Jun 5, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Jacked Up by Erin McCarthy (Fast Track #6)

Contemporary Romance
June 5 2012
Mass Market Paperback
320 pages
Berkley Sensation
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Nolan Ford
Kick Ass Chick – Eve Monroe

From Goodreads –
She’s holding tight. He’s hanging loose.

Eve Monroe is a stock-car PR pro who puts her career first—until an on-track wardrobe malfunction reveals more than the sexy smile of her race-car brother’s jack-man, Nolan Ford. The video’s become an internet sensation, and it’s Eve’s job to calm the sponsors and put a spin on the unexpected exposure. It may be purely a public relations job, but now that Eve’s seen what’s under Nolan’s crew suit, it’s gotten a little personal—and after a few dates she has Nolan pretty revved up. If only she’d learn to relax and enjoy it…

And they both have the same drive.

Nolan’s sure that the spontaneous birthday bash he’s throwing for Eve in Las Vegas should loosen her up. It does more than that. Somewhere between cocktails and a smoking-hot motel-room derby, Eve and Nolan wake up hitched, thanks to a post-sex-high detour to a Vegas chapel. A hangover marriage to a virtual stranger isn’t good for anyone’s image, so Eve plans to play the happy wife long enough to satisfy the press, and then quietly part ways. Now all she has to do is convince her new personal jack-man. But Nolan has plans of his own…

———-

Jacked Up is the sixth book in Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series.  I have to say I was a bit nervous about reading this one.  I adored the first two books in this series.  Really, I just adored them.   (Any fan of contemporary romance books need to give them a try).  The third book was cute but it missed a certain something that was found in the first two books.  Then came the fourth book.  I was thoroughly enjoying this book until the very end when (spoiler here) the author threw in an illegitimate baby!  I was so so SO P*ssed!  There was no need for that and it just killed the book for me.  Then the fifth book came out and I did enjoy the couple but then again, pretty much out of nowhere (spoiler here) the heroine turns into an alcoholic.  Now that didn’t tick me off as much as the baby thing but I still didn’t understand why the author needed to include that particular plot twist.  I’m all for throwing conflict into a story.  After all it’s what helps us feel closer to the characters, by making us root for them and by making us feel a part of their triumph.  But sometimes I don’t feel like you need to throw a brutal conflict in a relationship to make the reader care for the characters.  Sometimes, the conflict feels forced and therefore makes the story feel wrong thus making the relationship feel wrong.  And even though the author did try to throw in a little conflict in this latest installment, it wasn’t made into a huge deal and therefore didn’t work against the story.  So all in all, I really enjoyed this story and I give it a high rating.

Let me tell you why.

Eve.  She’s been in every book.  Her brother is the hero in the first book and her other brother is the hero in the fourth book.  She is their PR rep and is exceptional at what she does.  But she hates her job.  Like, really really hates it.  But she’s good at it, it pays the bills and her family depends on her so she sticks to it.  I really enjoyed seeing a softer side to Eve in her book and seeing her open up with Nolan about how she feels about her life and where it’s taken her so far.  I’m not saying that Eve is soft at all so don’t go thinking that.  She’s still anal and controlling, but those are a part of her makeup and they didn’t just vanish when she fell in love, which is good.  Otherwise it would have made the story seem off.  Nolan helps Eve relax and let loose and I thought that was awesome to see.  I like Eve.  I always have even when I wanted to beg her to take a chill pill in past installments.  She knows her responsibilities and gives it her all even though she isn’t fond of it.  You witness real growth in her character in this book and she is written very well.

Nolan.  He is Evan’s (Eve’s younger brother) jackman.  That’s right, he’s not a driver!  I actually thought this was nice because honestly, there are drivers everywhere in this series and it was nice to catch a glimpse at the crew that keeps the cars rolling and winning during a race.  I do feel like the author tried to make Nolan’s character a little ‘deeper’ than it actually is.  She tried to tell us that he likes being in relationships with women who need fixing and she tried to make us thinks Eve’s family’s money was an issue for him, but I never really felt that for him.  It just didn’t seem right with his character.  Nolan is one of 9 kids.  He’s mellow and fun and doesn’t take things too seriously.  I just decided to ignore the little ‘issues’ the author tried to give him and took him at face value – and at face value he is perfect for Eve.  He helps her realize that life is what you make it and that it’s important to follow your gut and let loose once in a while.  Yeah…I liked Nolan.

The family and friend dynamic.  That is one of the best parts of this entire series.  Erin writes characters that mesh really well one with the other.  You just want to hang out with them!  It was nice to see all the main characters from the past books make an appearance in this one.  You get caught up on all the goings on which is always fun in a longer running series.

