Friday, June 19, 2009

Erin McCarthy - Flat-Out-Sexy

She met him at the racetrack…

…which was the last place Tamara Briggs wanted to find a man. Even a deeply intriguing, seductively sexy man like Elec Monroe. Tamara is a single mother now after losing her daredevil husband in an accident – and she’s not about to get involved with another driver and put her kids or herself, through that again. Besides, Elec is young enough to be her… younger brother.

Now things are moving a little too fast…

But he sure does get her heart racing. And after she is tricked into a blind date with him, Tamara gives in to her passion. Things screech to a halt, though, when he asks to meet her children. Whatever happened to wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am? Suddenly Tamara has to decide how big a risk she’s willing to take to experience the thrilling, terrifying power of true love…”

Last fall I was surfing the net for new releases and both the cover as well as the title Flat-Out Sexy immediately caught my eye, I devoured every pixel of that hot, delicious cover and after I read the synopsis my curiosity was piqued. Contemporary romance does not grace my shelves in abundance so I decided to give this one a try. As soon as I read the first sentence “I’VE met teenage girls with more testosterone than that man has.” I knew I was sold. I literally devoured every page in this fast-paced story and still wanted more when I closed the book.

Flat-Out-sexy has that feel-good vibe that will leave you all warm inside the same way movies like Bridget Jones, Notting Hill and Love Actually do that for you. And just like those movies that you can watch over and over again, this is a story you can read over and over again without getting bored because you crave that feel-good vibe. Erin McCarthy created a very strong and appealing cast of characters, combined it with a passionate romance and set this story against the backdrop of the dynamic world of stock car racing.

So what is it about this story that will make you fall in love with it? The main characters for starters, Tamara (Tammy) and Elec. They are very down-to-earth characters, especially Tammy, she is easy to relate too. She has insecurities that every woman who has children or is 30+ can identify with. Tammy is a widow and mother of two children. Her late husband Pete, a famous stock car driver, died in a wreck over two years ago. She is a strong, smart, independent woman in her early 30’s, but she is no beauty queen. Time and two pregnancies have left their mark on her. But after two difficult years of taking care of her children and work she is ready to start dating again.

But unaware she chooses a man that is safe (boring) and knows nothing of the racing business. And of course he doesn’t light her fire at all. Not even a spark. Leave it up to her best friend Suzanne to point this out not so subtle and that she deserves better. Then at a party Tammy literally bumps into Elec and a hot and sexy one-night-stand follows. Elec Monroe is the rookie. A promising newcomer in the fast world of stock car racing. He is charming, handsome and … six years younger than Tammy.

Elec has deliberately been dating the bimbo-type because he does not want to commit himself to a woman. He has his reasons for this, but he knows that Tammy is the one he has been searching for, now if only he can convince her that he is serious about their blossoming relationship and that he is in it for the long run. Tammy is using the age difference as a shield and also has issues with the fact that he is a driver. But he is patient with her, gentle, fantastic with her kids and they have great sex. The issues they have to overcome are easy to relate to, their conversations are recognizable and they are witty and sassy.

Erin McCarthy knows how to keep your nose deep in the book with a big smile on your face, for she created a strong circle of friends and family to complete this story. They do not steal the spotlight for McCarthy knows how to balance her story but they certainly enrich it, add to the feel-good vibe. The Monroe family and Tammy’s in-laws are all loving and caring but you will fall head over heels in love with the close circle of friends that surrounds Tammy and Elec. Erin McCarthy introduces us to future main characters Ryder and Ty, they are both drivers and are hunk-a-licious!! They enjoy the good life, are loyal to their friends and add a lot of humor to this story, I can’t wait to read their own stories. Then you also have Tammy’s friends Suzanne and Imogen. The three of them discuss literally everything and their conversations reminded me of Carrie and her friends of Sex and the City.

The plot is simple, woman meets man, they fall in love and have to overcome several obstacles. Erin McCarthy does a fine job at outlining the world of stock car racing including the groupies who follow the drivers everywhere, only in the racing business they are called pit lizards. And of course one of them causes great trouble for Elec and Tammy. Throughout the story I was really rooting for Elec and Tammy to have their HEA. Their love scenes are spine tingling and hot, sometimes they were also funny. What I also like is that Erin McCarthy lets Tammy’s children play their part in the story, but it does not affect the sensuality of the story at all. The characters are rounded and the end was exactly as I hoped for.

I enjoyed every minute reading Flat-Out-Sexy, this story has easily become one of my favorite stories. It is a funny, feel-good, emotional and sexy read. Erin McCarthy’s writing is fluent, fast-paced and easy to read. The characters are down-to-earth, fleshed-out and utterly enchanting. Erin McCarthy has written a fabulous contemporary romance that suited all my needs. Hard and Fast is part two in this series and I can’t wait to dive into that story.

All I can say is that Flat-Out-Sexy is really a Flat-Out-Sexy read!!

4,5 stars