Carl Edwards Gives Romance Advice: Book Review

Several months ago I heard about a series of NASCAR themed books published by the guys over at Harlequin. The romance novel lover in me fought the urge to rush out and buy them all. In the past I might have given in and made the purchase, but since I've been trying to read things that have more substance I resisted...until I found out that Harlequin was offering 16 free downloads on their site. I figured I'd check it out to see what they were offering. Low and behold hiding between books with a half dressed man on the cover was one of those NASCAR themed books.

I could resist no longer, besides it was “research”, or at least that's what I told my husband.

Review: Speed Dating by Nancy Warren.

If I needed advice on love would I turn to Carl Edwards? That's what the characters in the book Speed Dating did. Let me explain further.

Two time Cup champion Dylan Hargreave has had some bad luck on the track recently. His team has been finishing poorly and he just can't seem to pull it all together. What Dylan needs is a good luck charm...and a date for his ex-wife's wedding.

Kendall Clarke is an insurance actuary who thinks in terms of statistics. She's used to playing by the rules and knows nothing about NASCAR, yet her chance encounter with driver Dylan Hargreave changes her life forever.

I've read my share of romance novels in the past. Regardless of the story line there are three things you can always expect. 1) Boy meets girl 2)Boy or girl, usually boy, does something stupid causing the couple to break up. 3)Idiot realizes the error of his/her ways and attempts to win back the love of the jilted lover. It's classic romance novel stuff so I wasn't surprised to see the book unfold in this manner. I was prepared for the broad generalizations and fleeting mention of race day activities.

What I wasn't prepared for was the role Carl Edwards plays in the book. Carl's not a huge character in the short book, but when he shows up on the scene he's the love guru. Kendall approaches him for advice on what drivers are looking for in a woman and Dylan turns to him when he finds that Kendall has left. Carl's even the guy who points out the tear stains on the note Kendall leaves Dylan.

All in all this book was pretty much what I expected. It focuses a lot on the relationships of the main characters rather than the sport. There are a few key chapters that show the hero of the story dealing with the media and sponsors. We also get a glimpse into what it's like for this driver when he's behind the wheel. Your not going to learn anything earth shattering about NASCAR by reading this book, but you will find yourself entertained from time to time. I'm not saying it's the best book I have ever read, but it's definitely not the worst either. It's a fun book that fuels our fantasy (you know there are some of you out there right now fantasizing about being the one true love of a driver) that a chance meeting with a driver might change our lives forever.

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