Trashy Read #7: Flat-Out Sexy, by Erin McCarthy
Race car drivers have never really done anything for me. Until now. Let's just say that Erin McCarthy's contemporary romance, Flat-Out Sexy, lived up to its name.
The book is quite simple and doesn't really have much of an external plot. Tamara Briggs, the widow of a dead stock car racer and a single mom, meets the hot and younger driver Elec Monroe, and they have a steamy night together before a race. However, they both soon fall in love with each other and get over a couple of personal issues to find love together. That's it.
Although her writing wasn't anything special, McCarthy shows a flair for creating inviting characters. Tamara and Elec are genuinely good people who are extremely mature in comparison to most characters in the romance genre, who tend to be overly defensive and jealous. As problems arise, Tamara and Elec deal with them like two kind-hearted adults, which is exactly what they are. They're sweet together, and McCarthy inserts Tamara's two kids into the mix without shifting the focus too much. This is one of the few romance novels I've ever encountered where I really just enjoyed seeing the characters as a couple, hanging out and attempting to understand one another. The whole relationship was handled very well.
But my real reason for liking this book is much more shallow. Quite frankly, Elec Monroe is one of the hottest romance heroes I've encountered in a long time. I might like most romance heroes I encounter (since I'm such a picky reader), but I actually had an out-and-out crush on Elec. First off, he's super good-looking, and McCarthy gives him warm brown eyes instead of the boring blue orbs most romance writers saddle men with. But under all that, he's also just super-sweet and quiet and careful. He doesn't take overly big risks, and he hates the spotlight. With Tamara and her kids, he's gentle and never pushy. Overall, he's the kind of awesomely great guy you see so rarely in real life. Hell, even his name is hot!
Anyway, overall, I'd totally recommend this one to anyone who likes contemporary romance or racing. I was impressed.
Note: There's a "sequel" about two of this book's minor characters titled Hard and Fast. I gave up after about 50 pages. It seemed like it'd be an okay book, I just wasn't feeling it the way I did with this one.