Saturday, June 30, 2012

Week-End's Minis XX: Jacked Up by Erin McCarthy

Jacked Up by Erin McCarthy
published by Berkley in June 2012
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 jackman 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.

And they both have the same drive.

It may be a public relations job, but now that Eve's seen what's under Nolan's crew suit, it's gotten personal. After a few dates she has Nolan pretty revved up. If only she'd learn to relax and enjoy it. Nolan's sure that the spontaneous birthday bash he's throwing for Eve in Las Vegas should loosen her up. Somewhere between cocktails and a smoking-hot motel-room derby, it does more than that. Now Eve's wrestling with feelings she never expected, as everything about her personal jackman gets harder than she ever imagined.
Genre: Contemporary romance, Sports romance
Series: Fast Track series, Book #6

What do you need to know? Nolan Ford is a jackman, part of Evan Monroe's team. Recently, during a race, he jumped over a fence to get to Evan's race car and ripped the seat of his pants... exposing his butt to all to view. As a result, he's attracted Eve's ire... and he uses the opportunity to ask her out on a date.

Eve is in charge of the PR for both her brothers. She's stressed and frustrated because nobody seems to understand or appreciate her hard work and just think she enjoys nagging them. Which she doesn't. In fact, taking a good look at her life, Eve realizes she's unhappy... and the reason for her unhappiness is actually because she has given up her dreams of driving due to peer pressure.

At first Eve is unsure about dating Nolan, but she is flattered by his attention. She also realizes he brings fun in her life; however, she's unsure if she can change her ways enough to seize this new-found happiness.

Why this book? Initially, I told myself not to get this book, because I've been disappointed with the last couple installments. In the end, I changed my mind because I skimmed the beginning and the end of Jacked Up and it sounded good...

My thoughts? Overall, I think Jacked Up was more enjoyable than Slow Ride, but only by a bit. Once again, the hero saved the book. I quite liked Nolan, he was an easy and nice guy and had his sweet moments. I liked how he tried to bring Eve out of her shell, make her more relax and enjoy life. Just a great guy overall and I also liked that he was not a driver! As for Eve, there's no other way to describe it, she was bitchy ^_^; However, point in her favor, she knew she was bitchy and I don't think she meant it on purpose, but simply had a prickly personality. The thing is, she's been unhappy and repressed for so long, she forgot how to enjoy life. Unfortunately, while I understand this, it did not make Eve more likable because I think Ms McCarthy took her bitchiness a bit too far. I mean, it's okay to have a prickly character like Laurel from Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts - I loved her! However, you cannot take it too far and you have to combine it with something or write it in a way readers will still think "Oh, I'd love a friend like her." Not someone you'd want to give a wide berth in real life ^_^; I mean, it was to the point that even her brothers didn't seem to spend time with her. Yes, they loved her, but it seemed they put up with her instead of enjoying her company ^_^;

One thing I also didn't understand was as a grown woman, why didn't Eve take her life into her hands and turn it around so she'd be happy? I mean, she's still young, she has an education and she's in a comfortable situation. She didn't have any baggage that prevented her from doing whatever she wanted. So why drive yourself into such extreme unhappiness? I also think her family somewhat let Eve down. Shouldn't someone have stepped up and make her realize how unhappy she was? Tell her and encourage her to do something different in life?

Finally, the story of Jacked Up was okay. I mean, it's two persons who are attracted to each other, enjoy the sex together and impulsively decide to get married. The fact that Eve was waiting  for things not to work out, that was sad, but not unexpected given her personality. What I found a bit unfortunate about Jacked Up is  apart from Eve finally taking her life in hand and striving to be happy, not much happened and there was not that much depth. In one part of the story, Nolan's mother mention how he's always been attracted with needy/broken women. I would have liked Ms McCarthy to expand on this part and show the readers and the mother that Eve was different. I would also have liked to see Eve and Nolan work on their marriage more, on how different the two were and how they would reconcile their lives together. Do I really think Eve and Nolan are going to make it? I'm not sure, I would lean towards no ^_^;

It does seem as if I did not enjoy this book. Granted, I did have a lot of issues, but at the end of the day, Jacked Up was very readable. If you've enjoyed the last few books in the series, I don't see why you wouldn't like Jacked Up. And one thing that I did enjoy in this book? The family interactions. I did enjoy the scenes between siblings, both on Eve and Nolan side. By the way, is this the last book in the series? Because it seemed like Ms McCarthy was baiting for Rhett's - Nolan's younger brother - book...

My Grade? C.