*I received a free copy of Shifting Gears from via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Shifting Gears by Audra North
on 1 December 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge
She's not at all what he expected. He's just as sinfully sexy as she remembered. And together they're about to heat up the track.
Grady Hart is the black sheep of his family. For years he's managed the Hart Racing team, but while racing is in his blood, his real passion lies under the hood. Ready to start out on his own, all he needs to do is find a replacement for his old job. However, the best candidate for crew chief isn't someone he would have expected: sweet, proper Annabelle Murrary, the literal Girl Next Door who's definitely grown up since high school.
All her life Annabelle has tried to fit into the role of perfect daughter-and failed. Divorced, broke and living back home with her mother, she's tired of trying to live up to her parents' impossible standards. Taking on the position as crew chief for a successful racing team-and getting her hands dirty-is just what she's looking for...but first she has to get past her old crush on her new boss. After all, it's never smart to mix business with pleasure, or is it?
Shifting Gears is another great story about race-tracks, romance and very strong female characters having unconventional professions!
My Shifting Gears review:
The mix between action and romance, character development, a good story and a solid plot made Shifting Gear a really good read! Of course, the fact that the protagonists already knew each other and had grown up as next-door neighbors made the story all the more delicious to me. I love the friends-to-lovers trope, and here, that was even stronger because Annabelle and Grady hadn’t seen each other for years. Realizing that they had both had a ‘thing’ for each other when they were younger made everything that happened to them even sweeter.
Annabelle’s life hadn’t exactly been a dance on roses after she left home only to get married to a man who was even more controlling and belittling than her parents had been to her growing up. Only after he left her for another woman, and with a huge debt did she finally understand that this life was not for her. However, back home, her mom hadn’t changed a bit – it was all about how other people saw her, so she had to be spotless, cute, and the perfect Southern belle. Even if that was as far from what Annabelle really wanted as was possible.
Grady wanted to make some changes in his life as well, for one, he wanted to leave the family business and work on his own. But at the same time, he wanted to make sure his sister and brother would continue to be as safe as possible when they were racing. Thus, they were both trying to get to shifting gears, in different ways.
The romance between Grady and Annabelle was very sweet, even if they were both doubting themselves when it came to building a new relationship. Annabelle because she didn’t want to depend on someone again, and Grady because he wanted to be successful before he got serious with a woman – especially a woman like Annabelle – who was fighting to stand on her own to feet and make it on her own.
If you’re looking for a romance that also has action, plus some really good characters, Shifting Gears should be added to your shelves ASAP!
Some of my favorite Shifting Gears quotes:
The kind of thing that got her compliments and envious looks from other women… but no man had ever looked over at her and said, ‘Damn, honey, that pie is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. You pie vixen, you.’ She wrinkled her nose a little No man had ever said that probably because it didn’t sound sexy at all.
Mom never locked it. He kept chiding her for it, but she never listened. Once, he’d come over while she’d been napping. vulnerable. He’d stayed and waited for her to wake up, then asked, ‘What if I’d been some kind of violent criminal?’ She’d just looked at him in that way that only mothers can and said, ‘Then I’d be very disappointed in you.’
“I have to admit that I’ve never had a man even notice my pie, much less compliment it like that.”
That sounded… suggestive. did she seriously just say that in such a way? For a second, Grady felt nothing but hot, embarrassed arousal.