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REVIEW: Driven to Distraction by Ashleigh Raine

Dear Ms. Raine:

driven2distraction72lgI think someone brought this to my attention because I mentioned I liked sports books.   I never really equate sports and cars, but I suppose it falls under the same rubric of entertainment.   This story is a car book and a movie book.   I liked the movie aspects more but for a car enthusiast, I think this book would be a thrill.

Blaina Triton is an up and coming stunt double whose first love, cars, leads her to stop one night in Encino when she spies a dark purple 1970 Barracuda convertible with "complete with hard-body owner leaning against the fender." The two exchange heated double entrendres under the guise of referring to his vehicle, her tools, his tools, her engine and so forth. The first chapter does a good job in conveying the tone of the entire book. In other words, if the reader likes the first chapter, I think she’ll like the book. If the auto puns, high sexuality, and Hollywood setting doesn’t appeal, then this book should be passed.

First, I have to confess to not being much of a car buff. All the chatter about the differing engines and torq and cars made my eyes glaze over. It was too much, in my opinion. For a car enthusiast, this was probably heavenly but for me, who doesn’t even like to put her own gas in her car, it seemed like overkill. Particularly since it seemed like all the innuendo was car related: "How fast do you like to go?" "Why don’t you take me for a test spin and find out?" I was also taken aback by the fact that they had sex on the hood of one of the classic restored cars.   I do admit to watching Top Gear and mildly being interested in the car shows that Ned watches and I get the feeling that some of those guys don’t even like you to breathe on their custom cars let alone allowing someone to roll around and secrete on them.   That seems like a no no to me but again, what do I know.

Blaina is set to work on Dangerous Intentions, a high octane (sorry I couldn’t resist my own auto related pun) action flick. She’s excited to work with the famed Jay Williams, expert stunt actor and currently the stunt coordinator for Dangerous Intentions. Blaina feels like her world is coming into perfect alignment. She had great sex with a fellow car enthusiast, has a date for the following week, and is set to start filming with a legend in the stunt community. Seriously, what could go wrong?

If you didn’t see it coming in the first chapter, I think it is no spoiler to reveal that Jay Williams is Mr. Hardbody and he has a ‘no relationships on the set’ rule due to some past loss.   Despite that every part of Jay wants every leather clad inch of Blaina, he’s not willing to break his rules to sleep with Blaina again. The problem isn’t Jay’s rules exactly; it’s that in an effort to shut Blaina out, he acts like an asshole. I mean, since when does ‘no sleeping with you’ have to be articulated with a tone of dismissive authority.

I know that having Jay act like a prick is all part of the setup, but it doesn’t mean I have to like him or his attitude. I also wondered why Blaina would continue to be attracted to Jay after he treats her like crap. It doesn’t appear in the early parts of the story that Jay has anything going for him other than being good in bed. But Jay must really be good in bed because despite his behavior and his rules, the two can’t keep their hands off each other.

There is quite a bit of screen time devoted to happy couple Sam and Connor (Sam is a chick m/m fans) so they must have starred in a previous romance story.   I felt their bliss was inserted just to interest the reader in their story rather than adding much to the story of Jay and Blaina despite Conor being the headline actor of Dangerous Intentions.   

My favorite parts of the book were the action/stunt scenes. These are described with great detail and it was a nice "insider" look on how the best parts of an action film are made.   In summary,   I liked Blaina quite a bit. Thought Jay was a jerk. Rolled my eyes at least one sex scene (a flashlight, really?) and I didn’t really understand how Jay’s loss and reputation regarding his "no relationships on set" wouldn’t be hot gossip that everyone knew within the industry as so much of Hollywood seems like high school.   C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased from Samhain in ebook and print formats.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

8 Comments

  1. chris
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 06:49:26

    The problem isn't Jay's rules exactly; it's that in an effort to shut Blaina out, he acts like an asshole. I mean, since when does ‘no sleeping with you' have to be articulated with a tone of dismissive authority.

