Title: Racing to You
Author: Robin Lovett
Series: Racing Love #1
Genre: NA Contemporary
Length: Short novel
Love—the one roadblock they never expected.
Aurelia is living her dream, teaching for a year in the south of France. Except it’s all going wrong. The carefree culture is challenging her academic goals, and her students are so difficult that she wants the unthinkable: to give up and go home.
Meeting Terrence doesn’t help. When he’s not training for the Tour de France, the cocky pro cyclist is flirting with Aurelia, but she didn’t cross an ocean to hook up with an American jock, even if he does have killer dimples and looks hot in spandex.
Until the jock sets out to prove he’s more than mere muscle. He wants to teach her what having fun really means, which could be as dangerous to her structured life as it is to her heart.
As life hits unexpected roadblocks, they turn to one another for support, and flirtation becomes game-changing love. But Terrence is chasing his dream of being the fastest man on two wheels, and she isn’t sure how far he’ll go to win…or how far she’s willing to follow.
Warnings: Includes a hopelessly romantic hero, a guilt-free sex proposition, a lot of orgasms and, of course, croissants.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
It’s July, the Tour de France has just begun and my brain is all about competitive cycling right now – what better time to pick up a pro-cycling romance? I was really looking forward to this one, but although I found it an easy read, I can’t say that I enjoyed anywhere near as much as I’d hoped.
Part of this is because I’ve grown so used to reading romances that last for one book, then it’s HEA and onto the next couple in the series. Not so here. This is only the start of Aurelia’s story, and the whole of it is told in her first person POV (except for at the very end where we get a few paragraphs from Terrence). I did think as I was reading that the time line was moving very slowly, and wondered how this could possibly end when they hadn’t even reach the first of the Grand Tours yet, before I twigged it wasn’t going to end here. So, if romances spanning multiple books aren’t your thing, be warned. Personally, I don’t mind them, I’m just out of practise.
Another problem I had was Aurelia. She’s a very naive character, pretty immature in some ways, and she doesn’t really develop over the course of the book – well, except to shift her anxiety of being away from home to being away from Terrence, and I really don’t think that’s a positive change. She’s well read and intelligent and totally in love with all things French, but she’s also shy, prone to saying nasty things when uncomfortable and a complete doormat. She may have dreams, but she won’t fight her parents on them, and when it comes to Terrence she folds at the least hint of displeasure. She’s twenty two and away from home for the first time, but I would have expected her to have matured a little more.
I wasn’t all that fond of Terrence either. He can be playful and flirty at times, which was fun, and he definitely isn’t pushy when it comes to Aurelia setting the pace for intimacy between them, but he also takes advantage of her need to please. Yes, he’s under a lot of team pressure, but I couldn’t help feeling that he takes advantage of her throughout. Even when he buys her an expensive gift, it’s a bike so that she can go riding with him. He doesn’t seem all that interested in her or her dreams, except for where they coincide with his.
And yet I read the whole thing. Partly because I loved the sense of France this book has and the way French is easily woven into the plot. I also liked the cycling bits scattered here and there, and all the little clues relating to the Voldemort of cycling (and Dr Bugatti – I see what you did there ;D). It’s not a bad book, but the characters irritated me kind of a lot, which would normally be a complete deal breaker for me. However, the cycling kept me intrigued and leaves me curious about the next book and the looming possibilities of the Giro d’Italia. So even though this one didn’t live up to my expectations, I’ll probably still be keeping my eye out for the next one.
Racing to You is Out Now.
Visit Robin Lovett for more details.