REVIEW: Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 13:00
Posted in category Review

book cover Limecello’s review of Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley 3 Aug 10

I love Erin McCarthy. Erin McCarthy is awesome. I don’t like NASCAR – and yet I love this series. It’s not something I can think about too much. I suppose it helps that the books don’t focus too much on the heroes being drivers, but at the same time it does. There are basic aspects of life that affect how they act, their schedules, and so on. It’s not a gimmick, but it doesn’t take over the story as well. In fact, Ms. McCarthy incorporates what the heroes do better than many general romances. (Can you tell I’m hesitating calling them athletes? But I know that’s what they are and that it’s incredibly difficult. It’s just… NASCAR.) Anyway, there were certain lines, paragraphs, and so on that made me stop reading and just bask in the loveliness. I wanted to just roll around in the wonderful words and sentiments.

Suzanne is a fantastic character. She’s smart, fun, loving, but has this crazy hard shell around her. She’s also someone who doesn’t process with others, and internalizes. I can, yet can’t identify with her, and I like that. Suz is extremely pragmatic, and takes everything in stride except for her personal life, where she wants and expects more. Lucky for her, she’s the heroine in a romance novel, and she gets it. Suz is also very likable and has quite a temper. I appreciated that, and found it gave her many more layers. She also brazened out any number of situations, yet dealt with some very trying people with kindness.

Ryder is adorable. I want to say he’s an idiot, and he is, but he isn’t. It’s simply inconceivable to him that Suzanne wouldn’t know how much he loves and adores her. He saw Suz and fell for her from day one. His friends see it, and he just makes the assumption that she knows. After all, they were married for four years. The sticking point is that Ryder doesn’t exactly tell her. That, and the circumstances of their marriage could be considered suspect. To Ryder, that doesn’t matter. He’s caring, sweet, sullen, hot, and … well just a guy. Ryder for sure isn’t perfect, and definitely lived his own life while he was [divorced] – but that also helps make him that much more realistic.

Suz and Ryder have major communication problems. Normally this really annoys me when characters could resolve their issues and conflict much earlier in a book. In fact, that’s one of my pet peeves. However, it makes sense here, and works. (So basically I’m opposed to baseless extended conflict.) In Hot Finish it actually wouldn’t have made sense or been believable for Suz and Ryder to talk out their problems. Fancy that. I was fine with Suz and Ryder dancing around their issues and being unwilling to bring up the sticky difficult topics.

And you know, they both thought they had been divorced for two years as well.

This book was sexy, fun, amusing, and the characters had definite personality. After the first few chapters I felt I’d have known who was talking/what characters were in each scene even if names hadn’t been mentioned. (Although I’m definitely not suggesting that is what should happen in the future.) I’m having trouble writing this review because I just want to be mushy and frivolous. Really it’s a fantastic summer read. Who am I kidding. Spring, winter, fall, all great times to read this book. Then read it again.

And… lest you think my brain has gone mushy from all this squishy happiness… I have to say while I might not have it entirely down… (if I’m right) I hate the premise/concept of the next book. The heroine I think is a gossip blogger. And… blech. Blargh. Meh. Ugh. Not to say I won’t read it. I will. Very likely I’ll even love the story (I hope to) but… blech.

I’m going to be eagerly awaiting Evan’s book. He’s the eternal bachelor, so he’s going to fall hard. But we’re talking about Suz and Ryder. And their romance. And it was fantastic. It might just be my favorite of this series. Go out and buy it. Really. Get your hands on a copy. Now.

LimecelloGrade: A+

Summary:

Not all marriages last forever!

Suzanne Jefferson is broke, which is why she’s given up charity work for wedding planning. Fortunately, she has a high-profile client,and best of all, he’s paid in advance. There are just two teensy problems: The bride is a bona fide bridezilla, and Suzanne’s ex-husband is the best man. At least she thought he was her ex-husband!

But this one might…

Two years after their marriage fell apart, stock car race driver Ryder Jefferson still can’t stop thinking about Suzanne. Which is why he isn’t too upset that, due to a glitch, the two are still technically married. Now he’s imagining easing Suzanne’s woes by satisfying her needs in the bedroom. After all, that’s the one room they never argued in. Besides, with wedding bells ringing all around them, Ryder is wondering if,even though they’d quit the race a few laps too early,they can still come on strong with a big, romantic finish!

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

Book Cover

Book Cover

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