Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review ~ Test Drive (Body Shop Bad Boys #1) by Marie Harte @SourcebooksCasa @MHarte_Author

About the Book:


Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster's Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it's the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.


Johnny Devlin's a charmer with a checkered past. He's has had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she's rejected him more than once. That doesn't mean he won't come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can't say no. And then he's saying nothing but hell, yes.

Goodreads Link:


My Review:

If you are looking for a book that features the typically tattooed bad boy then you'll be surprised when you read Test Drive. This book isn't your average gritty book about hard core alpha males, inked from head to toe, and full of attitude. Oh, this book has all that but it is so much more!

Johnny Devlin has had it bad for Lara Valley from the moment he set eyes on her. She refuses to succumb to his bad boy charm though, and Johnny can't get her to go out with him. So, there he sits, in the bar that she tends, watching over her like a hawk. When he comes upon Lara being accosted in the lot outside the bar, everything in Johnny snaps. He becomes a protective alpha, bringing feelings to the surface that he didn't think were possible. Yeah, he's had the hots for Lara - BAD - but what unfurls at the site of Lara and her attacker surprises both of them.

Lara comes from humble beginnings. Her family has worked extremely hard to make ends meet. She refuses to live her life the same way. She is pushing herself through nursing school, which doesn't leave much time for a social life. After being rescued from an attacker by hot Johnny Devlin, Lara agrees to a no-strings-attached date. This no-strings-attached date quickly creates many ties that bind.

The best parts of Test Drive are the emotional layers that make up Johnny. He is a lot more than just a pretty face or sexy bod. He has personality, charm, wit, and charismatic.  The author does a fantastic job giving Johnny real emotions, opening him up to the readers, and delving into his past without making his story seem like an after school special (not that there's anything wrong with after school specials, but this book isn't the place to write about them).  

I enjoyed Lara's character also, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed Johnny's.  Lara is a down-to-earth heroine that wants to make something of herself.  She watches her family work hard just to stay afloat and her sister is a disaster.  She is written realistically and with depth and emotion.  She has goals and her heart finds out the hard way that sometimes the path to those goals doesn't follow the map you've constructed for yourself.  After her no-strings date with Johnny all bets are off and she jumps head first into the world of the Body Shop Bad Boys.

The secondary characters add different aspects to the book that help support Johnny and Lara.  They each have their own support team willing to do whatever it takes to protect them.  These support teams meddle sometimes, too.  

The story is engaging from the beginning and kept me captivated.  The plot was well thought out and organized.  I loved reading about the bad boy who finds his match.

Review copy courtesy of the Publisher through NetGalley, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating:

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