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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Racing Hearts by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Nancy Warren, Dorien Kelly

Racing Hearts by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Nancy Warren, Dorien Kelly
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full (314 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

She's plotted the course
Car chief Roni Kenway has a plan. She'll save her racing team and (hopefully) convince her crew chief, Judd Timmons, that she's the perfect mix of business and pleasure. But will she coast down Victory Lane…or crash into the wall?

She's in Daytona
Haunted by a sadistic book about last-chance love, Lucy Vanderwal hopes a trip to Daytona will end with love. But when she discovers her "last chance" guy is a lemon, Lucy meets rookie driver Sawyer Patton…and learns even a late starter can be a winner!

And she's behind the wheel!
Driver Megan Carter just got back from a dream vacation—sun, sand and a sizzling fling with Chris Donahue. Now all she needs is to prove herself on the race track. But how can she do that when Chris turns up in her garage—in her real life—and says he's there to stay?
Rubbin’ is racin’.... so they say. Does that include rubbing to get the man or woman of your dreams? In NASCAR it sure does. But you’ll need to read Racing Hearts.

Now I am a NASCAR/racing lover. If it’s got four wheels and goes real fast around a track, then I’m all in. When I got this book, I couldn’t wait to stat it. But sometimes anticipation dulls the luster of the story.

Harlequin puts out great material and I’ve loved the previous works by these authors. But in this grouping, I almost felt the stories were rushed into print in order to make them available for Valentine’s Day. Is that bad? No, but each story could’ve been developed more and made into their own separate books.

The first story by Ms. Thompson drew me in quickly. Roni’s a mechanic and Judd’s the crew chief. She wants him, but he’s kind of icy to her because he’s not keen on relations between team members. I liked that the plot was plausible. Most workplaces don’t encourage romantic fraternization. But where I was a tad confused was the relationship between Judd and Roni. She comes across a bit waffle-esque, like she’ll change everything to be with him. I wanted to see a stronger heroine. When Judd has to come clean, it endeared me to him because I felt his inner turmoil. I liked Judd the best in the story.

Nancy Warren captivates me. She writes solid stories that will make you laugh out loud one minute and cry the next. This story is no different. Of the three, this was my favorite. Lucy is an average woman. There is nothing fabulous about her like regular romance heroines and that held my attention. I liked the tension between Sawyer and Lucy. She thinks he’s one way, but he’s really not and the development of the relationship between them is beautiful. Sawyer is one hunk of a man I couldn’t forget. If you want a story that will bring out the best in NASCAR and romance, then this one is it.

The final story by Dorien Kelly left me a bit perplexed. The idea of the plot is tight and right on target. There was a relationship, but it’s over. Now it’s time to give it another try, but all involved are gun-shy. Okay, I can deal with that. What I had an issue with was the heroine’s tendency to waffle. Megan wants to be with Chris. She’s in love with him, but her over-thinking gets in the way. I wanted to clock her and say, honey, use your eyes and go with your gut. There is a lot of tension and strife in this story that bogged it down for me. Yes, love isn’t always pretty, but then again, it doesn’t have to be so complicated all the time.

Despite my reservations, the fact is: I enjoyed this book. So, if you want a trio of race stories guaranteed to make you want to learn more about stock car racing, then you need to read Racing Hearts. If you want romance to warm your heart, then you’ve found the right collection.