Release Launch and Reviews: Joy Ride: Lauren Blakely

Joy Ride
Lauren Blakely
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Release Date May 1, 2017

From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of FULL PACKAGE and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

Let’s be honest, ladies. A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood. You probably also crave a ride that can go all night long.

I’m at your service. 

Like the custom cars I build with class and sophistication, that’s exactly how I treat a woman, even if it’s for one night only. Work and play keep me plenty busy, until a certain sexy brunette reappears in my life and throws a wrench in all my plans.

She’s fiery, she’s talented, she’s gorgeous, and she’s my biggest rival. But wait. There’s more. This woman I’m wildly attracted to also loathes me. That ought to be easy to deal with, except we’re forced to work together on the most important build of my career.

No problem — I’ll keep my hands to myself.

But every day I spend with her, we set new records for trading barbs and dirty innuendos, and every night I’m left wondering if maybe all that hate is really something else. Until one night, that question is answered on the hood of a sports car when she calls out my name three times. And we can’t seem to put on the brakes.

If sleeping with the enemy is a bad idea, how much more dangerous would it be to fall in love with her? 

Max Summers is rugged, smart, charming, and can fix just about anything. He's the premier car builder in town. He likes things fast, hot, and easy on the eyes. He doesn't mind getting dirty. He keeps his clients happy, and his charisma  makes the ladies' purr. 

He was not expecting a blast from his past, but all of a sudden Henley Marlowe is back in town and inserting herself into his world. She was his old apprentice and he is pretty sure she hates him. She's fiery, independent,stubborn as ever, and has become an amazing car builder in her own right. So good that she now works for his rival.

They have a whole bunch of unresolved issues from their past. Some things they are aware of and some things they kept hidden. She struggled to feel respected and good enough to compete with the boys. He had a hard time keeping it professional since she obviously want not just one of the boys. And now those unresolved feelings and insecurities are still there, along with rivalry, jealousy, anger, and hurt. Their banter is feisty and antagonistic. Max doesn't need distractions, and is a bit paranoid about competition. She brings out jealousy and feelings in him that he does not want to deal with. She's constantly trying to prove herself, and is also keeping secrets.

But when they end up on a project together, it is hard to avoid the intense chemistry between them. He knows he shouldn't fraternize, sleep with, and certainly not fall for the enemy. They both know mixing business with pleasure can be bad idea. But they get each other's motors running and soon they are full speed ahead into dangerous territory with  a real threat to crash and burn.

These two are so entertaining! I loved their banter, shared interests, and their smoking hot chemistry. The push and pull kept it interesting and dynamic. I liked seeing them begin to let down their walls to be more vulnerable and admit what they were hiding. There is a simmering attraction that just keeps boiling over and is so volatile that it is almost too hot to handle. But there are also points of sweetness, tenderness, and fun too. 

But how do you keep business and personal separate? Can you be rivals in business and partners in life?

This was a fresh, fun, feisty, sexy enemies-to-lovers story.  There are some surprises and twists. It is told in Max's no-nonsense, sometimes growly, sometimes sweet, but usually humorous way. I laughed out loud at his self-talk especially when trying to convince himself that he didn't like Henley. I adored both of them. They were so passionate and truly likable. Max was burly, sexy, swoony, and such an alpha. And Henley was small, but strong with a big personality. And they were just so HOT together whether they were getting dirty in the garage or getting clean together.

Max's siblings Mia and Chase were featured, along with some cameos from other friends in this loosely tied series.  I liked his friend, Patrick, and mechanic, Dylan. And Roger was a very unique side kick. The background with the car building was interesting and added a bit of an edge to the story.

Each one of these standalone rom coms  is unique, laugh inducing, hot, and sweet, with lovable  and interesting couples. They just totally keep me entertained, and I cannot wait for more

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Max Summers is at the top of his game. His custom cars are in demand and he is the best in New York.

Henley Marlow is fast gaining fans in the car world. But she and Max have a history that makes them bigger rivals than they otherwise would have been.

