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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thrill of the Chase by Christina Crooks

Thrill of the Chase by Christina Crooks
Publisher: Five Star Expressions
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (166 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Buttercup

Sarah's a whiz at tuning engines and winning races. Winning Craig, the local drag race hero, proves more difficult. He only has eyes for gorgeous women who are hot in the sack, not grubby tomboys. Sarah s world gets an overhaul when her father hires Gordon. Soon she's torn not only between two men she wants, but between the drag race winner she is and the woman she feels pressured to become.

Ready, set, go! The race is on but so much more than winning is on the line. To the victor goes the glory but will the win be worth the losses? Does winning the race mean losing at love, or could winning at love mean never racing again? Christina Crooks' Thrill of the Chase is a high octane ride that will throw you for a loop.

Sarah is anything but a girly girl.  She works in her fathers auto shop, drag races in her free time, and wears grease stains with the ease that some girls wear pearls. As an only child whose mother died when she was young, Sarah has been spoiled her whole life. That's not to say she doesn't work hard, she does, but she also has always been given free rein to do what she wants. So far the only thing in her life that she hasn't been able to get is local race hero and her longtime friend Craig, but even that is not a problem, because Sarah has a plan. However, none of those plans include her father hiring a new man to run the shop. When Gordon shows up and effectively throws a monkey wrench into Sarah's well ordered life, the ensuing chaos causes not just Sarah but everyone to reevaluate what they really want from life.

The one big fault I found with the book is that all of the main characters are wrapped up in their own lives. Each one of them has a mapped out a life plan for themselves that allows no deviation. Sarah is going to race, win and run her father's shop. Red wants to retire and to see that Sarah goes back to school whether she wants to or not. Craig just wants to race and one day marry a pretty girl who will hang on his arm. Gordon wants not to be poor anymore and is well on his way to making it, he will take over Red's garage, invent his performance enhancing parts for race cars, and marry an appropriately rich and beautiful girl. Each of them adheres so completely to the goals they have set for themselves. They don't talk to each other, instead they bark orders or blatantly disregard the thoughts and wishes of everyone, to do what they want. In the case of Sarah, her arrogance and seemingly complete disdain for logic, at least when it stands in the way of something she wants, costs her some very dear friends and almost kills her.

Of course having a goal and focus is not a bad thing, especial when tempered with common sense. As headstrong and reckless as Sarah is in the racing world, she tends to be a bit more cautious in her personal life. I truly enjoyed watching her explore her more feminine side. Her first encounter with makeup and hair products was priceless. Having grown up with only male role models, it took her awhile, but she finally did find a good balance between girl and grease monkey.

You don't have to be a fan of racing to enjoy this tale of finding oneself. Christina Crooks' characters are flawed but relatable. Her headstrong, sassy heroine is constantly reminding the boys about the Thrill of the Chase.