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Drivers, Start Your Engines

February 12, 2011

Woah, talk about long time, no see. It’s definitely been longer than I’d like to admit since I’ve posted, but I’m alive and all is well! In the past few months I have:

  • Graduated & received my Master’s degree in Journalism (woo hoo!)
  • Moved >800 mi. from New York back to Atlanta … by car (Oh, Waffle House & Chick-fil-a, how I’ve missed thee!)
  • Saw Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1, and teared up more than once (sue me!)
  • Adopted a chihuahua puppy, who I named Bailey, after her Bailey’s Irish Cream coloring
  • Celebrated a slew of holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s/my birthday (one in the same), plus a freakish snowpocalypse/icecapade that shut the city down for over a week

That being said, despite my lack of posts (and book reviews) I’ve still been reading, reading, reading! I actually decided to read the Harry Potter series (rereading books 1-3, newly reading 4-7), which I must say, consumed me for over a month. I became obsessed; reading instead of doing last-minute school work (no surprise there), dreaming about Hogwarts, and even watching movie marathons every weekend — did I mention that I ordered all six movies from Amazon? Like I said, obsessed. Anyway, the craziness did eventually die down. As of now, I am only about 50 pp. into book 7, but decided to put it down (for now) because I wasn’t ready for it to end. I figure I’ll pick it back up before part two of the movie comes out. Makes me sad to think about …

Moving on — The first post-Harry Potter book I read was a Harlequin freebie I downloaded from Amazon called Speed Dating. The book comes from their NASCAR line, which I was originally leery about (since I’m not particularly interested in race car driving as a sport), but was willing to give it a try because it was free. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t like free?

SYNOPSIS: Kendall Clarke calculates risk for a living, but never takes any. She likes her drab suits and trite fiance, and has no complaints about either, since her safe and steadfast attitude earns her Actuary of the Year and the prestigious Sharpened Pencil Award. Hours before receiving the award, however, Kendall’s fiance tells her that he’s leaving her for a co-worker … and unborn child. In the midst of trying to keep calm and carry on, Kendall runs into celebrity NASCAR driver Dylan Hargreave. For the first time in her life, Kendall decides to throw caution to the wind and joins Dylan on his racing tour.

The next few weeks are a whirlwind, filled with pre-race kissing rituals, adrenaline-pumping laps and intensified chemistry between Kendall and Dylan. Kendall’s having the time of her life, but knows that eventually all good things must come to an end. When the season is over, she plans to resume her normal ho-hum life. But can Dylan convince her that their pre-race kisses span beyond racing superstitions?

Despite having zero knowledge of and interest in race cars, this book was a speed read (I will not apologize for the pun!). The author paints an elaborate picture of tread-marked race tracks and sweaty, screaming fans that puts the reader right alongside the pit crew. Dylan’s modesty is endearing, while Kendall’s snap judgment spirals into hilarious and awkward situations that make this book a riot to read.

The intimacy between Dylan and Kenall was definitely a slow and steady build-up. I actually enjoyed the fact that the tension between them held up through the majority of the book, because it made their unity that much sweeter and realistic. I’m not sure if a NASCAR story would be the first Harlequin I flocked to, but if it’s anywhere near as entertaining as Speed Dating, it would definitely be worth a try.

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