The story.  Now I am sure that some readers will disagree with me on this but I found it was good .  (Now this part isn’t a spoiler because it’s in the blurb but I know not everyone reads the blurb so be ready.)  On a whim, Nolan and Eve get married in Vegas after only ‘seeing’ each other for a few weeks.  I know that some will think this is crazy!  And actually, I would have to agree.  But I know that even crazy situations like this end up working out.  That’s pretty much how Jason and I ended up together.  Okay, there were no racing cars and no Vegas and no hot muscular abs that I ran my tongue over, but we met at work in September, we started dating end of October, moved in together in November, got engaged in December and were married the following September – less than one year from the day we met.  Yes crazy…and SO not like me!  But we clicked.  I knew all about him the moment we started dating – the good and the bad.  We’ll be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year.  So as much as some parts of the story may have readers rolling their eyes and saying “yeah, right”, for me it’s possible so I had no problem with it.  It was obvious that these two knew each other extra well from the moment they started dating.  There were no hidden agendas and no secrets.  They were both totally themselves and felt comfortable being open with one another.  All things that are necessary for a mature and strong relationship and all things most couple take a while to get to.  Nolan and Eve were there right away so their marriage didn’t make me cringe in the least.

Overall Jacked Up was a sweet and sexy read.  The chemistry between Nolan and Eve is great and their journey is sweet.  This is the final book in the series and it ends it well.

4 stars

Giggle worthy quote

“Then the announcer couldn’t swallow his guffaw.  ‘Woo-hoo good grief, did you see that?’

Yes, she had seen it.  It was right in front of her, the camera zooming in on it.  As Nolan went over the wall, his jumpsuit ripped at the seat.  He didn’t even pause but went straight to the front right tire and started pumping his jack.  Eve cleared her throat at the sudden realization of just how dirty that descriptive sounded.”

—–

“Her father glanced at the race, quickly assessed the current rankings, then returned his gaze to her.  ‘I understand your need for male company.’

Oh.  My.  God.  Eve choked back a laugh.  Was she going to get the birds and the bees talk from her father?

‘Honey, I covered that with her when she was eleven.’  Her mother was cutting a loaf of soft Italian bread, her mouth turning up in a smile.

Eve did laugh, especially at the look of outrage on her father’s face.

‘I’m not talking about…that.’

‘You weren’t talking about sex?’ she asked, amused.  ‘Because is certainly sounded like you were talking about sex.  Mom, did it sound like Dad was talking about sex?’

Her mother grinned.  ‘I definitely thought he was talking about sex.’

‘What is wrong with you two?’ her grumbled.

—–

“’I’m buying a birthday gift for my girlfriend,’ he blurted out to the clerk.  ‘I’m throwing her a party but I forgot to get an actual gift.’

Maybe if he called her his girlfriend, he could make it so.  Or maybe that was a psychotic junior high thing to do.  Either way it felt pretty damn good to speak the word out loud.

‘Oh, dear.’ The clerk gave him an admonishing look.  ‘What does she like?  Jewelry?’

‘No.’  Eve wore very basic jewelry and makeup.  ‘She likes cars.  Being on time.  Salads.’

Books in the Fast Track series –
Flat-Out Sexy
Hard and Fast
Hot Finish
The Chase
Slow Ride
Jacked Up

  1. Good to hear that you enjoyed the book. I also love the first two books in the series, liked the third one and hated #4. Not only the baby thing but the whole fourth book was very frustrating for me. I didn’t read #5 but want to give the series a second and last chance with book #6.

  2. I haven’t read this series nor this author… “So many authors…so little time” LOL
    Great review and as always you made me laugh… “Okay, there were no racing cars and no Vegas and no hot muscular abs that I ran my tongue over…” LMAO

  3. Mmm sexy cover model.
    What did I think of the book I read now again..hm..something, but sure I could read more

  4. Great review Julie, I have read one or two books in the series, I need to catch up with it.

  5. Great review!!! I will be sad to see this series end!! I am behind–I have only read books 1 and 2 so I need to catch up. Erin McCarthy is one of my fave authors and I love this series.
    I think your story of how you and your hubby met was romantic–I like to think that when you meet the one your supposed to be with — you just know and it doesn’t matter how long you have known each other. In contrast me and my hubby met in high school but didn’t get married until 10 years later. We have been married for 13 years this November(no kids)and he drives me totally crazy but I wish looking back-that we didn’t wait so long to finally get married–we wasted a lot of time. So anyway thanks for sharing. Have a great rest of the week!! 🙂

  6. Sabrina – You can absolutely skip books in this series. Just jump to this one and you’ll be fine. 🙂

    Bookaholic Cat – lol

    blodeuedd – The cover is quite nice, isn’t it? 😉

    aurian – 🙂

    Mariann – I am sort of bummed too that the series is ending but I she is working on a new one and I’m anxious to check that one out. 🙂

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