A Rocky Start Romance
Sometimes, despite being seriously attracted to someone, you let things get in the way - jealousy, preconceived notions, pride and hurt feelings - they can all stop you from getting your HEA. In Behind the Wheel, book 2 in the Hearts and Horsepower series by A.K. Evans, we get another "rocky start" romance where you don't immediately see how the two characters are going to end up together. I like the enemies to lovers trope and it's used well here, between Knox and Avery. Although it's book 2 in the series, you could probably pick it up as a standalone because most everything relevant that happened in book 1 is explained again - but I always like to read a book series in order, especially where they are interconnected and we meet the characters early on.
Knox first sees Avery at the race track - and she's one of the racers which he finds seriously hot (don't we all - a chick race car driver is badass). Before he can introduce himself, he sees that she is with Ricky, the owner of a rival shop. He assumes that they are an item and backs off. Then, when he finds out that Avery is about to start working at LT Motorsports, leaving the rival shop for theirs, Knox just assumes that she's up to no good. He's not completely off base in his suspicions - the racing world is very competitive, and LT Motorsports is at the top of their game. It would make sense for Ricky to send Avery to gather information and report back to him. The thing is, Avery isn't a spy. Knox treats her like crap basically - even though the chemistry between them is undeniable and he still wants her. He's angry at her and angry at himself for wanting her, and the first few weeks are volatile between the two of them. By the time Knox starts to realize that maybe he was mistaken about Avery, Avery wants nothing to do with him. Is it too late for Knox to mend fences and befriend her - and maybe become more?
I read this book right after I finished the first one and the changeover was seamless. Knox is a bit of a - insert expletive here - but since there is dual perspective, we can see why he is acting the way he is. It's also fun to see him change his mind. The romance is a slow burn - different from book one where Logan and Kendall couldn't keep their hands off each other. But I thought the anticipation was well worth it. Avery is tough as nails but she's still a woman, and is relatable. I really liked reading their back and forth. Behind the Wheel, out today, is a great addition to the Hearts and Horsepower series and I can't wait to read the others.
Thank you to the author and Give Me Books PR for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.