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Friday, August 10, 2012

Drive Me Crazy by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Drive Me Crazy by Jenna Bayley-Burke
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (194 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Lotus

The quickest way to love isn’t always a straight line.

This was supposed to be Xavier Moreau’s long-awaited vacation. A few precious weeks away from his over-scheduled career to see the America his mother loved and still make it to his best friend’s wedding in time. Instead, he’s ferrying the bridezilla’s sister to the nuptials. The luscious Jaime Cruz makes his mouth water, but her near-frenzy to get to Oregon now would scrape on his last nerve—if he didn’t sense that she needs the break as much as he does.

Fresh off a teaching assignment in D.C., Jaime’s white-knuckling it. She’s got only three weeks to get home, find a job and a place to live, and ensure her sister’s big day comes off without a hitch. Except Xavier tosses her three-days-or-bust itinerary out the window. Even more annoying, Jaime finds herself succumbing to his relentless determination to make sure she enjoys every minute of the trip. And falling under the spell of his sizzling touch.

Three weeks and three thousand miles later, Jaime’s feet are on home ground, but her heart is pulling her in a completely unexpected direction. Toward Xavier and a new journey that will require the ultimate leap of faith.

What happens when you cross an organized high school teacher who wants to drive across the country in three days with a Frenchman who wants to enjoy the sights in three weeks? The answer is an unforgettable ride full of sizzling hot, clashing sparks!!!

Jaime Cruz just finished teaching summer school and is all packed and ready to go when her car became another stolen car statistic. Since she was supposed to drive quickly from Washington, D.C., to Oregon to help her younger sister get ready for her wedding, she emailed her sister’s fiancĂ© about her predicament. He arranged to have his best man, Xavier Moreau, give her a ride because he happened to be on the East Coast, on his way to Oregon also. Unbeknownst to everyone else, Xavier has a secret itinerary with many stops to be made along with a background that he wants to keep from everyone he meets.

Jaime is hard working, responsible, and always planning ahead. She's had very few chances at love because she only dates guys who meet the criteria of potential marriageable material. Xavier at first appears to be an irresponsible playboy who grew up privileged, but after driving across the country with him, Jaime finds out he is so much more than who he appears to be. Xavier loves photography, appreciates architecture, works hard at his job, cares about his family, and is passionate about Jaime. The two of them argued and fought a lot because Xavier was bent on derailing Jaime’s plans, but eventually they were convinced they needed each other and worked on compromises. Still, the tug of war between them resulted in a roller coaster of emotions that took them through many states.

Whenever I read about places and scenery, I usually do a bit of skimming. However, with this story, I wanted to savor every moment and every description because I was enjoying Ms. Bayley-Burke’s writing so much. I felt that I was along for the ride through the countryside, enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells. The vicarious experience of Jaime and Xavier falling in love despite both of them fighting against it was full of funny, exciting, and sexy moments. I enjoyed the trip across America and was sad when it had to come to an end.

It’s not often that I come across a book that makes me laugh, cry, and cheer. I picked this book because I happen to know a young couple who recently drove across country, fell in love, and are now engaged to be married. They actually experienced one thing similar to Jaime and Xavier’s trip (a hotel with a surprise). I put many, many bookmarks in this book of all my favorite scenes. I gave a happy sigh at the end and will definitely tuck this away on my “keeper” shelf. I will also put Ms. Bayley-Burke’s name on my list of authors to watch for. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore or computer and buy your copy of Drive Me Crazy! Get ready for a wonderful ride... I mean read!!!