It takes a while to know who you really are. And when you lose your way, sometimes it’s hard to find it again. Charlie Hudson was on the verge of figuring that out when her dad—the only parent and friend she ever had—died suddenly. She was barely 18, and she was alone. So she went for easy—playing life safe, running away from a home that harbored nothing but bad memories and challenges and loving a man who would take her away from it all forever. It’s funny how chance takes over when you need it most. And that’s exactly what brought Cody Carmichael into her life. A former motocross super star, Cody was now happy to be living the blue collar life, spending his days finishing up school and his nights under the hood of some classic car, just trying to keep everything his father taught him alive. Cody and Charlie were living parallel lives, until they finally collided. And the moment he smiled at her, Charlie knew he was the one who would change everything. But was she willing to take the risk? Cody saw through it all. He saw her—all of her. But would letting him in be too much to take? And if Charlie let herself love him—really love him—could he love her back?
My thanks to Netgalley and Ginger Scott for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book.
I had so many problems with this book, but most of them can be summed up in one word - Charlie! I just did not like her, at all! The way she strung along two guys, back and forth, never making up her mind, was so annoying. (Warning: if you do not like love triangles, don't touch this book with a ten foot pole!). Charlie was super judgemental, constantly jealous, and really had no redeeming qualities, aside from (maybe) her artistic abilities. By the end of the book, I was wondering why either of the males wanted anything to do with her.
I don't always have to love or even like a protagonist to enjoy a book. Some of the best books I've read have MCs that behave in atrocious ways, but I think there does have to be some quality about them that draws me into their story. I either have to love/like/hate them, empathize with them, or simply have a drive to know what happens to them. With Charlie, I didn't feel any of those things. She could have ended up with Cody, or someone else, or nobody at all, and I really wouldn't have cared.
As for Cody, I did feel a bit of an emotional attachment to him. He's had a real uphill battle dealing with the death of his father, a career ending injury, an unhappy, alcoholic mother, and an unsupportive, vindictive stepfather. Oh, and then there's his stepbrother, Trevor, who happens to be Charlie's boyfriend. Trevor thinks Cody is a complete loser and treats him like crapola. You'd think that would be a bit of a red flag for Charlie, but she carries on with Trevor like normal so that she can maintain her illusion of the perfect life.
(Which brings me to an interesting observation about Trevor. He starts off as a bit of a pompous ass, but ends up being quite the stand up guy. Why? And how? His evolution didn't really make sense.)
There are a couple of other characters, friends of Cody's, who I didn't mind so much. They were likable enough, but they were definitely not enough to save this book from Charlie's faults.
If you're looking for a book that will give you an inside peek into the world of motocross, keep looking - you won't get it here. Looking back at the synopsis, there is nothing that really suggests there might be more about the sport than what was delivered. It's too bad, though. I think more motocross and less of Charlie's angst would have made this a better read.
My rating: 2 stars