Review and a Life Lesson: Test Drive by Marie Harte

Posted November 4, 2016 in Review / 9 Comments

Review and a Life Lesson: Test Drive by Marie Harte

Test Drive

Series: Body Shop Bad Boys #1
by Marie Harte
Published by Sourcebooks, Casablanca on June 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster's Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it's the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.

Johnny Devlin's a charmer with a checkered past. He has had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she's rejected him more than once. That doesn't mean he won't come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can't say no. And then he's saying nothing but hell, yes.

Addictive Sexy


I’m going to go mental on y’all again.  Yes, I will review this book but a life lesson is order first.

I’m old.  So I can preach to you that there are two schools of thought when it comes to finding the perfect person to hook your life to.  The first one is that you’re lucky enough to meet and completely mesh with your soul mate early in life and make awesome little babies that leave the nest in time for you and your loved one to be mobile throughout all of your retirement and thoroughly enjoy those grandbabies coming your way.  The second school of thought, and this ended up being MY PATH, is that you have to try on a TON of guys (not literally folks, I’m not that kind of girl) before you find one that will put up with your crap and that you can put up with their crap…. for as long as you both shall live.  And if you’re REALLY lucky, like I am, he’ll be able to retire at 57 and you will be mobile through retirement.

My point to all this…  I had to test drive a lot of guys to find my perfect fit.  And isn’t that typically what dating is, a test drive to see if you want to buy the make and model?  Do you see where I’m going with this?

Let me explain further…

Test Drive, the first book in Marie Harte’s Body Shop Bad Boys series is THE classic story of two people dating and all the jitters, butterflies, wondering, and miscommunication that comes along with it.  Will he call?  Will he wait 3 days?  Is he thinking about me?  It’s all there!  And I loved living it right there with Johnny and Lara.

Now, let me warn you.  I read the eARC.  I’m not sure if the finished copy suffered this fate but being the first book in the series, there was a huge info dump in the beginning of the book.  It made the first few chapters looong and drawn out.  Ms. Harte, of course, was establishing her world and characters.  It was just a lot to take in at first.  And I wanted the story….. NOW!

But once I got the hang of skimming the world building fluff (is that bad?  Hmmm…  maybe?) I found that I completely related to this story but loved that slant the two characters gave to it.

You have one character with very little self worth due to feeling un-loved because most parental figures in their life left them.  Then you have another character so busy with their life, or so they think, they don’t see the forest for the trees.  When they do, what will they do?  Take a chance on love and possibly get hurt?  Or will they slap and hit some sense into the other person because the other person is being stupid???  Oh what fun it was to watch these two fight it out to make their relationship work and get over themselves.

I liked both Lara and Johnny as the lead love interests.  Lara for her no-nonsense attitude.  Johnny for his “mother-hen” tendencies tossed in with a dirty sense of humor.  How does he pull that off?  Ms. Harte did it very well, thank you.

This was my first book by Ms. Harte.  I almost think I enjoyed the teaser to the next book in the series, Roadside Assistance, that was written into the end of this book more than THIS book.  And that’s saying a lot.  But the trope for the next book is a personal fave of mine.  Its what had me picking up this first book.  Now, time to go through the couches and see if that hubs of mine dropped any coins so I can buy book two….  🙂

About Marie Harte

Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character.

She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks, Samhain, and Loose Id. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense.

Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.

Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There’s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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9 responses to “Review and a Life Lesson: Test Drive by Marie Harte

  1. Hmm, this sounds like something I can enjoy so I’m glad that I read your review because I don’t normally read very many Harte books. But I want to read this one. I want to read a romance that showcases all of the bits and pieces of a new romance, all of the insecurities and the miscommunications. Yay. Thanks for the review!
    Rowena recently posted…Eye Candy Friday: Riley Lawless from Ruthless by Lexi Blake

  2. Yea, sometimes info dumps are way too much. I’m wondering if just a bit more editing would do? Well, I do like that the romance seemed to work and since I’m more of an ending girl, I think I could end up skimming the beginning dump and get to the good stuff and still be happy. 🙂
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

  3. First of all, Kristin, I ♡ you very much!!
    I love reading about romances, dating, those first flutters, the uncertainty – all of it! I guess I was the opposite of you when it comes to your life lesson – I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Lex when I was only 19, and we can still manage to put up with each other’s crap 😀 And when we retire (even if we retire a bit early) all our children should have left the nest…
    I love that Test Drive was so relatable to you, even if there was an info-dump at the beginning. Great review!! {{{HUGS}}}
    Lexxie recently posted…Bought Bagged and Wrapping it Up #158

  4. I’ve only read one book by Marie Harte, and it was Roadside Assistance and I loved it! Highly recommend it. I do want to read more by her, I just haven’t gotten there yet. I’m so glad to hear you really liked this . . .once you got through the initial world setup.