Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

TBT Review: Speed Dating by Nancy Warren (Harlequin NASCAR)

I originally reviewed this book as a guest post for another blog. Consequently, I never posted it here, so I am fixing that error now. I believe it was posted around January 2012 on the Bonafide Reflections Blog. Pictured is the cover that the book had at the time of the review. Crazy how much my reviews have changed over the years. Enjoy!

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Title: Speed Dating (NASCAR)

Author: Nancy Warren

Release Date: February 1, 2007

Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases

Category: Contemporary Romance

Type: Kindle/Paperback

Click Here To Buy Now!


Book Blurb:
Dylan Hargreave thinks I'm an actress paid to pose as his girlfriend at a North Carolina society wedding. How did this happen to me, of all people? Kendall Clarke, award-winning actuary, the veritable shining star of number crunchers who, just hours ago, learned her responsible fiancé (sorry, ex-fiancé) called off our wedding because he'd gotten one of my colleagues pregnant. What are the odds?

Don't tell me you've never heard of Dylan Hargreave. Celebrity NASCAR driver? People magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year? Those eyes. That smile…

Forget sensible! I've assessed the risk…and I'm taking it! I usually keep the brakes on, but as of now I'm taking a vacation. From me.

Book Excerpt:

"So, you're dumping me. Just like that. Right before the biggest night of my life."

He smiled at her, obviously relieved to have the burden of his confession off his chest

and no hysterics to wade through. "You're strong, Kendall. You don't need me the way

Penelope does."

He walked to the door and opened it, then glanced back. "Good luck tonight." He

sounded as though he really meant it.

After the door shut behind her ex-fiancé, Kendall stood there feeling frozen and numb.

Bits of thoughts and phrases were jumbled up in her head. Not exciting enough. Pregnant.

I need more.

And through it all flickered the humiliating knowledge that this relationship had gone on

for months under her nose and she'd never noticed. She had the sick feeling that she was

the only one in the office who hadn't.

This was supposed to be the night of her greatest triumph, not her greatest humiliation.

If only she could think more clearly.

She stood there in her new underwear and slowly tugged the engagement ring off her

finger and regarded the diamond solitaire. Like her dreams, it was modest.

She ought to return it to Marvin, but he was just thrifty enough that he might offer the

ring to Penelope.

She put the ring on the dresser where it made a tiny click. She'd leave it as a tip for the


Having decided the ring's future to her satisfaction, she glanced at her clock and

discovered with horror that the banquet was starting in fifteen minutes. Luckily she was

ready. No, wait, she wasn't. Something was missing. She looked around vaguely.

Oh, of course. Her dress. The one Marvin had helped her pick out at Nordstrom.


Dylan Hargreave gave a rebel yell into the headset, knowing he'd half deafen his spotter

and any of the crew who were listening.

"She's sweet" he yelled, feeling the grab of the tires, the tightness of tail. He accelerated

into Turn Three at the Speedway in Charlotte, pulling the wheel hard left, hanging on to

control as he fought for more speed. A glance at the oversize tachometer told him the

engine was cooperating.

Charlotte was his track. He always did well here. Being a North Carolina boy, it was

important for him to place high in Sunday's race for a lot of reasons. Today's training run

was feeling good. He was pumped; the team members were working together like magic.

The run of bad luck they'd suffered recently was about to end. He loved race week in

Charlotte, culminating in the big race.

Sunday, he fully intended to take a victory lap.

He owned this course, and anybody who wanted to try and take him better be ready to do

serious battle.

Then he felt the speed fall away as though somebody'd turned off the ignition.

"Aaaaw, no!" he yelled, as a multicolored blur of cars zoomed past him like a swarm of

bees. It was only a practice to make sure everything was running smoothly, but it was

clear that things on the Hargreave team weren't going smoothly at all.

Favorite Dialogue:

“I feel like you’re trying to race the last lap without putting in all the laps that come

before it.”

He nodded. “Sorry. I’m a little nervous.”

She wouldn’t smile, she mustn’t smile, otherwise he’d think she was weak and easy. But

she wanted to smile so badly. Dylan Hargreave nervous? In front of her?

Life was sweet.


Speed Dating is certainly speedy. I found this book on Kindle as I was browsing through

titles one day. I hadn’t heard of Nancy Warren before, but the story seemed intriguing

enough, so I decided to give it a shot.

Basically Kendall has her whole life laid out in front of her. She is about to receive a

prestigious award within her profession when her fiancé drops a bomb and tells her that

he’s been messing around with a co-worker and, surprise, she’s pregnant. Not shocking

that Kendall immediately begins to re-evaluate some of her life decisions. And certainly

not unexpected that she sheds her cool exterior for a more daring persona – at least for

one night when she accidentally encounters Dylan.

Dylan is in need of some luck. He’s been loosing races left and right. After a night with

Kendall that deviates tremendously from his average night, he decides that he needs her

longer to play a part. This part involves posing as his girlfriend not only for the cameras,

but also to dissuade Dylan’s ex-wife from getting any ideas involving leaving her new

husband in an effort to rekindle a relationship with Dylan. Sound confusing? Well, there

is a lot going on in this book.

Eventually Kendall has to make a decision. Stay with Dylan, or return to her demotion at

work thanks to her philandering ex-fiancé. The two have come to care for each other, but

it is not enough for Kendall despite considering trying to make it work. Dylan is set

against a permanent future with anyone and his stubbornness threatens to cost him the

one thing that could be the best thing that ever happened to him: Kendall.

While I moved through this book quickly, I found a few aspects annoying and repetitive.

First, Kendall is almost too sensible. She needs to take it down a notch. While she knows

nothing about NASCAR, it seems odd that she seems to “get” Dylan right off the bat.

And Dylan – let’s just say that I didn’t fall in love with him as a character. He takes dense

to a whole new level. The most annoying aspect is the flighty, snobbish ex-wife. Get a

clue Dylan! Sheesh! I felt like the book could have easily been a novella had the

secondary characters of Ashlee and Harrison been cut out completely. Ironically, I ended

up liking Harrison. Odd, that. Also, there is absolutely no smexy in this book! A couple

of kisses that could have been promising, but then … crickets. Zero heat. The reader is

left to conjure whatever thoughts he/she can based on the book, which will be less than

stellar, I do assure you. And what fun is it when we have to conjure our own images of

smexy? This is what I read for – it is my quest! Well, maybe that is a bit much, but don’t

leave me hanging on the smexy! 

Overall, the book was a fun read. I have never read a book centered on the NASCAR

sport prior to this one. Knowing nothing about the sport other than you need quick pit

stops, and you need to drive very fast (avoiding collisions, of course), I found that I

enjoyed the alternate backdrop from the books I usually read. I imagine that many of the

details within the book concerning the life of a NASCAR driver are factual as they are

very believable. Should I come across another book involving NASCAR, I will likely

give it a try just to see what the differences are from author to author. So, liking the

characters, not loving them, and totally bummed that there is nada for heat level. But if

you are looking for a book to pass the time, Speed Dating would certainly accomplish

such a feat. I just doubt that anyone would choose this book for a re-read. *whispers* It’s

currently FREE on Nook and Kindle – it’s at least worth free. Might as well give it a shot

while the giving is good.

(Kindle downloaded from Amazon) 

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