IN THE FAST LANE by Audra North gives me a lot of good feels that I wish the book didn't end so soon!
Kerri Hart's family company, Hart Racing, is failing and they need the influx of cash that Colt International is infusing into the business. She struck a bargain with Ranger Colt, who was tasked with turning the business around, that she could buy the company back over four years. Yet, she soon found herself falling for Ranger, even as they keep up the ruse of a pretend engagement in a bid to upgrade the company's image and reputation. What happens when Ranger decides it's time for him to go?
Kerri Hart is a great heroine, truly kick-ass, with a lot of heart and sass. One of the best heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. At first, she seems a little rough around the edges, temperamental and might seem like a bitch, but she's not, really. She doesn't take bullshit from any one, she fights for what she feels is right, and she's really a role model for girls and women everywhere. Being the only woman race driver in the circuit, she's not really accepted by the other men drivers, and she's usually misunderstood or her actions and words are cruelly twisted by some misogynistic journalists who are determined to portray her in a bad light just because she's a woman.
It's sad that this is happening in car racing, which is a male-dominated world, but the truth of the matter is that this kind of prejudice is happening even in other industries in the real word. Today, in the 21st century, where we're all supposed to be civilized and educated. Yes, this is also happening in first world countries. I thought the author did a good job portraying this situation, and we see Kerri bucking against this, working hard and doing everything she can to gain a place for herself in a male-dominated world so that she can prove that she can, and so that she could serve as a role model for girls everywhere who might have someone telling them they can't do this or that.
Kerri truly is in a class by herself. When Ranger declared his love while she was out racing, she said,
"You love me? Then how--oh for f***'s sake, never mind. Sign off, Ranger. I'm racing. This isn't the time."
Ranger is also a strong hero; otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to put up with Keri or take her no-nonsense forthright way of doing and saying things. He was a perfect match for her. Best of all, he accepted her for what she is, and supported her decisions. He allowed her to be the woman she is. He propped her up, instead of beating her down. But well, hey, he wouldn't be the hero in this story otherwise, would he? *wink*
There was plenty of chemistry between them, but more than the sex, there was romantic development and you can see the way they support each other as a couple. The author's writing flows well, and the pace of the story is just right. The worldbuilding was well done, with enough info shared and descriptions about the car racing world to situate the reader in that world so that the reader gets fully immersed and as invested in Hart Racing as the characters.
IN THE FAST LANE sends out a message about girl power and that a woman is a force to be reckoned with. The positive and passionate message is sure to resonate with girls and women everywhere. That and the captivating characters make this a must read.