When they are forced to work together on a project, sparks fly, both in their working relationship and their personal one. These two are such a match. Their love of cars connects them, but it also fuels their competitive nature.

The sparks were flying even before they found themselves working together. From the very first scene together, it was clear that something big happened to ruin their relationship. Even in that reunion, the potent mix of attraction and animosity stirred their competition.

This book is full of great descriptions of the cars Max and Henley rebuild without getting too technical. Since both characters are immersed in the car world, it makes sense, but it is also done in a way that isn’t overwhelming to those who aren’t car nuts. (But for what it’s worth, those who love cars will love the ones they work on!)

This was so much fun to read as they compete and relearn how to work together. Enemies through their own actions, in order to meet their goals they will have to work through the past. Joy Ride is full of the humor and sexiness that I have come to expect from Lauren’s books and kept me turning pages as fast as I could. There were moments that had me laughing aloud and others than had me hurting right alongside the characters. Add this to my list of favorites from Lauren -- her stories continue to pull me in and entertain from start to finish.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Henley Rose and a hot car go together like peaches and cream, like fine Scotch and a long, dirty night. Which means working with her was like walking into the Garden of Eden every single day. It was a test of willpower because the woman could craft a car as if it were an erotic dance.

Not a striptease.

Not an in-your-face pelvis thrust.

But a beautiful fucking ballet of a woman seducing machine. Those hands, the way she wielded tools, the intensity in her focus—it was sensual, and it was sinful, and it was this man’s fantasy made flesh.

Imagine what it was like working with her for one, hard-on year.

I mean, hard year.

I survived the challenge because she had talent to spare. And I never treated her differently because she was a woman, or because I thought about her naked an obscene amount of the time. I treated her like anyone else—specifically, all the people I work with who I never ever imagine in anything less than full-on Siberian winter garb, complete with the thermals and Michelin Man coat.

“Black heart still intact.” I tap my sternum. “Same model as before.”

“I’d have thought you’d get an upgrade by now. Faulty parts and all.”

“No recall needed on the ticker. It works just fine in this cruel bastard.” I say, reminding her of the words she’d uttered the day she stormed out.

She arches a brow. “Shame. You should have let me replace it. I’m good at making all sorts of clunkers run better.”

Jesus Christ. She still takes no prisoners. “I’ve no doubt you have all the tools to fix anything, and if you couldn’t find the right one, you’d use a blowtorch.”

She adopts an expression of indignation. “There’s nothing wrong with using a blowtorch,” she says, taking extra time on the first syllable.

How the hell did I ever last with this woman? Before I can even fashion a comeback, she taps her toe against the tire on Wagner’s car. “I see you still like to make your cars with big, manly wheels.”

I roll my eyes then make a give it to me now motion with my hands. “All right, Henley. Deliver the punchline.”

She bats her lashes. “What punchline?”

Big? Manly? You’re going to say it’s some sort of compensation thing going on. That’s what you always said about the guys who wanted the biggest cars with the biggest wheels.”

She smirks. “Was I wrong in my assessment?”

I laugh. “I don’t know. I didn’t check to see how that added up for them.”

“Nor did I. My focus was always on the work.”

“As well it should have been.”

“That’s what you taught me.”

“I’m glad you learned that lesson.”

“I learned so many lessons from you.”

Don’t Miss All of Lauren’s Romantic Comedies written from the Male POV!

BIG ROCK (Now Available)
MISTER O (Now Available)
WELL HUNG (Now Available)
FULL PACKAGE (Now Available)
Lauren Blakely

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy-five times, and she's sold more than 1.5 million books. In May she'll release JOY RIDE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing JOY RIDE GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮ Celebrate the release of JOY RIDE with this amazing giveaway!

The JOY RIDE giveaway is filled with:
✮ Kate Spade Patton Leather Tote and Kate Spade Desktop Planner ($325 value)
✮ $50 Gift Card to Bath and Body Works
✮ $50 Gift Card to Amazon


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