Title: Driving in Neutral
Author: Sandra Antonelli
Opening line: “…A purse was a miserable substitute for an umbrella…”
Blurb: A new, quick-witted, quip-heavy romance for grown-ups about facing your fears, because love is the greatest risk of all. Level-headed Olivia Regen walks away from her car-racing career and the wreckage of a bad marriage to take on new work that’s far removed from the twists of racetrack. Her new life is about control, calm and the good friends that she adores. But her first task on her very first day involves getting up close and personal with her claustrophobic boss Emerson, as they are trapped together in a broken elevator. Her unconventional solution for restoring his equilibrium shocks them both and leaves Olivia shaken. Determined to stick to her plan of control and calm, Olivia drives headlong into work and planning her best friend’s wedding, leaving no room for kissing, elevators, or workplace relationships. But Emerson is not one to be out-manoeuvred. Can he convince Olivia that her fear of falling in love again is just another kind of claustrophobia – one that is destined to leave them both lonely?
My thoughts: DRIVING IN NEUTRAL was a great little read and had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. The bridezilla whose wedding was central to the story was something to behold – although I probably would have walked out and left her rather than pampering to her bad behaviour – Olivia was either demented or a saint for putting up with her! It did take me a while to settle into the stories as there were a few characters that all seemed to be introduced at once after the elevator scene, and it took me a while to work out which characters I should be concentrating on. It also verged onto farcical rather than funny once or twice which again had me wanting to slap the characters concerned (the two bridesmaids come to mind here). The romance between Emerson and Olivia was very gradual and I liked that they weren’t in bed with each other from page one – the kiss in the elevator doesn’t count as that was medicinal!! I also liked the conflict that needed to be overcome, although I felt that what Olivia did to Emerson was very wicked, and was a little mollified to see that she was remorseful for her action; still she should not have done that, it was spiteful and cruel, and actually let the story down for me that she even did it. Of course you’ll have to read the book to find out what I am referring to and judge for yourself; in fact pour yourself a glass of bubbly and settle in for a wonderful wedding weekend with some really quirky characters and some serious life issue lessons learned. Overall I recommend DRIVING IN NEUTRAL as a perfect weekend read.
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C – Above average. Was very readable and I really liked it but was easily able to put it down and walk away for a while.
With thanks to Escape Publishing and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.