Hot Finish is the third book in Erin McCarthy's Fast Track series centering around NASCAR race car drivers. Suzanne and Ryder Jefferson married young and could never seem to talk about their marriage problems. After a few years they divorced feeling it was for the best. But Suzanne and Ryder somehow seem to keep the other still in their life, not to mention the pesky little problem of still having feelings for the other. Suzanne and Ryder are once again thrust together when the wedding Suzanne is planning is a NASCAR wedding the Ryder is the best man of the groom. To complicate matters it turns out the divorce papers were never signed properly and Suzanne and Ryder are still legally married.
Hot Finish was a major disappointment for me. I really enjoy Erin McCarthy's writing. I loved her last Fast Track novel, Hard and Fast choosing it as a top read for last year. With that in mind I was really looking forward to her next release. The main reason for my disappointment was that Suzanne was such a BITCH!!! Honestly, she was not a very nice person. She was always griping and complaining. It was made even more glaringly obnoxious because Ryder was always so considerate and generous with her. I just couldn't stand the way she would treat him. Granted I will say that some of her behavior I could understand, but most of the time it just grated on my nerves.
Fortunately, Hot Finish is a well written book, with good dialogue between the NASCAR boys and the camaraderie between Suzanne and her friends. It's funny and fast paced like McCarthy's other books, but I just couldn't stand the heroine. If it wasn't for the stellar story telling I would haven't even finished the book. If you don't mind a prickly, bitch heroine with a stick up her butt, then maybe you will enjoy this more than I did.
2/3s of the way into the book, the hero and his buddies suddenly become women in hairy suits when the guys (all in the testosterone heavy profession of race car driging) start asking the hero how his relationship with his woman was going. Then they tell him he should TALK to her about the RELATIONSHIP. I mean, come on. How girlie is this? Do you know any guy who would do this with his buds? I dont. Not one. (Okay, maybe my gay guy friends. Maybe.) But a hetro male? Theyd rather be boiled in oil than talk about to their wife/girlfriend/significant other about their relationship. Theyd sooner be tortured to death than offer each other relationship advice. The women, meanwhile, are having the same conversation with the heroine, and accusing her of thinking like a man because she doesnt talk to her girlfriends about the things that bug her. So its not that the author doesnt understand that theres a difference between the way men and women think and communicate. She just chose to ignore it. Even worse, if the hero and heroine had been given this advice earlier and followed it, the story would have been finished in ten pages, which would have been fine by me, because I got very tired of the talk-have sex-take offense-argue pattern that kept repeating through the story
what a fun story! I was anxiously awaiting Suzanne and Ryder's story and it did not disappoint!
good book! can't wait to read the 4th book-the chase!
Suzanne and Ryder aren't my favorite couple of this series and I found it rather difficult to read this book. Couple this with barbie doll Nikki's wedding planning, another hated character and this book was nowhere near as good as the first two in the series.
Suzanne and Ryder were divorced two years ago or so they thought. While working with bridezilla Nikki, they get the news that the divorce was never finalized and they are still legally married. These two fight and bicker like no one I've ever met and have remained "friends" since they travel in the same racing circles. Ryder still carries a torch for Suzanne but won't admit it to her. And Suzanne has rarely dated because she's still hung up on Ryder but won't can't express her emotions so has failed to tell him the simple truth. It was a comedy of errors without the comedy. I found myself cringing again and again when they started up. Though I will admit that regardless of their problems, the sex was hot and frequent. So hot that I found myself just turning pages because it depressed me. lol
I'm definitely looking forward to Evan Monroe's book. Mr. perpetual bachelor, I am not a one woman man is finally going to meet his match. I can't wait.
Since starting this series, I've been anxiously awaiting the story of Suz Jefferson and Ryder Jefferson. Suz's has been the one of the driving forces (get it, driving as in racing-ha ha)to Tamara getting married and Imogen getting engaged. But having witnessed Suz's in action, I did not expect that when it was her turn, she was going to just follow the advice of her two friends. And she did not let me down. She would not just talk to Ryder about her feelings. Every other character in the book, aside from Nikki and Jonas who are too wrapped up in each other, can see they still love each other. Suz's is a spitfire. She uses inappropriate language around Tamara's kids, which Hunter loves to repeat, and drinks. In other words, a gal close to me. While Suz appears to be the type of woman who does not care what others think, she has a great heart. She bakes cakes for kids in hospitals on thier birthday.
There has been sexual tenison between both her and what she thinks is her ex-husband Ryder. In the book it is referred to as unfinished business. They soon find out that their is also some other unfinished business, they are not divorced. Ryder thinks it's great. He wants another shot at marriage to her. Suz is not so sure, because she does not want to back to things the way they were before. She wants change, but she does not express her feelings to him. She keeps everything bottled up inside.
Once they admit to the unfinished business, things really pick-up. They have sex and Suz's get pregnant. Yet another reason in Ryder's mind they should stay married. This puts Suz over the top and she says no. It looks as if they will never work things out until the wedding of Nikki and Jonas. Ryder finally corners Suz and confesses his love and his desire to stay married.
Of the many things I liked about this book, was how we get Elec and Ty's point of view on the romance between Suz and Ryder.
I also like how education is important to the lead female leads. Tamara is a professor, Imogen is a graduate student, and Suz decides to go to law school.
On page 219 I liked the line, ". . . she needed a man who put forth the effort all the time, not just once a year." Don't we all?
While I liked Suz and Ryder the most, Ryder sometimes really bugged me. Sometimes I thought he was a big jerk and then at other times I felt sorry for him because Suz was so hard on him. I loved him tasting the cakes and when he was drunk. I did not like him when it took listening to Jonas pratice his vows to realize what he did not give Suz.
This has been my favorite of the whole series up to this point. I just got the following two and can't wait to read them.
Wow, I have to say this book sums up the art of miscommunication and assuming perfectly and is one I'm sure we can all relate in some way too..All in all it was a Quick, Sexy Romp. Just what I was looking for."
Wow, this couple had some major communication issues! Usually, this sort of thing frustrates me to no end, but I liked Ty and Suzanne (Ty more so than Suzanne) so much that I was able to still enjoy the story. It helped that I could tell that they still had deep feelings for each other. Disappointingly, the sexual sparks weren't as plentiful this time around in comparison to the two previous books, but being able to witness their personal growth and their great inroads to understanding each other gave this story a certain amount of tenderness. This group of Nascar friends is such a pleasure to revisit--they're all so natural and entertaining--that the plot moves merrily along. Although Hot Finish wasn't quite as satisfying as Flat Out Sexy and Hard and Fast, I still give it a strong 3.8 stars.