    Well, I haven’t read this particular book, but when a character in another book did something similar, I interpreted it as fear he wouldn’t be able to live up to his own rule. So he has to piss her off so she’ll stop tempting him.

    Yes, this is kind of an assholish thing to do. The character in the other book eventually realized that and apologized (and then got involved with the woman he was trying to avoid for fear of job-related complications).

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  2. Jayne
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 06:54:55

    I was also taken aback by the fact that they had sex on the hood of one of the classic restored cars. I do admit to watching Top Gear and mildly being interested in the car shows that Ned watches and I get the feeling that some of those guys don't even like you to breathe on their custom cars let alone allowing someone to roll around and secrete on them. That seems like a no no to me but again, what do I know.

    LOL, my b-i-l restored a classic car and I can just imagine the look on his face if someone did the nasty on it. The years of effort, the money spent tracking down original parts, the custom paint job, the enclosed trailer he uses to haul it to shows – OMG, this would so not happen anywhere near that baby.

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  3. Angela James
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 10:17:47

    @ Jane and Jayne

    *clearing throat* maybe those men haven’t met the right woman. I might know someone who this has happened to in real life…

    Thanks for the review, Jane.

    I’m about 50-50 on sports stories. Sometimes they work for me and sometimes they don’t. I think the reason this book worked for me was because my husband is a huge car guy so I spend hours listening to everything having to do with cars and racing.

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  4. jmc
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 10:42:20

    Blaina Triton? Oh, the images that name gives me:

    1) Blaina: my mind flashes immediately to Pretty in Pink. Wasn’t Blain the name of James Spader’s character?

    2) Triton: starts humming the music to Disney’s The Little Mermaid. We are the daughters of Triton…

    So as I read your review, I was imagining a mermaid-ish snooty feminized Spader. This could be the best book in the world, but I’m not sure I could get past the name.

    Maybe I’ve indulged in a little too much popular culture lately.

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  5. karmelrio
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 13:11:51

    I was also taken aback by the fact that they had sex on the hood of one of the classic restored cars.

    Agreed, Jayne, I’m also having a hard time seeing this. Nookie, paint job. Nookie, paint job.

    Nuh-uh. Preserving the Precious paint job would totally win. Any serious car enthusiast in this situation would take it to the back seat and save the paint.

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  6. AshleighRaine Jen
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 14:02:43

    Jane, thanks for taking the time to read and review Driven to Distraction. I’m sorry it wasn’t completely to your liking, but I do appreciate your feedback on the book. The stunt scenes were fun to write–glad you enjoyed them.

    You said it right, Hollywood is a lot like high school. There’s all the cliques and the gossiping, just like when I was a teenager–except these people have more money. I still love the entertainment industry, but I love it more from a distance. Every time I get pulled back in to do a job, I remember everything about it I don’t like. The backstabbing, the politics, I could go on and on. There’s still magic there though, unlike anything else I’ve experienced. So even with all the negative, I’m glad to still dally in that world on occasion. And I’ve met and worked with some of the greatest people on the planet. So not all bad. :)

    As for sex on top of restored classic cars, not everyone would do it (I’m one who wouldn’t!), but I happen to know a few people who restore classic cars who have sex on and in their cars. They get off on it. Literally and figuratively, I guess you could say. ;) I’m a lot tamer than the characters I write though, and prefer my sex in places I won’t suffer a backache for it in the morning.

    Thanks again for the review!

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  7. maygirl7
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 19:09:58

    I hated this book, when I read it. There was a lot of sex which is a plus in erotica, but the writing was the pits. If it hadn’t been an ebook on my beloved PDA, I would have thrown it across the room.

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  8. Bev Stephans
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 19:11:18

    I read this when it first came out. I loved it then and I still love it.

    I have always been around car nuts and I know some who would think it a hoot to have sex on the hood, the trunk, the leather upholstery and anywhere else your mind and body takes you.

    Ordinarilly, I’m not into Hollywood, but this worked for me because of the behind-the-scenes look at life.

    I enjoy Ashleigh Raines writing and will continue to read their books

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