-husband Donnie had bout only run off with another woman, but he’d left her with a financial nightmare and a very uncertain future. She’s had to move back to North Carolina and in with her mother–ugh. If she’d thought living with an alcoholic jerk was bad, her mother obviously intended to prove otherwise. Her rigid sense of what a woman should and shouldn’t do and her concern about what other people would think was being drilled into Annabelle’s head again, non-stop. When her mother realized she’d had to take over Donnie’s garage and work on cars, she’d been certain that’s why he’d left. Yeah, right. Luckily her mother’s neighbor Mrs. Hart had a great idea for a job for Annabelle, and her son Grady came by at just the right time to clinch the deal. Grady that she’s always had a crush on.
Grady never wanted to work in racing but because if his dad’s death, he’d been forced to take over at Hart Racing as the crew chief. Now that his sister’s fiance Ranger had helped make the place viable again, he was going to be able to hire a replacement and do what he really loved–designing auto parts. Hiring Annabelle was a natural fit because of her experience running her husband’s garage in Texas, and he was also incredibly interested in spending time with her. Hot damn, she was gorgeous just like he remembered!
Working together ensures that these two spend a lot of one on one time together, and before you can whistle, they’re heating up the sheets. Which is awesome for them but not such a great idea when they’re both trying to get their &hi@ together.
Lots of room for misunderstandings when you work together and feel a little unsure about your independence and place in the world, right? Oh love, that great equalizer…
But I’ve got to tell you about the awesomeness of the girl power in this book! The first book in the series, In the Fast Lane, was about Kerri Hart’s battle for her racing career and her relationship with Ranger Colt. In this book, Annabelle becomes the Crew Chief for their racing team. Awesome and a lot of fun to read about women getting their groove on!
This is a great, funny and sweet romance with characters that grow and change right in front of you. I really liked the conclusions they came to and the language they used to describe their emotions. It felt powerful and heartfelt and bridges the divide beautifully. Gorgeous! Thanks!