Monday, March 23, 2009

Review: Flat-Out Sexy

Title: Flat-Out Sexy
Author: Erin McCarthy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fast Track/Book 1
Published: November 2008

The life as the wife of a race car driver is exciting, terrifying and lonely. Tamara Briggs has experienced all of these emotions. She also experienced a devastating loss when her husband, race car driver Pete Briggs, was killed in a crash two years ago. Since then she has kept busy being both mother and father to her two children. Her job as a professor at a local university also requires much of her time. When she tries to venture back into the dating world her first try is an absolute fail. Then on the heels of that failure comes the man of her dreams, the newest rookie driver. If only Tamara hadn't sworn off relationships with drivers.

I'd heard a lot of talk about this book and the hotness of it. The talk was dead on and the hotness went from simmer, steam, slow burn to all out 5 alarm fire. This was a funny, sexy, emotional read that I really enjoyed. I've never been interested in any type of race car driving so it was intriguing to read about the lifestyle and how it affects not only the drivers but their families. I'm not sure how much research Ms. McCarthy did on the racing world but I do feel like I have a better understanding of what all the excitement is for the world of racing.

The heroine in Flat-Out Sexy is a widowed mom of two in her early thirties. One thing a really liked about Tamara is that she acted her age. She had her teaching career and kids to take care of and those were her priorities. McCarthy did a good job working the kids into the story without having them being annoying or simply window decorations. Tamara was fortunate that she had a close relationship with her in-laws even after her husband's death. They helped her with her kids so she was able to have a separate social life. She still felt some guilt about leaving her kids with the in-laws and didn't take advantage of them which was another positive aspect of her character. Tamara did have a few hang ups. The first about the age difference between her and rookie driver Elec. He was 25, almost 26, and she was 32. I personally don't see a problem and neither did Elec but Tamara did. I think the age issue was at least partially an excuse she used to not get close with Elec and develop any kind of deep relationship with him. Her other hang up was her body and that she didn't think it measured up to the bodies of younger women, women that hung out at the track and would love to date Elec. Were her hang ups about her body genuine? To her they were and that's what counts. Elec saw Tamara's body in a different light, not focusing on what Tamara perceived as flaws but on the whys of them. He set out to show her that he loved how she looked and she didn't need to feel insecure with him.

Smart, sexy, good looking and funny describe Elec Monroe. He comes from a racing family, it's in his blood. So when he meets Tamara at a racing function he knows of her but had only met her once before, back when he was a teenager and she was a newly married woman. I think that's what stuck in Tamara's head when she realized she had met him before. It was up to Elec to help Tamara realize that he wasn't that goofy teen but a grown man. Elec's an interesting character, he has all this prestige of not only coming from a racing dynasty but he's a young, hot race car driver with women dying to meet him and hook up with him. He's not by any means innocent and has had his share of women but he doesn't connect with any of them until Tamara. He wants to get to know her and spend time with her, not just in bed but out. Talking and hanging out with her and her kids. She, unfortunately doesn't want anything more from him than a one night stand. Life's ironic like that. Good thing for Tamara is that Elec is stubborn and continues to woo her and show her that he is more than just a gorgeous young stud. He was also adorable during his inner dialogues when trying to decide what his next move would be with Tamara. The poor man had a habit of over-thinking. Very funny.

The relationship and it's development between Elec and Tamara came across as very genuine. They certainly had their problems. First is the simple logistics of getting together without anyone else knowing. Elec's racing schedule kept him on the road for most of the week and Tamara was determined that they not be seen in public. Then Tamara began to realize that she was falling for Elec which scared the crap out of her. She was understandably terrified of getting involved with another driver. There were also some family issue that had to be addressed and overcome. I really liked how McCarthy handled the problems, there were obstacles that I could see real people in the same situation having to deal with. There wasn't this feeling of "we're having amazingly great sex so everything else will work out". The problems were still there to be worked out after the having of the amazing sex. And those scenes were smoking!

The other thing about this book that I totally and completely enjoyed was the humor. It was, at times, truly laugh out loud funny. The dialogue between not only Elec and his buddies but Tamara and her BFF Suzanne cracked me up. On page two Suzanne makes a comment about a "metrosexual man" and "waxed balls" and I couldn't help but wonder if this was setting the tone for the rest of the book and was that necessarily a bad thing? Then I got to thinking about waxing and how it seems like the firmer the area being waxed the easier the waxing and how... well, how many men would really do that? The book was not only funny but got me thinking about some really odd things.

I mentioned Suzanne, Tamara's BFF. Suzanne is also the ex-wife of one of the drivers, Ryder who is friends with Elec. The race world is a close knit family, where everyone knows everyone. Suzanne and Ryder still have some heat between them and I do hope they get their own book.

Overall a very enjoyable and entertaining read. Definitely recommend it. The next book in the series is Hard and Fast and features racer car driver Ty McCordle and Imogen Wilson who is a graduate student and teaching assistant of Tamara's. Ty and Imogen meet briefly in Flat-Out Sexy and there is definitely a spark between the two. Ms. McCarthy has a fun website with details on all her books. Be sure to use the Mix It Up!! feature when checking out her site.

Rating: A-


  1. I really enjoyed this one, too, even though I had a hard time with the hero's name (was it short for Electricity? ;))

    I also hope Suzanne gets her own book. I loved her

    Great review.

  2. Great book right? :) Great review as well, Leslie :)

    I think that everything was well handled in this book. The relationship between H/H and Elec and the kids :)

    Me think that Suzanne will get back with Ryder :D In the meantime, I can't wait for Ty and Imogen's book!

  3. Jessica ~ the name, I have no idea. It was an odd one.

    I'd love to have a friend like Suzanne. She was great!

  4. Nath ~ I'm hoping Suzanne and Ryder get a book after Ty and "Emma Jean" lol I want to know why Suzanne and Ryder divorced.