I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy
Series: Fast Track #5
Published by Penguin on 2011-10-04
Reviewed by Shayna
As a tribute to her late journalist father, Tuesday Jones is planning a career benefit, auctioning off racing memorabilia and meet-and-greets with drivers. Ex-racing star Diesel Lange has had his own brush with death, and is determined not to waste another minute of his life- especially when he meets Tuesday. He wants nothing more than to shift their romance into high gear, but he knows she's still grieving. Can Diesel do the one thing he could never do on the track and take it slow?
The stock car racing world knows her as the sassy Tuesday Talladega, but journalist Tuesday Jones isn’t feeling like her spunky self. She recently lost her father to cancer and the grief is almost too much for her to bear. At a party to celebrate her best friend’s recent wedding, Tuesday is determined to put on a good front. And surprisingly enough, she meets a man who makes her feel alive and happy once more.
Daniel “Diesel” Lange knows what it is to lose someone he cares about. The former racing star has not only lost family members, he’s lost his passion now that his career is over due to a terrible accident on the track that shattered his knee. But in Tuesday, Diesel finds passion once more. The brazen beauty is everything Diesel wants but is she more than he can handle?
Don’t be fooled by the title in Slow Ride Tuesday and Diesel fall in love faster than a stock car driver takes the final lap of a race. There aren’t many obstacles in Tuesday and Diesel’s path and the ones that are there are created by Tuesday herself, so a good author like Erin McCarthy can make this kind of lightning fast love story work.
It’s easy to see why Tuesday falls for Diesel the man’s damn near perfect without being a cardboard character. Diesel is sexy, patient, and generous with his time, money, and heart. I fell head over heels for him and he might just be my favorite hero of Ms. McCarthy’s to date. The only thing that confused me about Diesel is why he fell in love with Tuesday. The fact that they’re total opposites wasn’t the problem. I just couldn’t see what it was Diesel loved about her. I actually liked Tuesday in the beginning of Slow Ride. She’d just lost her father to cancer and my heart broke for her. I even understood her unwise decision to self-medicate with alcohol until it turned into self-destruction. Tuesday spends a good portion of Slow Ride drunk and that’s where I lost my patience with her. It’s not Ms. McCarthy showing Tuesday’s downward spiral that irritated me, but rather the fact that Tuesday is the most obnoxious drunk I’ve ever had the displeasure to read about. She simply gets more and more selfish and annoying and it isn’t until thirteen pages from the end of the book that she figures out she has an actual alcohol problem and needs help (to cope with loss and her alcohol abuse, not for her selfishness). To make matters worse, Diesel and Kendall (Tuesday’s best friend) make excuses and enable Tuesday’s bad behavior. Just like in her last Fast Track book, The Chase, Ms. McCarthy doesn’t leave enough room at the end of the book to satisfactorily resolve a major issue. Banter, sex, and fighting between hero and heroine are all well and good, but if there’s a major problem or plot twist in the story, it’s just not plausible to have that wrapped up in ten pages or less.
Speaking of The Chase, for the readers who were dissatisfied with the baby plot twist in that story, Ms. McCarthy addresses it in Slow Ride. I was one of the many readers who hated that particular plotline in The Chase and while I don’t pretend to know what Ms. McCarthy was thinking, it felt like she was attempting to backtrack with how she “resolved” the storyline. I won’t spoil how she solved Evan’s baby dilemma, but I will say that the outcome rang false.
Slow Ride is the fifth book in Ms. McCarthy’s Fast Track series, but it can be read as a standalone. Those who’ve read the previous books will likely be pleased to revisit their favorite couples in Slow Ride. Having lovedFlat-Out Sexy, Hard and Fast, and Hot Finish, revisiting these pairs was a real treat for me. One scene with Ryder and Suzanne (of Hot Finish) actually stole the whole book for me.
Slow Ride is a bit of an uneven book. It starts out strong and then fizzles out, so it’s not my favorite book of Ms. McCarthy’s. Still, I loved Diesel and revisiting some of her other Fast Track characters reminded me why I fell in love with this series. I haven’t given up on Ms. McCarthy yet, and here’s hoping that the Fast Track series gets back on track with the next book, Jacked Up.