Contemporary romance lovers will be closing the covers of Drive Me
Wild with a big smile on their faces. Julie Ortolon's debut book is a
delight from start to finish.
Television Anchor Brent Michaels is startled to get a phone call from his
Texas hometown. Will he come back home and be the star attraction in a
version of The Dating Game, all in the name of charity? His first
instinct is to say no, but he can't refuse an old friend -- and the voice on
the other end of the line belongs to Laura Morgan, the only person in
Beason's Ferry he ever cared about. Before he can examine his motives too
closely, Brent agrees to be the celebrity bachelor.
Laura Beth Morgan can hardly believe what she's done. After years of a
pallid existence under her widowed father's roof, she's managed to do
something outrageous -- drag Brent Michael Zartlich back home. He was the
boy she loved as a teenager, but the man is someone she doesn't know.
Could he possibly see her as anything but the gawky girl he left behind
fifteen years ago?
When Brent deliberately picks Laura from the Dating Game lineup,
events are set in motion that will bring these two close once again. Laura
grabs this chance to let loose and their dinner date moves from stuffy
country club to poolhall to drag race on a backroad. Brent is astonished
to discover a side of Laura he never knew as a boy, one that is as
fascinating as it is irresistible. Their instant attraction flares up in
the front seat of his car, of all places, and when Brent pulls back and out
of her life, Laura decides to go after him. Time to leave Beason's Ferry
for Houston and a taste of the city. Complete with Brent Michaels.
What ensues is an affair hot enough to scorch the pages, as Brent finds he
can't live without Laura, and Laura tries to make him see what they could
Ortolon's writing style is reminiscent of Jennifer Crusie and Rachel Gibson
in some aspects. Certainly the dialogue is a standout. Laura Beth, for
all that she's been somewhat trapped in Beason's Ferry, is no shrinking
violet when it comes to her attraction to Brent. As she throws off her
father's disapproval and sets out to try a different life for herself,
readers will find themselves responding with a mental "Yes!"
In fact, her father's immersion in grief for twenty years, and the
subsequent explanation at the end, were the only things in the story that
didn't quite ring true. I was glad to see that the father didn't occupy a
Brent, for all that he's wrapped himself in a cloak of "love 'em and leave
'em", is surprisingly sweet. This is a man who truly believes he cannot
love, that all the good feelings he has toward Laura are only temporary in
nature, and beneath all that there is a longing for the real thing. If
he'd only recognize it. Is this a real love? Or will it, too, become just
another passing fancy? How can he trust himself to know? All he knows for
certain is that he cannot seem to live without the happiness that Laura
Beth Morgan brings to his life, and he'll do just about anything to keep
her in it.
Readers who like their stories with some sensual spice will not be
disappointed. Ortolon proves that she can write a steamy love scene with
the best of them. This romance sizzles.
Hats off to a bright new voice in the contemporary romance field. Drive
Me Wild is going to do just that to a lot of romance readers!