My joint review with fellow bookpusher Lou: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/06/14/joint-review-jacked-up-by-erin-mccarthy/
Lou: The Fast Track series is definitely a must read for contemporary romance fans and for fans of sport romances. I adored the first two books in the series, and enjoyed the third but skipped the other books after reading the not so great reviews. I’m glad to say that Jacked Up ends the series on a great note. Jacked Up features one of the most adorable and funny heroes, and a heroine with a spunky attitude that doesn’t want to make you slap her. They complimented each other so brilliantly, and I loved that Nolan wasn’t a hotshot race driver, but one of the stock car mechanics. He wasn’t a rich playboy, but your normal average guy who happened to be funny, romantic, and loveable.
MinnChica: I’m a huge fan of sports romance books, so when I first found McCarthy, I was so excited for each and every book in the series. After the 4th book, I was extremely disappointed and skipped the 5th in the series. When I saw that Eve would be the heroine of the 6th and final book in the series, I couldn’t miss the chance to read this one, since I’ve been a big fan of Eve since the beginning. Add in the sexy and hilarious and sweet Nolan, and there were so many things about this book that I absolutely adored! The romance between these two was so incredible, and really carried the story from start to finish.
Lou: I agree that their romance carried the entire story. Their banter and witty remarks kept me entertained throughout. I loved Eve’s no nonsense attitude, but there was a vulnerability in her that Nolan spotted straight away. The way in which he teased her and almost tamed her was so much fun. Eve could be bitchy in her remarks, and Nolan had a way about him that managed to butter up Eve. Eve was miserable in her job, and I couldn’t blame her. Her dream of being a driver never happened and she had to watch her two brothers become successful at what she dreamt of as a child.
MinnChica: I have to say, I adored Nolan a lot more than Eve. He was funny and laid-back and he treated Eve with respect and actually listened to what she wanted, unlike all the other men in her life (her brothers, father, other drivers…) Nolan was head over heels for Eve from the beginning, and he went after her like a dog after a bone, and he did it in a way that wasn’t too Alpha and domineering. Although Eve was obviously miserable, she was a little bit of a downer at times. I was glad when she finally took charge of her life and made some big changes, but I wanted her to quit bitching so much and take action! There were moments when I wanted Nolan to drag her kicking and screaming out of her funk….
Lou: Nolan has to be in the group of my favourite heroes. There needs to be more Nolans in romance books. He was such a nice and sweet guy. The way he treated Eve made my heart melt, and how he teased her and joked with her in the beer festival was hilarious. His superman hold with the beer can and the stuffed cat was great humour. His personality really shone. Eve was such a contrast to him, and yeah at times I wished she would take Nolan at face value and not try and think there was an ulterior motive. I hated the prenup at the end and how she treated Nolan. The ending was so different to the entire book that it brought the grade down for me. As I was reading and saw what was happening, I saw that I was at 70% at my Kindle — and I kept thinking surely you can’t squeeze all this towards the last quarter of the book. It was such a rush job that I felt that it did a disservice to the book.
MinnChica: The ending of this one didn’t work for me at all! It seemed like the conflict with the prenup was rushed in at the very end, and all of a sudden they were apart and back together within the last 20-25% of the book. It seemed, to me, that the conflict and resolution came from left field. I think the book would have been much better without that added in. It really did bring down my reading high at the end, because it was so rushed and felt like it didn’t really add anything additional to the story. However, that was really the ONLY gripe I had about this book. Everything else – the characters, the romance, the moments with Eve and Nolan – were all so well done and made for an enjoyable read.
Lou: Again it comes to one of the most over used plot devices in romance and it’s the forced separation where the hero and heroine need to part before coming back together. This forced separation was not well plotted because it was done within a few pages towards the end. And I’m so annoyed about it because like you it’s my only gripe about the novel. Everything else I loved. I wouldn’t have minded if the story was a little longer to explore Nolan and Eve’s relationship. In fact, I would have welcomed it rather than the abrupt ending. I was glad we saw Eve interacting with her brothers, but my gosh they weren’t exactly the nicest to her. All in all, this book ends the series on a high, but the ending was just…blegh. It has a sexy and sweet romance with a hero that pretty much rules. I give Jacked Up a B-. The B- is for the ending which was a doozy.
MinnChica: I would have liked the book to be a little longer as well, then it wouldn’t have felt as if things were so rushed and jammed together to wrap things up. All in all I really loved this book right up until the very end. Like I said, the romance was so sweet and wonderful. Nolan was the perfect beta hero who supported and stood by Eve, in her good moments and her bad. Eve really grew as a character and got the chance to step out of a life that was slowly killing her and realize just what she wanted and how to get it. I was glad to see the series end on a high note as well, I just wish the end was more flushed out.
I give Jacked Up a B-.