Note: Apologies for missing one week, readers. I was ill. Hopefully, I will catch up fast.
I didn’t intend to read romance novels for the challenge. Romance novels are not really my thing. Mostly because I have had past bad experience with many a cliche and many a bodice being ripped by some soldier in the 1800s.
But then I got a link sent to me for Caitlyn Nicholas’ Kindle version of Drive Me To Distraction. And for once it wasn’t a cover image of a couple in a wanted/unwanted embrace. It was a car and a woman dressed in jeans staring straight at you. Also there was “distraction” in the title – I knew it was a romance novel but if there is one thing about the emotion of love, it’s that “distracting” is one of the best words to use to describe it.
So I thought, this might just be a book I like. Maybe. I read the synopsis.
Wait, there is a murder mystery in this too?
I started reading. And then much like the racing in the book I didn’t stop till I was done, past the finish line.
The romance of course is the main plot of the story. The murder in question doesn’t happen till halfway through but is tantalising when it does occur and is definitely secondary. But oh what a mix up it does create and the protagonist Alex Radford, as if she didn’t have enough problems to deal with, gets embroiled in the investigation.
Money of course is what kickstarts her issues. She’s feisty, getting involved with the murder victim so that she has the cash to further her career and pay her mother’s hospital bill. Except of course this means her investor wants her to spy on the company, his rival who happens to be her new boss and someone whom you know she may just be attracted to. Maybe. Just maybe.
Murder, mayhem and misunderstandings ensue. Just when you think they have resolved things, out comes her relationship (if you can call it that) with the deceased and the question of just what will her paramour consent to do with the company now that it may go under with no investment? And what of her racing career in tatters on the ground much like the point at which she climbed out of a wrecked racer, her gear ripped apart?
A great deal of the story’s action winds its way through the garages, functions and houses, showcasing that the world Alex has to traverse is something she is unprepared for, one that has to live partially in the public eye as well as in the garage checking out engines. Grease is not something thought to be sexy enough for a gaggle of photographers at a photo shoot. The fact is that both Alex and her paramour grow throughout the story due to what they are going through. They learn to navigate situations they were not comfortable with, they become more savvy of what is going on, they learn to trust and communicate with each other.
All this is sufficiently distracting enough to prevent you from figuring out who did kill whom until it is revealed at the end. While the crime didn’t reach stellar expectations of a mystery novel, it did it’s job as part of the subplot in this romance and did it perfectly.
If you need to be conveniently distracted for a few hours, this is the book for you.
Author: Caitlyn Nicholas
Genre: Romance/Romance Suspense
Publisher: PanMcMillian Australia
Publication Date: November 2012
Awards: Finalist for Romantic Suspense in the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) Awards