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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review: Hard and Fast by Raven Scott

I really wanted to like this book but there were just too many issues with it for it to work.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: December 29, 2015

With his tech brilliance, lethal physical abilities, and easygoing manner, Lucas Johnson is a triple threat. And that’s exactly what Magnus Motorsport needs to protect their game-changing engine design, and its engineer, Alex Cotts, from hackers and saboteurs. Lucas isn’t expecting any surprises—until he discovers Alex is actually a sexy, irresistible woman…

In a male-dominated industry, Alex has always tried to hide her alluring femininity. But Lucas has no trouble seeing her beauty—or her stubborn streak. Alex is convinced she doesn’t need him to babysit her—or distract her with his sex appeal. Yet when a suspicious fire destroys Alex’s work, she finds herself turning to him. In the face of increasing danger, soon Lucas must keep her alive, as his client—and as the only woman he’s ever truly wanted…

Engineer Alex Cotts can hold her own in the male dominated motorsports industry but when a new engine design becomes the target hackers and saboteurs, her employers know she and the design need to be protected. Enter Lucas Johnson, brilliant techie, lethal fighter and a seemingly nice guy who thought his client was a man, not an attractive woman. With someone desperate to destroy Alex’s hard work and possibly her in the process, Lucas has to stay as close to her as possible and that brings all kinds of complications.

So Hard and Fast wasn’t really my cup of tea and the problems began very early on.

Alex spent most of the story in the background, only coming forward when it came time to have sex or progress the emotional part of the book. Lucas and his team had all the fun chasing bad guys, fighting, solving puzzles. I wish Alex had had an actual role in solving her own problem rather than just sitting pretty in the background working on her project. Another issue I had with her is that she couldn’t decide who she was outside of her job! Did she want to be feminine? Did she not want to be feminine? I don’t like heroines who are grown but have the identity issues of a teenager which is how I felt about Alex. The constant reminders that Alex wasn’t “feminine” or wasn’t a “typical female” grated a bit because it was repetitive but also because I felt like this character’s femininity was being defined by her job and the fact that most of her friends were male.

Then there was Lucas who seemed to suffer from something similar. He was supposed to be this brilliant coder, security specialist and fighter, yet he never actually proved that to me. So many things backfired or just flat out went wrong that he seemed more like a rookie out on his first job. I also found him to be too detached from Alex. I get that he had to keep his head on straight while trying to protect her from an unknown assailant but when she was in real danger it’s like he didn’t feel too terrified for her. I was more convinced that he didn’t care for her based on his actions. I just didn’t feel, much less believe that there was any kind of romance between him and Alex.

Another big issue was that the author felt the need to detail unimportant happenings which really slowed down the pace of Hard and Fast. There were a lot of scenes that were not important to the overall development of the plot or characters yet those were the scenes that dragged on and on.

Final Verdict: For a romantic suspense Hard and Fast moved at a snail’s pace and had very little in the way of character development and romance. It had a lot of potential but the execution just fell flat.

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