I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Revved by Sherilee Gray
Series: Axle Alley Vipers #2
Published by Entangled Publishing on October 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing, Netgalley
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He'll rev her up and drive her to the edge... Rusty West swore she was done with men. Instead, she channeled her passion into West Restoration, the car shop she runs with her best friend and sister. But Rusty's aloof composure fades when the owner of the competition comes striding into her shop, over six feet of sexy, rough-edged confidence...hot enough to send Rusty's motor into overdrive. Reid Parker worked his ass off to get what he wants-and what he wants is West Restoration and its crew. He never expected to find a shop of all-female mechanics...or the stunning redhead who ignites a lust that threatens his cool. But Reid plays carefully. He never, ever gets involved with a woman beyond one night. And no matter how hot the sparks, Rusty will never compromise her business for a man...
I really enjoyed this book. I’m seeing more female mechanics in romance over the last few years, and I love it. This time, the hero and heroine are mechanics in rival body shops. There wasn’t a lot a emphasis on the businesses, and I don’t know a lot about the subject, but they’re clearly specialized restoration shops, not just your average Jiffy Lube. Both West Restoration and RIP Classic are at the top of their game. RIP is the flagship shop in a chain owned by Reid Parker and since opening, it has built a reputation for being the best in the business. He does not react kindly when West Restoration starts taking business from him and begins to establish themselves as players. When he goes stomping over there to find out who’s behind West, he immediately jumps to the assumption that the women are only getting his business because of their looks and the novelty of hot female mechanics. A quick look at their work quickly disabuses him of that notion, but his initial impression was clear to the West women, and the damage is done.
But maybe not with Rusty West. She has no time for Reid and his sexist bullshit, and she enjoys screwing with him when he first appears in her shop. But she’s also instantly attracted to him. She’s not stupid; she knows that, especially in the car restoration business, she and her sister and best friend, who own the shop with her, are usually dismissed out of hand when people meet them. But she also knows that their work is good and speaks for itself. She knows that her looks get her treated in a certain way, and she hates it. She feels like every man she’s met has seen how she looks and decided not to go any deeper. She initially assumes that Reid is the same, and to be fair, in the beginning, he might be. But he quickly realizes there’s more to her. And to their work. And he wants bot
His initial plan to charm his way into Rusty’s heart and have her and her partners sell West Restoration to him is a terrible plan. And to Reid’s credit, he realizes that and and abandons the plan as he gets to know Rusty. It was an especially terrible plan, because Deacon, the hero from the previous book in the series, used ownership of the building to blackmail Alex into a relationship with him, so it’s a sensitive subject. Not that Reid would know this, of course. But in general, deciding to charm your way into a woman’s panties in order to get her to do something for you that she doesn’t want to do is a terrible idea.
Despite that, I really loved this book. I’m not often hooked on a book from the very beginning like I was with this one. Even though Reid and Rusty don’t do more than exchange some hot kisses until more than halfway through the book, there was no dearth of sexual tension between them. Rusty wasn’t a virgin, but only technically, and because of that one experience, she doesn’t date. (She wasn’t raped, and there’s nothing in that story that should be triggering, just a prom date who was a dick.) Reid is determined to convince her to give the chemistry between them a shot, but he recognizes that he has to go slow with her, which leads to some steamy foreplay.
Rusty was a fun heroine. I’m typically over virgins, or almost-virgins, but Rusty was the rare exception. She was smart and funny and didn’t take shit from Reid or anyone else. I like that in a heroine. I liked that Sherilee Gray took the typical no-idea-how-gorgeous-they-are heroine trope and changed it up. Rusty knows exactly how gorgeous she is and she’s tired of people not being able to see past it and take her seriously in anything. No matter what she does, her looks are always the first thing people react to, and most people stop there. When she initially thinks Reid is the same way, she’s hurt but not surprised, and she lets him hear about it.
And Reid. Reid had me checking out Gray’s Pinterest boards, trying to decide which one of the gorgeous pictures she had posted was the inspiration for Reid. It wasn’t specifically called out, but I had some ideas. He was so sexy. Gorgeous, based on those Pinterest pictures I saw. Smart, too, clearly, since he owns a chain of restoration shops across the country. He was a little too quick to jump to conclusions, and he was definitely a hot-head with a sometimes nasty temper, but he and Rusty fit together.
This was the second book in a series, but it could be read as a standalone. I read it first, and it made me really want to go back and read Deacon and Alex’s story, but I didn’t have any trouble with this one. The third book will be out in February, and I’ve already preordered it. Sherilee Gray is a new-to-me author, but I’m already looking forward to what she’ll do next.