One Sweet Ride
by Jaci Burton
(Sensation, $15, NC-17) ISBN 978-0425-25338-0
***
This is a good erotic romance novel in many ways. Unfortunately it is coupled with a rather mundane story line that is slow and tired at times. For those who have read Jaci Burton's other stories in her Play by Play novels, this may be more than satisfactory. For me, it was simply average.

Gray Preston is a race car driver and a good one; so good in fact, he used an inheritance from his grandfather to build his own two car team. He loves to race and is working towards the stock car championship this year if all goes well. Gray is the son of Senator Mitchell Preston. He and his father are estranged, primarily because Gray felt his father cared more about politics than about his children. He hasn't spoken to his dad in months and has no intention of changing that, even though the Senator is in the hunt for the Vice-Presidency.

Evelyn Hill is the Senator's aide and has been a key media strategist for him for the last several years. He needs national exposure and Evelyn is convinced that his son can help expand his constituency with the stock car fan base. Evelyn has been given the task of convincing Gray to help his father.

Evelyn is a beauty and Gray and she hit if off immediately in the attraction department. When Evelyn doesn't take no for an answer and uses Gray's mother to influence him in helping, that does not endear her to him. But proximity and their naturally open personalities allow them to get to know each other but in and out of bed. Love soon follows, although each is too stubborn to understand that.

The story plods along from race to race, but their interactions continue to run the gamut from hot sex to an argument where one or both leave to sulk. I found this type of interplay tiresome after a while. The plotline about Gray and his father was too conventional and the misunderstanding unoriginal. They eventually make up but it happens fairly quickly and without much soul-searching. It felt too spontaneous, given the number of years of estrangement. Evelyn is a difficult person to gauge, as she is at times strong minded and at others very vulnerable. Gray is a macho alpha male who overthinks and often acts a bit immature. Ultimately they do well together and the HEA is fine to see.

One Sweet Ride is an erotic novel that meets the criteria for hot lusty sex and a modicum of romance. It does not break any barriers and ends up being an average entry into the genre.

--Shirley Lyons


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