REVIEW: Test Drive by Marie Harte

27015405Rating 2 Stars

Bad boy mechanic Johnny Devlin has wanted Lara Valley since she started bartending at Ray’s. But Lara has plans for her life and she doesn’t intend to let a ladies man get in her way. But when Johnny stops Lara from getting attacked, she agrees to go on a date with him. What Lara never expected was that Johnny was nothing like he first appeared. But can a relationship work between two people who seem so different?

So I have to be honest and say that I’m sitting here trying to figure out something that I liked about this book and I’m finding it to be a very hard task. Overall the book wasn’t bad, there was just something missing for me, the pace was kind of slow and it felt like nothing really happened except for the very beginning and the very end. I will say the one good spot in the story for me was Johnny, who is actually a pretty great guy. He comes across as a bad boy charmer who just does whatever he wants and dates a lot but in reality he’s actually a very sweet guy. I liked that he was actually a bit nerdy and that it embarrassed him with Lara finds out about it.

As I love a bad boy and I certainly love mechanics these guys were just a bit too much of guys for me. They were a little too crude and even though they’re respectful in front of women, the way they talked about women when they were hanging out together was a little too real. I know a lot of guys talk like that in real life but I don’t really want to read it in a romance novel.

I never really liked Lara in this book. Harte did the one thing that I hate in a romance, which is when the couple has the big fight and the author blames it completely on the hero…because guys are always at fault, right? Now Johnny has some blame in the fight, but it was mostly Lara that was the problem. She’s the one that keeps secrets in their relationship but Johnny tells her everything. From the very beginning Johnny knew exactly who Lara was; he knew that she was bartending just to get through school, that she was really smart and wanted to be a nurse and that she was a step above the usual crowd at Ray’s. Lara however knew nothing about who Johnny really was and spent the entire book being shocked every time he proved that he was actually smart, sweet, a gentleman and a romantic. After everything Johnny does for her and says to her, she can’t figure out that Johnny is a lot deeper than the appearance he usually puts forward. I felt Johnny’s feelings were pretty obvious but all Lara cares about is herself. Then when Johnny has a small jealous moment after meeting Lara’s friend Pete at a party, (and seriously, I read a lot of romance and Johnny’s behavior was incredibly mild compared to most alpha males) Lara throws a hissy fit and gets drunk and angry at Johnny. Lara was just a huge turn-off for me.

At this time, I will not be continuing with this series.

 

••• Book Details •••

Body Shop Bad Boys #1    Romance, Contemporary    Sourcebooks    June 7, 2016

GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS
Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster’s Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it’s the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.

JOHNNY
Johnny Devlin’s a charmer with a checkered past. He has had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she’s rejected him more than once. That doesn’t mean he won’t come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can’t say no. And then he’s saying nothing but hell, yes.

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