|When Pamela Britton’s On the Edge arrived in my package of books to review this month, I thought (sarcastically), “Oh good, NASCAR. Never having understood the whole activity, and envisioning days of slogging through technical automotive terms and jargon, I was surprised by what started out as a very good book.
The widowed heroine, Rebecca Newman, is heavily involved in truck and auto racing as she tries to hold together the team built by her deceased husband. She desperately needs a decent driver, though, or her team is going to fall apart. Just days before her team holds open tryouts for new drivers, Rebecca receives a visit from a precocious ten year old, Lindsey Drake. Lindsey has taken a bus, alone, all the way from her home in Kentucky to North Carolina, to ask that Rebecca allow Lindsey’s father to drive for her.
Rebecca meets Adam Drake when he arrives to pick up Lindsey and is instantly smitten. Not only is Adam a nice man and concerned father, but he’s also gorgeous, and a known driver who had done well in the past. The attraction is mutual and it seems that things are off to a nice start when Adam does well in the trials and Rebecca hires him for her team.
Adam and Lindsey are given a new life and a chance to leave their paycheck to paycheck existence, while Rebecca gets a chance to save her husband’s team.
Adam is a great character, a near-perfect romance hero. His life hasn’t been easy, leaving his dreams behind to rear a daughter by himself. He’s loving, kind and strong, with a great depth of character. He also gets to be a hero, Rebecca’s champion, on several different occasions. Adam is unabashedly in love with his daughter and their interaction is an important aspect of the book. He also realizes very quickly that he and Rebecca could have a special relationship and makes no effort to hide his feelings.
Rebecca, on the other hand, is the most annoying heroine to come around the track in some time. She’s put-the-book-down annoying. She’s throw-the-book-across-the-room annoying. Her efforts to keep her relationship with Adam strictly businesslike and platonic were beyond tiresome and went on for most of the book. She shoots herself in the foot on more than one occasion, in the interest of keeping herself true to her husband’s memory. In this effort, she tells a lovely man that she can only be friends with him because intimacy would be unprofessional. She then fires him, although he needs the job and she needs him to drive for her, because she’s not ready to have a relationship with another man yet and Adam seems inclined to push the issue. (That’s not a spoiler, the reader sees it coming from a mile away) The excuses never end, and she never really allows their relationship a chance to build. Why Adam kept trying is a mystery.
The G rating was a surprise. Pretty hot love scenes were expected, such as appear in some of Britton’s earlier work, but other than some kisses physical intimacy was only implied .
There is a lot of racing lingo and car stuff in the book, but it is no where near as intrusive as may be expected, and was quite interesting at times. Until the first kiss, when the reader realizes Rebecca is going to cause problems, On the Edge is a very enjoyable book. Regardless of that pleasant surprise, this book is a “back marker” because Rebecca is a “drag.”