Ever since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated with cars and Formula1. My father is a big fan of the sport and growing up with boys who can only talk about two things, cars and computer games, kind of cemented my fascination as well. You guys wouldn’t believe how long I’ve been scouring the book world for a romance novel that features Formula1. So imagine my delight when my cousin Ana (of Ana Rabacca Book Blog) recommended REVVED to me.
Race car mechanic Andressa "Andi" Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it.
Revved is all about Andi Amaro. I felt an instant connection with Andi. Where I am a mere spectator of the sport, Andi’s whole life revolved around it. Well, what would you expect, her father is the great William Wolfe, one of the greatest Formula1 drivers of all time. All that comes to a screeching halt for 10-year-old Andi when an accident on the tracks of Monaco shattered everything in her world.
After her father’s accident, she tried to distance herself from the life that took her family away. And now, fourteen years later, Andi can no longer run away form what she is meant to do. After all, she is still her father’s daughter. With her degree in Mechanical Engineering and NASCAR experience under her belt, Andi’s back on the Formula1 scene as a mechanic for one of the best drivers in recent history, Carrick Ryan.
As good as Carrick Ryan is behind the wheel, he’s even better with women. And as much as Andi wants to deny the attraction she feels for Carrick, even she can’t escape the pull he has on her. This is the last thing that Andi wants. Carrick’s playboy ways is bad enough but in Andi’s mind, the fact that he’s a driver is an even bigger problem. She’s lost one too many loved ones to Formula1. Is she willing to risk losing her heart all over again to the same fate?
I’m not a big fan of love at first sight but the way Samantha Towle painted Carrick and Andi’s felt just right. Yes, there was instant attraction, which I guess should be expected thanks to Andi’s supermodel genes and Carrick’s all-around hottie vibes. What I love most about this pairing was that it wasn’t entirely based on physical attraction alone. It may have started out that way but the dynamics between these two characters revolved on the genuine companionship they have found in each other.
Both Andi and Carrick are closed off when it comes to romantic relationships. Andi’s fears come from losing her father and watching her mother go through the pain of losing him; Carrick’s from past experiences of being left behind and his ideology to be the one who does the leaving before anybody can ever do it again to him. What’s surprising is how these two characters, who have so many odds stacked against them, found their way to each other and be the happiness they deserve but are too afraid to pursue.
I loved how her characters stay true to themselves, especially Carrick! I’ve read so many books before where the male protagonists change their man-whoring ways the instant they meet the girl. Which, unfortunately for hopeless romantics out there (myself, included), isn’t really the case. Carrick breaks away from the fold. Even after he meets Andi, has admitted to being kinda, sorta in-love with her, and gets rejected, he is still the arrogant, self-entitled jerk we meet in the first place. It’s kinda weird to like him for that fact but I guess it makes his character even more believable. He owns up to his flaws and admits to it, even if it means not being the stand-up guy every reader expects him to become.
As much as I loved these characters, there are still some parts where I thought the author may have overplayed some of the key plot devices. Andi’s fears, for example. Her fear of falling in love with a driver and losing him the way she lost her father defines her character. But I think the author could have played up Andi some more rather than just focusing on this fatal flaw. Which really was fatal for her relationship with Carrick at some point. It kind of made Andi’s character a bit too bland for me whereas Carrick’s all troubled history with an even more notorious present.
The dynamics between the other characters in the books was well-formulated, as well. Like I’ve mentioned before, Samatha Towle’s characters are unique persons all on their own and not just mere clones of one another.
All in all, Revved was such a great read for me and not just because I’m a fan of Formula1. It’s well-written which comes with the territory since Samantha Towle wrote it. The story is rich and believable with a refreshing take on a world not many authors (that I know of) seem to have delved into yet. And now I can’t wait to read more! Perhaps something about Ben or Petra after Leandro Silva’s book? *crosses fingers*