Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015 TBR CHALLENGE REVIEW: "Flat-Out Sexy" by Erin McCarthy

Flat-Out Sexy (Fast Track, #1)
Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy
(Fast Track #1)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Contemporary Romance

Berkley -- Published in 2008
Paperback, 291 pages
Read in April 2015
Received from Paperback Swap

THEMES/TROPES
Sports, Younger Man/Older Woman, Beta Hero

SUMMARY
Independent single mother Tamara Briggs wanted to find a new, sexy, no-strings-attached man--just not one as young as NASCAR driver Elec Monroe. But he sure does get her heart racing. And after she’s tricked into a blind date with him, Tamara gives in to her passion. Things screech to a halt, though, when he asks to meet her children. Whatever happened to wham-bam-thank-you ma’am? Suddenly Tamara has to decide how much risk she’s willing to take to experience the power of true love.

FIRST LINE
"I've met teenage girls with more testosterone than that man has."

MY THOUGHTS
Read for the 2015 TBR Challenge--April--Contemporary.  The challenge is hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian.  

Why I Chose It For My TBR Challenge Read: I got Flat-Out Sexy through Paperback Swap in May of 2012.  I requested it because of my interest in sports-themed romance and because I had seen the Fast Track series praised on other blogs.  Then other books got in the way and this book was unceremoniously shoved to the back of the TBR shelf.  So I decided to pull it from the depths and give it a try for this month's challenge.

Flat-Out Sexy is the first book in the Fast Track series and tells the story of a single mother who is getting back in the dating scene after her husband's tragic death in a race car accident.  Tamara Briggs is an independent and intelligent woman who is thrown for a loop when she meets rookie Elec Monroe at a party.  She decides to just embrace her fling with the twenty-five year old driver, but things quickly serious and she is forced to figure out whether to chance a new relationship with someone so young and in a dangerous profession.

I really liked Tamara and Elec.  They are very likable people who are equally befuddled by their strong feelings for one another.  Tamara is used to the NASCAR scene so Elec's fame doesn't faze her and he appreciates her mature outlook on life.  For her part, Tamara is understandably hesitant to get into a relationship with Elec, but is attracted to his generosity and his single-minded pursuit of her affections though it never goes into stalking territory.  I love it when characters are so well-matched and spend time together...other than in the bedroom though that happens alot in this book.

With this being the first in a series, readers are also introduced to other characters who are mostly associated with NASCAR.  My particular favorites were Imogen (Tamara's shy graduate assistant who develops a crush on Elec's teammate), Eve (Elec's sister and PR rep), and especially Suzanne and Ryder (former couple who have clearly not gotten over each other yet).  I thought Erin McCarthy did a good job introducing everyone without ever taking the spotlight off  Elec and Tamara.  It was also fun to read about Tamara's kids who were adorable without being precocious and scene-stealing.

If I had to pick one issue, I would say it would be some of the subplots which were left hanging.  In particular, I am thinking of the one "pit lizard" (not a fan of that moniker, but that is how she is described in the book) Crystal who is obsessed with Elec and is determined to get him into her bed.  I understood that she was representative of the types of women that Elec was surrounded by before meeting the love of his life, but I thought her involvement in the book was uninspired.  She would pop in and out at random times and then, when something big happened on the Crystal front, nothing was resolved on the page.  There also was some minor discussion of a feud between the Briggs and Monroe racing families, but that seemed to peter out quickly.

All in all, I did find Flat-Out Sexy to be easy to get into and enjoyable.  I was rooting hard for Elec and Tamara to reveal their feelings and it was a wonderful journey to that moment.  I am sad that I left this book live on my TBR shelf for so long, but I'll definitely be checking out more in the Fast Track series in the future.



4 STARS


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Flat-Out Sexy
2. Hard and Fast
3. Hot Finish
4. The Chase
4.5. Take Me Home
5. Slow Ride
6. Jacked Up
7. Full Throttle
8. Final Lap 

OTHER REVIEWS
All About Romance (B+)
Dear Author (B+)
AudioGals (B)

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- LibraryThing -- BookLikes -- Shelfari
Author Website -- Publisher Website -- WorldCat

WHERE TO BUY
Amazon -- Barnes & Noble -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- Audible

14 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this series or author before, but now I am curious. I like that she's older. My mother is older than my dad (not by a lot, though) and I like to see that in novels, too.

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    1. I think you would enjoy it! Apparently, McCarthy does anthologies with Lori Foster whom I know you love.

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  2. I wasn't the reviewer for this one over at AAR, but I have had my eye on this book, too. I'm not a big sports romance reader, but this one sounds like it could be interesting even for a non-Nascar fan.

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    1. It was a lot of fun! I am a casual racing fan, but I don't think it is necessary to enjoy the story.

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  3. Is it weird that I am not sure whether I have a print copy of this book buried somewhere in the humongous TBR mountain range?

    Like you, I've heard many good things about the series in general, and even though I have zero interest in sports, I have a vague memory of being swayed by all the praise. I just may have to look for it one of these days, preferably when the reading mojo is a bit stronger.

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    1. This poor book was shoved in the back of my TBR shelf and I actually forgot I had it until late last year when I moved and had to box up all of my books...not an easy task.

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    2. I'll be honest and say I hope to stay in this house until they carry me out in a box--there's no way I could move all those books again!

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  4. How much is the age gap? I confess I tend to not enjoy stories with older women/younger man much, even if it's not a big difference (more than 1 year already puts me off, sorry).
    But the way you spoke makes me want to read...but that age difference....

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    1. I think it is six years? Elec is twenty-five and I think Tamara is thirty or thirty-one. I usually don't look for books with that type of age difference, but I thought it worked for this one. It provides some conflict for the couple.

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    2. Thank you for replying... Six years is a lot, I'll skip this one.

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  5. Oh, I've had this book and few others from the series in my TBR for a long, long time! I didn't remember them. . . thanks for the reminder. I'll have to look through my TBR shelves and place them where I can see them. :)

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    1. I used to try to move the books on my TBR around so that I could see the ones that were shoved in the back, but I'm not as good about that nowadays. Oh the trials of being book lovers!

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  6. Aw yay. I love this series. It's really a fun one. My favorite I think is book 2 or 3? It's Ty and Imogen's book. Been so long I don't remember which one it was in the order but gah loved it. Glad to see you had a good time with this one :)

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    1. I think Ty and Imogen are book 2. I loved their first meeting in this one with Ty having issues pronouncing her name. I'll definitely be on the look-out for it at the library now.

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