Drive Me Crazy by Marquita Valentine
Series: Holland Springs #1
Publisher: Valentine Publishing LLC (Self-Published) on February 1, 2013
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
He's her best friend's older brother
Twenty-four year old Troublemaker Extraordinaire, Melanie Ann Smith, isn't asking for much out of life: a house without wheels, to travel further than her home state and her best friend's older brother, Carter Ambrose. Only three things stand in her way: juggling all of her odd jobs, keeping her daddy from gambling away all of their money and getting Carter to see her as a woman.
She is the one woman who's off-limits...
NASCAR racer, Carter Ambrose, has finally decided to take his doctor's advice and find a new occupation before another wreck on the track kills him. Only his doctor hadn't counted on his little sister's best friend, Melanie Ann Smith, crashing his weeks of solitude with her short skirts and platform heels. And that's not the least of his problems. His mother has decided that she wants grandchildren and the only woman that's good enough for the job-his ex-fiance.
Soon Melanie and Carter agree to a temporary relationship. One with benefits that is mutually satisfying in every way, or so each believes. And just when they are ready admit their feelings, family secrets are exposed, threatening Melanie and Carter's fragile relationship.
Will Carter risk it all for love, or will Melanie be left holding the trophy for second place?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Melanie’s been in love with her best friend’s brother since they were all kids, and she’d do just about anything for him to think of her as more than just his little sister’s pain-in-the-ass friend. Now that he’s retired from racing and spending time back home in Holland Springs, she’s ready to turn up the heat and get him to notice her. But with her multiple jobs, gambling dad, trailer park home, and overall bad luck with guys, getting the local golden boy to take her seriously is not going to be easy.
I almost passed this book up because of the cover. I mean, it’s just so damned pink, and nothing about it made it look any different than any of the hundreds of other romances out there. Really, the only reason I took a second look is because I was listing it in our Sunday Steals feature, since it was free from book retailers for a little while, and while I was copy/pasting the synopsis, I took notice. Funny thing is that it looks like this is a new cover for it, as I found a different one when I was looking up all the details to make this post. That old cover? I would have snatched this book up in a heartbeat if I’d seen that one.
Just about everything about this book was not what I was expecting, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Melanie may be Carter’s little sister’s best friend, but she’s not some sweet, innocent girl-next-door. She’s basically trailer trash (book’s words, not mine) who plays up the sex kitten look. I’m not saying she’s some cheap slut, but she’s definitely confident in her appearance, and she knows how to work her looks to her advantage with platform heels, thigh highs, and mini skirts.
Also unlike many books with this basic premise, Carter’s not worried about corrupting his little sister’s not-so-sweet best friend. He’s protective of her even when he’s drooling over her, and it seems his primary concern is simply that he plans on moving away, so he can’t exactly make her any promises as far as a relationship goes.
There are lots of steamy sex scenes, though once I figured out what Melanie and Carter were both like, it didn’t necessarily catch me off guard. And of course, they’re both so awful at communicating with each other, not to mention jumping to conclusions the moment someone says the wrong thing, that there’s tons of drama. Still, it manages to stay away from major angst, so it’s a fairly upbeat read.
Melanie’s an interesting character who’s got a pretty miserable lot in life. She tries not to let the constant setbacks get her down, and she’s determined to make something of herself, but the higher society people in town don’t make it easy for her. Carter was an idiot more often than not, basically your typical guy who keeps putting his foot in his mouth, but I think that made him even more likable, since it just served to make him more real. Overall, Drive Me Crazy is a different kind of in-love-with-the-sibling’s-best-friend story, and though the cover and summary don’t really set it up right, it’s a really fun read.