“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” — T.S. Eliot
Author: MA Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 220
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Is motorsport ready for a gay driver?
As the opening race in the Global GT Challenge approaches, lead driver Mark Hunter struggles to regain his confidence after Randolph Racing’s last disastrous season. Mark hesitates when owner Randy says he’s found the perfect replacement for their arrogant previous teammate, Brad Wilkins. Former single-seater star Jordan Matthews is excited to join the crew and ready to put past troubles behind him.
Trust builds as Mark and Jordan become a fine-tuned team for the number 17 Saleen, earning a podium in Abu Dhabi at the season opener. Their friendship develops into more as they continue to earn prestige for Randolph Racing. But their success sparks jealousy, and people from their pasts threaten vengeance. Jordan is reluctant to ruin his fresh start in racing by exposing the secrets that almost cost him his career ten years ago. If he can’t take the risk, he’ll never realize his dream of kissing Mark on the winner’s podium.
Review: I’ve never read anything by this author before, so I didn’t have any expectations. After reading the blurb, I was really interested in seeing where this author would take this story. A gay race car driver? What a concept. It’s about damn time too!
I admire this author for taking on a storyline such as this. I know stock car racing and the good old boy homophobic mentality that runs rampant in this sport is widely known. I never thought the car racing world would ever be a backdrop for a MM story. I really liked the way the author represented the racing world. She definitely knows what she is talking about. From the official announcements to the team meetings, to the hair raising sequences on the track. I would have to say that being a fan of car racing like I am, this was a treat to read. The budding romance between Mark and Jordan was a pleasant addition.
I don’t think I would classify this story as a romance. True, we have these two men who develop a relationship, but I believe it was more about the environment they were in, the fear of coming out as a couple was definitely a major concern for them. One was out and proud, even though still very cautious. The other had to suppress his true feelings for men and keep them hidden deep inside. I really liked how these two came to know one another as friends before hitting the sheets. Building a relationship before intimacy is always a good idea, something we don’t see all the time in our romance novels. I have to say, I liked the slow progression this couple made before they became lovers. It was very realistic. And of course we have that one troublemaker who knows their secret and holds it over their heads to get what he wants. I loved how his plan backfired and the good guys came out on top. Sweet revenge.
Although this isn’t real life, the author portrays a very positive scenario. Mark and Jordan received a pretty good response from their peers. I truly don’t believe it would’ve gone very well had they been in America and were involved with NASCAR. I’m almost 100% sure a gay race car driver just wouldn’t be tolerated here. Maybe one day, hopefully soon, it just won’t be an issue.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I don’t think it’ll be for everyone, but even if you’re not into car racing, the characters themselves are worth getting to know.