Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “If you want him, have him. You have a right to be happy. Take joy in his man parts. Go forth, just don’t prosper.”
Lou Cortez is a true ladies man. Gorgeous, sexy, well mannered, good job, loves his family…he’s every woman’s dream man if he says so himself. So why can’t he get the lovely Josephine (Joey) Reeves to give him the time of day?
Joey looks at Lou and sees her biggest mistake. A mistake that gave her a beautiful son but still a mistake her parents never let her forget. She has spent nine years trying to make up for it and isn’t about to let anyone derail her. Even if he is the hottest man she’s ever seen.
A last minute request for flowers and an impromptu coffee date sets Joey and Lou on the road to romance. But Joey still has to tell Lou about her son and unless his attitude changes about kids, this affair is already set on a collision course to fail.
The fourth book in Marie Harte’s sexy and humorous Body Shop Bad Boys series-Collision Course-turns it’s attention to Lou Cortez, one of the four commitment phobic mechanics at Webster’s Garage. A spin-off of her yummy McCauley brothers series, Harte gives us the down and dirty on Del Webster’s ‘boys’ as they each fall in love and struggle to deal with it. There is some character/storyline crossover but it’s mild. This particular installment also references another series-The Donnigans-with some memories and a character crossover. Each book can be read as a standalone through previous couples and situations are addressed is.
As with the previous books, Harte once again delivers a humorous, sensual, earthy romance that deals the love and growth as it digs deep into the lives and insecurities of our couple. Harte takes her time setting the scene and the characterization with witty dialogue, endearingly characters, and a well-oiled storyline that keeps you entertained to he very end.
Lou is one of the mechanics at Webster’s Garage and does specialized car restoration on the side. A well-known ladies man, Lou gives as good as he gets, making sure his ladies are well satisfied before he leaves their bed and lives. Not a player exactly but more he hasn’t found the right woman for him yet. The product of a single mother who dated a lot, often at the expense of her children’s welfare, Lou has some serious issues with single mothers and commitment.
Joey comes from an upper middle-class family whose who carefully cultivated plans for her were derailed when she was impregnated at age fifteen. Shamed and deserted by the baby’s father, her friends, and more importantly, her family, Joey struggled to finish high school while supporting herself and her newborn son. Now, nine years later, she a degree in business and has received a promotion to manager. Through her parents are more agreeable towards her and their grandson now, there is still a lingering sense of disapproval from them that taints their relationship.
Lou and Joey are delightfully compatible. Fantastic chemistry, a genuine sense of attraction that goes beyond physical, and a romance that allows for plenty of sexual exploration allow readers to really get to know this couple and watch them work through their issues. Harte dials up the temperature with to scorching as our couple explores their mutual kink of light dominance and submission.
He cupped her breast and her body sizzled under his firm hand. He pinched her nipple through her clothes, and she bit her lip to stifle a groan.
“See, I think your deal is you like a firmer hand.”
They fall hard and fast but Harte believes in this couple and convinces us to also. Lou’s fall is so amusing to witness. Alway so confident around women, Lou being so out of sorts around Joey is hilarious. He met Joey during Del’s wedding and she refused to have anything o do with him. He chases her off page and when he catches her, he acts as though he is the luckiest man in town. Something that strikes Joey straight through the heart. She hasn’t had an easy life, abandoned by almost everyone when she needed them most, so to see this gorgeous man actually likes and wants her, is exhilarating. But she has to be careful though because she has another heart to protect.
The cast of secondary characters are just as fun as the protagonists and I think command a much stronger role in this story. I adore this tight knit group of mechanics with their appealing mixture of tough guy attitudes and heart melting vulnerability. Their sibling like relationship with one another celebrates friendship and families of all kinds. Though from different walks of life, their camaraderie is a strong base on which the series builds. The fast, furious, and funny banter flows between then like water with everyone air game for some high spirited teasing but when it counts, they always have each others back.
You good man?” Sam asked?
“Fine. Just surprised is all.”
“Okay. If you need to talk, Mr. Emotional is by the Accord.”
“Hey,.” Johnny yelled, buried under said Accord. “But he’s right. I’m here for you, Lou. A man of experience, wisdom, and emotional drivel.”
“More talky-talky. Great.”
We meet few new faces and see more than a few old friends. Joey’s friend Becky is hilarious and Lou’s whole family is wonderfully nosy and really steps up up to help Lou get over his fears. I hope we see more of Becky and the Cortez family in the future.
The ending is a happy catharsis that opens the door towards forgiveness and new beginnings when Joey and Lou are forced to confront all the pain and anger they’ve been carrying around and allow themselves to forgive and move forward. Fans will continue to cheer for these sexy, fun, humorous blue collar romance contemporaries with their strong sense of family and friendship. I am looking forward to the next story and crossing my fingers that the next couple is Heller and Rena.