Pages: 352 pages
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Buchanan-Renard #12**
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A corrupt congressman, a mother’s secrets, and a sizzling romance ignite passion and suspense in the new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.
Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.
Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.
Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he unknowingly puts her life at risk. He’s recently angered a powerful congressman by refusing to purchase overvalued land. Congressman Chambers is not a man to let such an offense slide, and he has the resources to get even and to get what he wants.
In Australia sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but multiple attempts on Aiden’s life are made while Cordelia is with him, and he realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.
Some mild spoilers.
Julie Garwood's historical romance novels were one of the first I read when I discovered romance novels at the age of fourteen. I read them one after the other because they were so addicting. I think she went on a bit of a writing hiatus and do not write historical romances anymore. I wanted to check out her newer titles (Garwood is writing romantic suspense these days) so I picked up Sweet Talk in 2012. Unfortunately, I didn't particularly enjoy Sweet Talk (read my review here).
When I got a chance to review Fast Track I was excited but apprehensive... am I going to like it or will it be a lukewarm experience like Sweet Talk was?
But before I get into all that, I want to clarify some things. The book's description basically said that a corrupt congressman was after Cordelia after Aiden made him angry. And that's a big NO. There was a corrupt congressman and Aiden did make him angry, but he was not after Cordelia at all. Actually, his character had nothing to do with Cordie at all. The congressman storyline had very little to do with the main plot. It could've been taken out of the story entirely and it wouldn't have made a difference.
The main plot line had to do with Cordelia's mother. At her father's deathbed, he revealed that Cordie's mother was actually alive. Of course, Cordie wanted to meet and learn more about the woman and why she left Cordie to be raised by her dad. She found out (along with other secrets) that her mom currently lives in Sydney. Cordie wanted to go, if only to see the woman in person. Aiden insisted (he was being an alpha--there was no "railroading") that she take his private jet along with him. But Cordie's mom didn't want to be found and that's when the trouble (and danger) started.
The story wasn't quite the way the description described but I am happy to say that I liked Fast Track! I gave it
Okay, so I wasn't wowed by it or anything. It's not particularly memorable either. However, Fast Track was very, very entertaining nonetheless. I enjoyed it so much more than I did Sweet Talk and I was pleasantly surprised by how fast I read it. It was one of those books where when I look down at the page number, I'd be pleasantly surprised to see that I've read 40 pages in a seemingly short period of time.
I really enjoyed Cordelia's character. She had a good head on her shoulders, she acted her age and her reactions to the situation she found herself in were believable. When she found herself in dangerous situations, she screamed and called for help. I get so irritated with heroines who are "strong, independent women" who put themselves into dangerous situations to prove they're strong and independent (they're otherwise known as TSTL heroines). But not Cordelia. She acted rationally and I really, really liked that about her.
I liked Aiden's character too. He's a good guy. He liked having things his way but he wasn't too overbearing. But nothing really stood out about his character--in a line-up of romance novel heroes, he would fade in the background.
I do wish we see more of a progression in their relationship though. Cordelia and Aiden have known each other forever and had an established friendship. Cordelia has had a crush on Aiden since she was a little girl and she's trying to get over him. But circumstances forced she to spend a lot to time with him and depend on his help. Then, they fell into bed and... well, I feel we didn't really get to see much of a development of their romantic relationship.
What this novel lacked was deep emotion and heart. While I liked the all the characters, I didn't have any strong feelings for them. Like I said enjoyed Fast Track, I was entertained by it and I really have no issues with it but there was nothing remarkable about it. Fast Track was ultimately a fluffy, easy breezy read.
**Fast Track is #12 in the Buchanan-Renard series but it can be read as a stand-alone.