Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review: Hard and Fast

Title: Hard and Fast
Author: Erin McCarthy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fast Track/Book 2
Published: May 2009
ARC Review

From the author's website ~

An experiment in romance…

New to Charlotte, stock car racing country, graduate student Imogen Wilson meets Ty McCordle, a driver who inexplicably has her pulse racing. After an encounter at the track with a woman whose main goal in life is to marry a driver, Imogen realizes she’s hit on the perfect thesis for her Sociology degree. If she follows The Rules on how to get a man, can she steer her way to into the hearts of the drivers and establish their dating—and mating—patterns?

That’s testing the limits of passion.

Although sexy and reckless Ty is the ideal test subject, she knows she can’t pursue him for the sake of science. Yet he’s the one who’s chasing after her, and Imogen realizes that she actually wants to be caught. A southern gentleman like Ty won’t fail to disappoint, will satisfy all her curiosity—and make all the risks worthwhile…

This is the second book in the Fast Track series and while I didn't like it quite as much as the first, Flat-Out Sexy, (read my review here) it was still an enjoyable read. I found the hero, Ty, very likable and a well developed character. Imogen...hmmm. She wasn't quite as likable for me. While I didn't necessarily dislike her she has a tendency to talk a lot! Have you ever met someone or known someone who had this need to say whatever it is they're thinking? She's kind of like that. She has a very inquisitive nature and has an overwhelming need to ask questions and comment about what is going on around her, including sex. Which is fine up to a point. The point being where she needed to just be quiet and enjoy being with Ty.

Ty and Imogen: aka The Odd Couple

Two pieces of a puzzle that didn't seem to fit together - at first. On the surface, they had the mutual physical attraction going on but that was about it. Imogen is all into knowledge from books and asking questions while Ty tends to get his knowledge from experience. Imogen even thought of herself as "an observer instead of a participant". Ty, on the other hand, learned how to drive by getting behind the wheel and just doing it. You could say Ty epitomizes the NIKE slogan.

Ty and Imogen actually met briefly in the first book of the series, Flat-Out Sexy. Ty is a race car driver and good friends with Elec Monroe. Imogen is a grad student who is a friend and colleague of Tamara Briggs. So when Hard and Fast starts, a relationship of sorts has already begun between these two. Imogen believes that her reason for being around Ty is purely research for her thesis. Ty is more than willing to introduce Imogen to the racing world. He's very attracted to her and wants to spend time with her any way he can. He is able to not only show her how the world of professional racing works but he also exposes her to new experiences. Camping, for one. This may not seem like a big deal but it really helped Imogen break out of her shell, so to speak, and become more involved rather than sitting on the sidelines, taking notes.

The Sex Scenes...

Ty, Ty, Ty. Ladies he is the "go to" man. I don't think I've ever read a book where the man enjoyed performing oral sex as often or as much as Ty did. It was like Imogen had a homing device down there and Ty was being pulled in by an invisible tractor beam. My, my but that man certainly enjoyed feasting on Imogen. Ty was a very sensual, inventive lover and Imogen was willing to try almost anything.

There were a couple of odd moments after and during the sex scenes. The first was after Ty and Imogene had sex and they then cuddled up together on the bed and went to sleep. No mention was made of Ty going in the bathroom and disposing of the condom. Then they wake up the next morning and end up the 69 position. This is after some kissing and fondling. No mention of a trip to bathroom for either of them to freshen up. Now I'm not saying readers want a ton of details regarding what characters do in the bathroom but a brief mention would be appreciated. Maybe something along the lines of how his breath is "minty fresh". The lack of a clean up was upper most in my mind when Ty and Imogen were doing the reciprocal feasting. Since this is an ARC, it's possible there will be some mention of a bathroom detour in the final edition. I should say that this is just a hang up of mine so it's quite possible it won't bother other readers.

The evolving relationship of Ty and Imogen was a pleasure to experience. The way their differences complimented each other and also helped them to experience aspects of life they had been missing. By the end of the book it make absolute sense for these two to be together since they were far more compatible then they first seemed.

Suzanne and Ryder were once again a wonderful secondary couple that I hope will get their own book. They were also in Flat-Out Sexy. Ryder is a driver and Suzanne his ex-wife whom he still has a relationship with, albeit an odd relationship. Even though they are divorced I still think of them as a couple who's story hasn't been told yet. The scenes with Suzanne are hilarious and poor Ryder is just as confused as ever. They definitely need their own book. Tamara and Elec also make appearances and the reader gets to see how their lives have progressed after the HEA in Flat-Out Sexy.

While I enjoyed Hard and Fast I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first book, Flat-Out Sexy. I simply felt more of a connection with Tamara and Elec than I did with Ty and Imogen. So, there you have it. Still a fun, sexy read that was satisfying for this reader. I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in the series (hope it's Suzanne & Ryder's). Information on Ms. McCarthy's books can be found on her website. And her covers are delicious!

Rating: B+


  1. I really need to keep reading as this one is definitely on my TBB list!! I loved the first one and have been waiting ever since for this one.

  2. Release day is May 5th so get those 5 books read quickly Kristie! :)

  3. This one is on my TBB list of May :D I can't wait for it! :) I like the premises, Ty and Imogen being so different.

    LOL, now though, I'm going to be on the look-out for the bathroom break scenes! LOL :)

  4. Glad you liked this one! I've been looking forward to it so much.

    I think I'll just sort of add a mental note to assume the bathroom breaks happened "off-camera," so to speak. ;-)

  5. Nath - Ty & Imogen are very cute together but not in a sick sugary way. More in an "Awe, I want that" kind of way. :)

    Renee - LOL - I'll have to remember that. Freshen up happens "off camera." ;)

  6. I still haven't read Flat out Sexy. I really need to get on that.