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4.1 out of 5
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    Test Drive

    Harte has created a novel full of romance and real friendships amidst the lives of hard characters with true loyalty. Suspense and chemistry make their appearance throughout as we get to know these fantastic characters. I liked the way that the author builds an actual relationship between the main characters. It’s not all chemistry, even though that is definitely there. There was a great deal of character development at the beginning of this novel, so it took me a bit to really get into the story. That said, it is also the 1st novel in the series and we meet characters who will be prevalent throughout. I loved the different personalities that we meet throughout this varied cast of characters. Some were fun, others were difficult, and yet others were absolutely drool worthy. All in all, this was a great tart to a promising new series. I will admit that Harte did leave me curious as to what mess Foley’s going to get himself into in the next novel of the series. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
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    A fun group of guys!

    I really enjoyed this new series from Marie Harte and I can't wait to read the other guys stories! Johnny Devlin has always been a love 'em and leave 'em type. He's a tough guy with a little bit of a past, and works hard with his buddies at Webster's Garage. Lara Valley is a bartender at one of the bars Johnny and his friends hang out in, and ever since the day he laid eyes on her, Johnny has wanted to make her his. Lara has a crush on Johnny too, but she doesn't want to just be another of his girl of the moments and then have it be awkward between them at the bar. Will Johnny be able to convince Lara to take a chance on him?
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    A fun start to the series

    TEST DRIVE is an absolutely fun start to this new series and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. The humor is exactly what I enjoy reading and I had a really good time with it. Johnny Devlin is a ladies' man through and through, with the reputation to support that claim and charming as he is, very few women resist him. Actually only one woman seems immune to his charm - bartender Lara Valley. Lara isn't like the typical woman Johnny gets with. She is focused on school as a ticket out of a life of struggle and isn't interested in any distraction, especially the kind that Johnny is offering and her interest in him is something she'll be keeping to herself. But Johnny just had to go ruin her perception of him when he stepped in to rescue her from being assaulted and showed that there was more to him than just a grease monkey. Johnny grew up with a revolving door of women coming and going from his father's life and has never had a good example of what a stable relationship between a man and woman looks like and when added to his abandonment issues, it's easier for him to enjoy women and send them on their way than take a chance on getting dumped. Until Lara has him thinking about stepping into uncharted waters. But can a man with his issues believe that a woman like Lara would want him forever when all he can offer her is a sordid past and a present as a mechanic, when there were better options out there? Johnny was quite an interesting character underneath all the grease and I enjoyed as those layers were unwrapped and the real Johnny came out. Sweet, thoughtful and generous are some words that describe him and I enjoyed watching him and Lara deal with their issues and find their happiness. I liked Lara because in spite of her initial reservations, she put herself out there with Johnny, but was strong enough to keep going when things went south. While this series is a spin-off of the McCauley Brothers, it's a quite different and there is no need to read that series before this, but if you enjoyed the dialogue and characters here, you might want to check it out. TEST DRIVE is a perfect blend of humor and romance and while Johnny and Lara were interesting, the trio of Johnny, Foley and Sam stole the show. Their interactions were always hilarious and I found myself reading them over and over just so I could laugh. I know that part of the reason I'm looking forward to the rest of the series is so I can enjoy more of the three of them and their antics. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher 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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    ...wears his bad boy title like a medal

    Johnny wears his bad boy title like a medal of honor. That in itself is temptation personified. What pushed me over the edge? His body language and attitude are contradictory to his actions. When he cares for someone or something, he gives his full attention. Lara was about to get an up close and personal look at the makings of this complicated man. Lara has one objective and it does not include looking for trouble. When trouble comes looking for her, she has to decide if the danger is worth the payout. The Body Shop Bad Boys series is off to a wickedly sexy start.
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    3.5 stars--Test Drive by Marie Harte

    3.5 stars----TEST DRIVE is the first installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult BODY SHOP BAD BOYS romance series focusing on the mechanics of Webster’s Garage. BODY SHOP BAD BOYS is a spin off from Harte’s McCauley Brothers series but you do not have to have read the original series to follow the current time line. This is mechanic and bad boy Johnny Devlin, and bartender Lara Valley’s story line. Some of the characters from the previous series cross over including Delilah Webster, co-owner of Webster’s Garage. Told from dual third person perspectives (Johnny and Lara) TEST DRIVE follows the building romance between auto mechanic Johnny Devlin-a man with a bad boy reputation and a string of broken hearts to prove it; and bartender/nursing student Lara Valley-a woman who is quick to judge Johnny based on his previous relationships and reputation as a player. When Lara finally consents to a ‘no strings attached’ evening out, nothing will ever be the same for our leading couple. TEST DRIVE is a story line that is slow to build. The majority of the premise focuses on the even slower building relationship between Johnny and Lara, and Lara’s struggle to accept her sister’s personal choices including her latest divorce battle from an over controlling ex-husband. The character building is quite detailed throughout the story-TEST DRIVE has a large ensemble cast of characters-you may need a spreadsheet to keep track. Johnny Devlin’s fellow mechanics at Webster’s Garage play a large secondary and supporting role in our hero’s life, including several good natured ribbings about their sexual prowess and success, or lack thereof, in the relationship department. TEST DRIVE is a story about friendships and family. The romance is a slow burn; a tepid romance where Johnny must tread carefully as it concerns his relationship with Lara Valley. The push and pull of the romance is hampered by Lara’s need to keep Johnny from getting too close-she doesn’t want a repeat of any of her sister’s relationships. The premise is enjoyable; the characters are animated and many; the romance is pleasant and hopeful.
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