May 01

Joy Ride by Lauren Blakely Review

Lauren Blakely - Joy Ride - cover image

5 Smooches!

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From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of FULL PACKAGE and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

Let’s be honest, ladies. A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood…for the best joy ride of your life.

I’m at your service. Ready to go all night long.

But then a wildly sexy brunette appears in my life and throws a wrench in all my plans. She’s fiery, she’s talented, she’s gorgeous, and I’d really like to know what makes her engine hum.

Henley also happens to be my biggest rival, and now we’re forced to work together every day on the most important custom car build of my career. The trouble is I can’t quite figure out if she wants to kick me in the lug nuts or beg me to give her a good, hard fuel injection. Until one night that question is answered on the hood of a sports car when she calls out my name three times. And we can’t seem to put on the brakes.

If sleeping with the enemy is a bad idea, how much more dangerous would it be to fall in love with her?

* * * * * * * * * *


Lauren Blakely is one of my top favorite authors, and I’ve loved every book of hers that I’ve read. But it’s her male point-of-view romantic comedies that are my absolute favorites. It’s the way that Blakely gets into the heads of her heroes and communicates the story through their thoughts, reactions and emotions to her readers. It feels authentic, it’s well executed, and it’s wholly addictive. I’d even go so far as to say that they’re one of my guilty pleasures. So, when one of her books lands on my Kindle, especially one of these, it is a drop-everything and read-it-now moment, and that’s exactly what I did when Joy Ride made its appearance.

“This woman is going to be a thorn in my side.”

I love an enemies-to-lovers story, and Max and Henley’s is a doozy. There’s a fine line between love and hate, but that line becomes even more obscure when it’s blurry to begin with. Hooked deep right from the start, I was drawn into this story and held captive by the magnetic chemistry pulsating between Max and Henley. I cruised through this book faster than any hot rod either one of them could build, and I enjoyed every second of the ride.


“Yes, Henley?”

“I don’t want to kiss you.”

“Good. I don’t want to kiss you either.”

King of the custom car world, Max Summers is focused, driven, ambitious and living his dream. He’s worked hard to get to here, though, and his reputation is stellar with customers lining up for one of his carefully crafted cars. He’s gorgeous, sexy and charming, and while his professional reputation is squeaky clean, he’s been known to get downright dirty while indulging in his favorite guilty pleasure: the one night stand. He’s a great guy, he treats his mechanics well, sharing the wealth of his knowledge and experience with them, and he gives back to the community by offering a helping hand to kids with car building dreams.

“…she’s all my guilty pleasures now, but I never feel an ounce of remorse…”

Henley Marlowe knew from a young age that building cars was her life’s passion, and she was a woman with a plan when she set out to pursue a career in this male-dominated industry. She went after it by earning an engineering degree and then landing a coveted apprenticeship with the one and only, Max Summers. Fierce, fiery and feisty, she was, then and now, the car-building, brunette bombshell of his dreams—even if he refuses to admit it. Max and Henley have a history marred by a mistake that they both handled poorly, so when Henley saunters back into his world five years later, there is enough current zapping between the two of them to fire a spark plug.

“I’m in love with you, tiger. I’m madly in love with you.”

Joy Ride hit on everything I love about an enemies-turned-lovers story:  sharp and witty back-and-forth banter between the hero and heroine, lust disguised as loathing slowly morphing into love, bouts of anger punctuated with toe-curling passion. Max and Henley’s happily ever after was feverish and furious and chapter upon chapter of fantastically fulfilling fun. Lauren Blakely’s Joy Ride was positively unputdownable! Five smooches from me.

~ Danielle Palumbo