Friday, September 19, 2014

#48 [2014/CBR6] "Fast Track" by Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood is the author of some of the first romances I ever read. They had danger and suspense, and she's always been one of my favorite romance authors. I don't know if the quality of her books have declined, if I have gotten tired of Garwood's plots, or if my standards have changed, but she's lost her spot at the top with some of her more recent novels. Yet the nostalgia is still there and I rarely pass up a new Garwood book.

Fast Track (2014) is Garwood's latest novel, and she helps with my nostalgia by throwing together her hero and heroine from characters of previous books. Cordelia Kane (Cordy) is a teacher and has been in love with her best friend's brother Aiden, since she was five years old. Aiden is a workaholic hotel magnate. He is rich and powerful--very rich, and very powerful.

Cordy's father has made something of himself. From a lowly mechanic, he became a millionaire business owner of a chain of auto stores. When he dies, he tells Cordy a secret. Her mother did not die in a car crash as Cordy had been told, but she is alive. She ran away from him and her daughter when Cordy was a baby. Cordy does a little digging and discovers that her mother is part owner of a huge real estate developing family in Australia. Yet when she investigates in Australia with her giant crush, Aiden, someone starts trying to kill her. Fortunately, they know enough FBI agents to not be able to turn around without running into one, and she and Aiden and their team of FBI are able to keep her safe and catch her killer.

I had mixed feelings about this novel. On the one hand, using characters I had already read about made it all seem so familiar. It was like a reunion of sorts. On the other hand, I was pretty disappointed with the actual romance. I could not understand why these characters liked each other. Cordy had a crush on Aiden since she was a child, and Aiden is very good looking. But otherwise, he is something of an asshole. He never talks to her, and he's always working. After they sleep together, he leaves her without a word--more than once! I didn't see any kind of development of their relationship. Aiden was arrogant and bossy, and Cordy was happy to be sleeping with him--trying not to expect anything more. Near the end of the novel, Aiden decides he doesn't need to work as hard as he has been, so maybe things will get better once the book is over?

I did have fun trying to figure out which secondary characters Garwood would be featuring in her next novel. There are at least three possibilities, and I think they'd all be interesting. And despite my disappointment with the relationship in this book, I'll probably be reading it.

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