Publish Date: 29 Jul
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.
Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.
Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he unknowingly puts her life at risk. He’s recently angered a powerful congressman by refusing to purchase overvalued land. Congressman Chambers is not a man to let such an offense slide, and he has the resources to get even and to get what he wants.
In Australia sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but multiple attempts on Aiden’s life are made while Cordelia is with him, and he realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.
This blurb came from Goodreads.
Julie Garwood was my introduction to adult romance. As a result, I fell in love with and still do adore her historicals. Since she switched to contemporary romantic suspense, I have struggled. I wanted to find that same sense of absolute wonder and immersion but it wasn’t quite there. I tried rather haphazardly through the years to catch up on them but never succeeded. As a result, it has been a few years since I have read one of her contemporaries and I haven’t started a re-read of her historicals lately. So when I saw Fast Track up for review I decided I would give it a try. While it didn’t contain the same magic as her historicals, when I finished reading I wanted to go back and get caught up.
Fast Track seems to follow a rather interesting pattern with some of Garwood’s heroines. Cordelia has a devoted, hard working blue-collar father and no mother. As a result of learning her father’s work ethic, Cordelia developed quite a reputation as a brilliant teacher and a gifted chemist. Like her father, she was able to inspire loyalty and caring which was very evident from her sister-like relationship with her two best friends to the way her rough inner-city students kept an eye out for her. While she never quite got over her childhood crush on Aiden, I loved how she didn’t have any issues challenging him or any of the other overly protective secondary characters while not losing her sense of self-protection.
I didn’t have as detailed a picture about Aiden. I did love his no nonsense way of dealing with business and how he managed to handle the unscrupulous congressman. I also felt a little sorry for him because it seemed as if he didn’t really have a home, just identical rooms/clothes positioned across the world. He also seemed to have the weight of his family on his shoulders and didn’t think twice about trying to arrange the lives of others to fit how he thought they should be. It was rather amusing to watch him in action because he never seemed to argue–things just happened. Yet with all of his skill at getting people to do what he wanted, he refused to see what it was that he really wanted.
Cordelia and Aiden were fun together. They supported each other, sparred with each other and seemed completely oblivious to their feelings about each other. Cordelia was bound and determined to get over her crush on Aiden and start her life fresh; while Aiden kept coming up with reasons why he should keep an eye on Cordelia. It was even more amusing to watch Aiden’s friends all recognize what he was experiencing long before he did. I really enjoyed the supporting characters and their interference with Cordelia and Aiden.
As I was trying to keep track of the suspense portion of the story, I noticed Garwood added a twist that I was not expecting but it certainly explained some of the escalating threats on Cordelia’s life. However, the blurb on Goodreads was misleading because it mentions Aiden bringing danger to Cordelia’s life because of their association, but I never saw that plot element in the story and I kept looking for it. Despite the conflict between the blurb and the story itself, I found Fast Track a good read. I want to go back and read the stories of the previously established couples as well as find out what the deal is with Aiden’s brother Walker and a secretive yet helpful Liam.
I give Fast Track a B