Monday, November 9, 2009

THRILL OF THE CHASE by Christina Crooks

Publisher: Five Star Expressions
Date published: November 2007
ISBN 978-1594146701
Contemporary Romance
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by Lil

In Big Red's Auto Performance Shop, Sarah Matell isn't just the owner's tomboy daughter who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty; she is the very capable head technician who considers the shop to be practically hers. Her true love, however, is racing. She also has had a long running crush on local drag race hero Craig Keller. He may be mentor and general pal but his focus is firmly on the track sluts that fling themselves his way.

Sarah's dad Red hires in Gordon Devine as the new supervisor for the shop since he feels the need to bring in someone with business acumen to run things for when he retires. Having grown up in poverty, Gordon has steadily worked toward wealth and security. He knows this job is an important opportunity and a big step closer to his goals.

When buttoned down businessman meets the grubby grease monkey he considers to have had all she ever wanted handed to her on a plate, sparks of temper and dislike fly. They get to know each other with a growing respect, each learning that there is more to the other than they first thought.

Sarah is intent on catching Craig's eye, even considering dipping her toe in feminine norms while continuing with her passion in racing. But it isn't only Craig's attention which is caught.

This is a well-developed and unusual romance story. Each character seems so authentic that you could imagine going down to the shop and actually meeting them. The background of cars and racing is written with detail and enthusiasm so that one begins to feel bitten by the bug, too. This is quite the feat considering that yours truly is severely technically challenged and has no penchant for speed.

Our heroine is extremely personable and it was with pleasure to read of such a strong female. Sarah is not about to imitate those women who are the other kind of fast just to catch her guy though she may allow for a few changes to distinguish her from the guys. It is fun to watch as she strives for balance in this regard. She demands to be esteemed as an equal. Her stubborn quality may lead her astray, but Sarah is not someone who can be kept down.

Racing buddy, Craig Keller, may be a bit of a playboy but he isn't as shallow and selfish as could be dismissed. He is a handsome, highly competitive guy, who once hurt is unwilling to be in a vulnerable position again.

Gordon matches the boss's daughter for stubborn and he is determined to succeed in his future plans. He is also smart, honorable, as compassionate as he is stern, and has a sense of humor.

To find out if Sarah gets her guy or whether the guy she gets isn't the one she was originally longing for you will have to read the book. Let me tell you now that the fun is in the THRILL OF THE CHASE.


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