Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Fast Track (2014) (Penguin Group Dutton)
Julie Garwood
Grade: B-
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: NetGalley
Buchanan/FBI: ... (12) Fast Track
Romance RBC 2014: A book with a 'best friend-little sister' relationship 

Raised solely by her father after her mother died in a car crash, Cordelia Kane isn’t ashamed to call herself a daddy’s girl. When he dies of a sudden heart attack, Cordelia is crushed – even more so when she discovers that her mother is still alive and well, having wanted nothing to do with her daughter’s life. Insanely curious about this woman that rejected her, Cordelia tracks her down to Sydney in order to find out more.

Hotelier Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother and the object of her crush since she was five years old. He offers Cordie use of the company jet to Australia, deciding to accompany her because he knows she’s still highly vulnerable following her father’s death. What he doesn’t expect is to find himself seeing Cordie in a completely different light, suddenly attracted to the girl he’s known his entire life.

Cordie’s mum is less-than-thrilled to discover that her daughter has come knocking, and even more so that the mechanic-husband she deserted went on to build a country-wide franchise, leaving Cordie quite the heiress. Her visit has started an explosive family drama and Cordie is now the subject of a silencing campaign by her newfound family who she’s more than willing to forget …

I’m not as fond of Julie Garwood’s contemporaries compared to her medieval, but Fast Track wasn’t bad. I adored the introduction to how Cordie and Aiden first met, with the five-year-old Cordie giving car-advice to Aiden whose car won’t start. Best friend-little sister relationships are one of my favourite tropes because one party or both is usually so against the union because of their pre-existing relationship. There’s an element of taboo in the sense that this person should be out-of-bounds, yet they usually can’t deny themselves – how hot is that?

Aiden was super sexy. More so than I expected, especially for a book that I can’t say I loved. This is possibly because he reminds me of Josh Templeton from Nora Roberts’ Daring to Dream, also the head of the family’s international hotel chain and an inexplicably sexy alpha male. He’s one of those alphas who thinks he knows best for the heroine, even though he’ll be adamant that they’re not in a relationship, however much sex they’re having. Watching his transformation (and other heroes like Aiden) into a man in love is always fascinating.

Julie Garwood might not be one of my go-to authors, but Fast Track has helped her inch her way up that list. What I didn’t enjoy was how every-so-often, the text would be broken up with a few lines explaining what was going on, in the third person. It was strange, unexpected and really threw me off the rhythm of the book. I understand if romantic suspenses might have a few paragraphs from the baddie’s point-of-view, but this wasn’t that. Other than this, I thought Fast Track was a solid read.

Image courtesy of Fast Track.

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