Pit Road

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
Length: Novel
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.
Product Warnings

Broken heroes, hot sex, and one man’s hardcore determination to keep his lover in one piece.

Review:

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.

4 comments

  • Hi Raine
    Thank you for this review and making me feel that I’m not crazy.

    I had exactly the same reaction to this book and I didn’t understand it because I love almost all of these authors’ other books especially Slow Bloom, One Real Thing and Tatterdemalion but I just couldn’t like Denny.

    I wrote a post sometime ago about over the top angst and this is one excellent example. I know that many readers love angst but I find books that use it almost as a weapon difficult to read. I’m not saying that in this case it was deliberate but I just felt beaten down by everything that had happened to Denny. It was as if he was living under a bad moon that threw everything at him.

    This one just didn’t work for me.

    Reply
    • You can appreciate the relief I feel that you agree with me Wave. I really didn’t like writing this review.

      When you mention angst being used as a weapon I know how you feel……

      It does appear that some of the book’s problems do simply come from Denny’s battered role in the story being too much.

      Thanks. 🙂

      Reply
  • I really like these authors too. I mean One slow Bloom had too much sex for me, but I really enjoyed One real thing and Tatterdemallion (I am sure I butchered spelling here :)), so I purchased this one and got distracted by other books. It is sitting in my TBR. Not sure how inspired I am to get to it soon after your review :), but when/if I will, I will let you know. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
    • Yes please let me know what you think, cos as I mentioned a lot in the review……. the whole review is basically a plea for sudden understanding…….. I struggled here. 🙁

      The sex in Slow Bloom really developed the relationship and the character development though…..more so than in any other book I’ve read. As you know…… after Adrien and Jake……Jack and Ricky are probably my favourite couple……………. 😀

      Reply

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