Speed Dating (Harlequin NASCAR #2) by Nancy Warren

speed dating

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One minute I’m locked out of my hotel room, and the next…Dylan Hargreave thinks I’m an actress paid to pose as his girlfriend at a North Carolina society wedding. How did this happen to me, of all people? Kendall Clarke, award-winning actuary, the veritable shining star of number crunchers who, just hours ago, learned her responsible fiance; (sorry, ex-fiance;) called off our wedding because he’d gotten one of my colleagues pregnant. What are the odds? Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Dylan Hargreave. Celebrity NASCAR driver? People magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year? Those eyes. That smile… Forget sensible! I’ve assessed the risk…and I’m taking it! I usually keep the brakes on, but as of now I’m taking a vacation. From me.

Kendall Clarke is an actuary, she’s engaged to a co-worker and she is 20 minutes away from winning the most prestigious award at her company. Her scumbag fiancé shows up at her hotel room to tell her that he’s been cheating on her with a fellow co-worker – who’s now pregnant – for several months. He’s breaking the engagement and he’s sitting with his new fiancée.

Kendall is shocked, embarrassed, and hurt. In her anxiety she manages to lock herself out of her hotel room, dressed only in an expensive slip. By chance she sees a man walking out of his room just as her bosses are walking around the corner. She slips into the room just in time.

Dylan Hargreave is a famous NASCAR driver who is in the middle of a losing streak and has an ex-wife – Ashley – who believes that they are meant to get back together. Ashley has invited Dylan to her wedding (#4) and he asks one of his buddy’s to hire an actress for him to take to his wedding. When he walks into his hotel and sees a half naked woman he assumes that it is his date. Kendall is feeling crazy so she goes along with him to the wedding and afterwards he goes with her to her actuary meeting (where she gets fired). This starts a long relationship between Kendall and Dylan that lasts for several weeks, as Dylan kisses Kendall right before every race as his good luck charm.

I really enjoyed this book! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The story is well written, the characters have clear reasons for their actions, and the relationship is well developed. It’s certainly a page turner – I finished it in one night!

My biggest issue with this book is Dylan’s actions. He claims that he wants Ashley to leave him alone. In fact, he claims that the major reason he spends so much time with Kendall is to deter Ashley and her reconciliation plans – but every single time Ashley wants him to do something, he does it. Dylan goes to her wedding; he drags Kendall on several double dates with Ashley and her new husband; he makes time to go to children’s hospitals because Ashley wants him to. I was sick to death of Ashley rather quickly and felt that if Dylan wanted to get rid of Ashley he would have grown a pair of balls and told her “No” for once. I realized that she was used as plot movement but she was over-used.

All in all, this was a good book and I really enjoyed the relationship between Kendall and Dylan, the story felt very believable and rather touching. I enjoyed watching the characters grow – especially Kendall – throughout the book. I can’t this is my favorite book but I would have no issue recommending this book to contemporary romance lovers. Solid 3/5

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