December 1, 2009

Release date: December 1, 2009
They might call her a force of nature, but becoming a national NASCAR driver took guts and hard work. And Shelly Green's race is only beginning. She needs a sponsor—someone who believes in her. But stylish, sophisticated Damon Tieri seems an unlikely choice. The handsome Ivy League banker lives in a world far different from hers….

Damon knows how badly Shelly needs this high-profile sponsorship. He admires her fighting spirit and her tempting blend of sweet and sexy. Yet putting his money behind her is the easy part. What will it take to get the driven competitor to trust in him? To give him the chance to finish first—with her?

Even though I have read a few category romances lately I have never written a full review for a category romance before (I plan to write a few mini-reviews on them) but there's a first time for everything and I must say Kristina Cook's FORCE OF NATURE is a perfect book for a first category romance review. Car racing fascinates me and I'm addicted to reading romance novels. This makes the NASCAR backdrop combined with this romance an ideal read!

FORCE OF NATURE is the 11th installment in the multi-author Harlequin NASCAR series: Hidden Legacy. It tells the story of Shelly Green, a female NASCAR driver, driving in the Nationwide Series but aspiring a seat in the Sprint Cup Series. In able to get that seat, she needs a sponsor who will provide funds for a second team car. Pebble Valley Winery owner Steve Clayton and his business partner Damon Tieri are looking for a "face" for the winery and Shelly has been on their radar. Then Shelly decides to take a chance and go directly to Steve Clayton to plead her case and reel in the sponsorship. Instead of Steve, she encounters Damon at the winery and sparks fly from the moment they meet. Unfortunately those sparks complicate the matter of the sponsorship and Damon and Shelly must now find a way to come to terms with their mutual attraction and solve the sponsorship thing without causing speculations.

Damon and Shelly are total opposites both in background and in personality but they have their drive and determination in common. Damon is a successful businessman, he is cautious and oozes quiet charm. Outwardly he seems quite happy with his life but inside he longs to break free from his family's expectations and wishes. He has fallen into a routine and Shelly brings in a fresh wind that sets his world upside down.
Shelly is successful NASCAR driver, she's impulsive, competitive, vivacious, sharp-witted and outspoken. She has a personality that draws people to her like a magnet and had this effect on me as a reader too. Her childhood was far from easy with a runaway dad and an alcoholic mother who wasn't really there for her but she has fought her way to success regardless.

For a relatively short book there was a lot going on and there were quite a few secondary characters. Most of them were likeable characters and even Shelly's mom, who was selfish, annoying and immature and whom I really didn't like for most part of the book, got her act together and earned my sympathy in the end. I loved the team surrounding Shelly and am curious to know more about some of the characters who have their own stories in this series.

FORCE OF NATURE is a lovely, fast-paced read with likeable, excellently fleshed out characters and a plot that was very well written considering the limited page count. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was perfect for a few hours of reading. I read it in almost one sitting because I really liked Shelly and Damon and couldn't tear myself away from their story. It was so fast-paced I just flew through the pages and before I knew it I was at the end. It was an ending exactly how I like them: really sweet and a little bit emotional. The writing is fluent, crisp and snappy. And even though there are no real explicit steamy scenes I can't say I missed them. The characters, the instant attraction and the developing feelings between them satisfied my love for romance and I am definitely ready for more of Ms. Cook's contemporary writing.

If you love NASCAR and you love romance, with FORCE OF NATURE Kristina Cook gives you a book that will fit perfectly into your reading needs!

Rating: 8.0 out of 10


Marissa said...

Pearl another great review! I love NASCAR thanks to Erin McCarthy, I love romance so this story is right up my alley!

Smokinhotbooks said...

OMG my husband loves Nascar or as I like to call it Napcar. I will have to read this in honor of my husband's Sunday obsession :)

Great Review!

Leontine said...

I remember these kind of series from my Harlequin reading days and I always enjoyed them. I still need to find my way to this topic within the romance and after reading your review Pearl I'm keeping FORCE OF NATURE in mind to join Erin McCarthy as reads for this topic ;)

Mandi said...

I don't know if I could read a Nascar romance..I probably shouldn't say that until I try one...Nice review!

Blodeuedd said...

I sure know nothing about Nascar, but hey I will give everything a chance, especially since it got romance

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

I have one of Kristina Cook's book.. and it is in the anthology of Winter's Desire. I have yet to get to that one... But I can not wait! Thanks for your review on this one!! Great job!
I hope you are having a wonderful day my friend!

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On My TBR Shelf

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