Title: Pit Road: Running Under Caution, Book 1
Author: Anah Crowe and Dianne Fox
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Buy Link: Buy Link Pit Road: Running Under Caution, Book 1
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / light BDSM
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Unevenly paced and over stressed relationship that I found rather unsuccessful.
Blurb: Denny Clay never had much going for him, until the racing circuit took him out of the trailer park and away from his bigoted family. Luck smiled on him, and now he’s settled down—in the closet—with his crew chief and boyfriend, Sully Price.
Though they’re winning races and the fight to keep their relationship secret, Denny can’t shake the feeling he’s going to have to pay up for all this happiness. He never imagined reckoning would come in the form of a rare medical condition that might cost him his career. And maybe Sully too.
For once, Sully’s at a loss, with nothing in his fix-everything toolbox designed to repair his broken lover—or stop Denny’s inevitable slide into a black hole of self-loathing. With a little creativity and a few kinky accessories, Sully shifts into overdrive in the race to get Denny turned around. And prays that his stubborn persistence doesn’t drive their love into a ditch.
Previously released as short stories, this novel has been re-written and expanded from its original release.
Broken heroes, hot sex, and one man’s hardcore determination to keep his lover in one piece.
I have put off writing this review, because I was undecided as to why I really just didn’t enjoy this book that much. I had so looked forward to reading and reviewing it. Slow Bloom and One Real Thing by these authors are two of my absolute all time favourite re – reads.
I have read Pit Road almost three times now and have finally decided it doesn’t work for me. The final crunch came when I saw on my review copy that it was Book One and at the thought of a sequel my instant reaction was….. Oh God no…… why can’t you just leave them in peace. So I’m afraid this review is all about a personal attempt to try and find out why in this case the writing failed for me. I understand that originally published as short stories the book has been rewritten and expanded. I think this might be at the root of it.
The story did throw the reader into the action without any introduction to the characters, but I usually really like that immediacy. However, in this case when you began to get to know Denny and Sully their personalities are already really under considerable stress. This means that a baseline of comfortable known behavior isn’t established until much later in the book and even then it isn’t consistent. There is a definite feeling of authorial manipulation, strings were being overtly pulled and obstacles thrown at the guys to get over……. an emotional Hunger Games. This is emphasised by very uneven pacing. I kept thinking we’d finally reached an even stance and everything just revved up again.
The general emotional tone of this is pretty wearying. Denny is so screwed up; an awful trailer park childhood, unhappily gay, terrified of being outed, utterly uneasy in his own submissive skin, fighting his love for Sully and badly injured in a racing crash. How he thinks, feels and acts during his slow painful recovery is exhausting – it sounds mean to say this but he is not a pleasure to be around. Even when he starts to heal physically and grow as a character, other tensions are almost wilfully thrown in to unfairly unbalance him. Sully deserved a burnished halo. I liked him, he was so understanding and creative in helping Denny – particularly inventive sexually – but I did feel tired on his behalf.
There are frequent sex scenes with some exploration of casual almost instinctive BDSM, and while this intimacy created some closeness with Sully and Denny, for some reason and- sadly I still haven’t worked out why- it just isn’t enough. Though it might have something to do with the uneven progression of the relationship. I think that the work’s original format has probably adversely affected it’s life as a full length novel.
While there were some appealing scenes between these intense characters, overall the unsubtle balance of the story spoilt the flow of intimacy these writers usually manage so well. I found this one a rather puzzling disappointment. However there are a couple of five star reviews on Amazon, so I could just be weird and wrong.