Mary Daniels doesn’t let anything get in the way of her job acquiring rare artifacts for her wealthy boss. But this particular obstacle—huge, hard-muscled, unashamedly masculine—is impossible to ignore. Stuck in a cramped car with Brodie Crews for hours en route to their new assignment, Mary feels her carefully crafted persona—and her trademark self-control—is slipping, and she won’t allow it.
Brodie can’t imagine what secret in Mary’s past has left her so buttoned-up, though he’d dearly love to find out. Maybe then she’d trust him enough to explore their explosive chemistry. But he needs this job, so he’ll play by her rules and bide his time…until an enemy determined to outwit them strikes and he needs to get close—in every way—to protect her. Otherwise they could lose much more than a precious collectible. They could lose it all.
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Mary Daniels huffed as she continued to climb the rock path on the hillside, her briefcase in hand. Had she known that the Mustang Transport courier service was inaccessible unless a person planned to hike, she wouldn't have worn one of her nicest blouses. Or a skirt. Or the low-heeled shoes that were now starting to rub her heels raw.
Being short and excessively curvy made it difficult to find clothes that fit in a way to play down her proportions rather than emphasize them. She thought she'd succeeded, but now ...
She had the awful suspicion that she'd started to sweat.
Worse, as she looked around at the not-impressive surroundings, she very well might be overdressed.
Tendrils of her hair, always a little frizzy, began to spring loose from her topknot. With the late-morning July sun full on her face, no doubt her freckles showed stark against her flushed skin.
But finally, finally, a building came into view. Granted, it looked more like a garage with an office attached than an elite business, but she went where she was directed, conducting the business assigned to her, with the people her employer chose.
She reached level ground — and froze, stunned.
The building sat to her right, but to her left stood a man, his naked upper body under the hood of a junker as he worked on ... well, something. The engine maybe. He wore ridiculously faded jeans that almost fell off his hips, with work boots. Muscles flexed in brawny arms and his broad back glistened in the sunshine.
No man had ever left her breathless, but she'd never seen a man like him before. Suddenly her clothes felt too tight and her lungs seemed to have stopped working.
Behind him, a woman tickled her fingertips down the groove of his spine to those low-slung jeans, across his butt and ...
Mary gasped as the woman reached under him for a bold fondle.
A big lazy gray dog, which she hadn't even noticed, lifted its head and gave one vaguely interested, "Woof."
The man didn't appear to notice being sexually stroked in the light of day, out in the yard, while working on a car — but with the dog's bark he glanced at her and away — and quickly came back for another, more assessing look.
Good Lord. Her heart stalled, then shot into a gallop.
Slowly, he straightened. His dark brown eyes, framed by crazy thick lashes, locked on her. Grease streaked parts of his broad, hairy chest, down solid abs, even across a flat stomach bisected by that same downy hair ...
It suddenly struck her where she was looking and she ripped her attention back up to his face.
Though his mouth curled in a sign of amusement, his granite shoulders flexed as if in anger. Without releasing her from his stare, he cleaned his hands on a rag, then swiped a wrist across his forehead beneath a bandana he'd tied around unruly brown hair.
The woman, a stunning blonde in a barely-there sundress, stepped in front of him to ask her, "Who are you?"
Mary stiffened. The woman's suspicious tone made it clear that she'd intruded on an intimate moment.
An intimate moment, out in the yard of a business, in broad daylight.
Struggling to focus on anything else, Mary noted the dirt racetrack beyond the people. Adjacent to that property she saw a drive that probably wound around the hill and to the main road below — which meant she had parked below and climbed those awful stone stairs for no reason.
Well, really, they needed a sign with some directions for customers.
Movement in the building drew her gaze and she spotted an attractive man — a clean man fully dressed — stepping out from behind a desk.
Thank God. "If you'll excuse me," she said to the woman, and hurried to the door.
The gentleman from inside beat her to it, opening the door with a smile. "May I help you?"
"Yes, thank you." She wanted inside — away from the caveman, the model, and the grueling heat, but he stood there, inadvertently blocking her way. He was as tall as the caveman, not quite as bulky but still very fit, wearing a polo shirt and khakis.
Attractive, yes, but not overwhelmingly so like the other one. "I'm here to discuss business with Brodie Crews."
The man smiled. He didn't look like a Neanderthal. He wasn't covered in grease. And best of all, he wore a respectable amount of clothes.
But he said, "I'm Jack Crews." Looking beyond her, he said, "Brodie?"
Oh. Oh no. Dread crept over Mary. No, no, no.
The scent of grease and heated male alerted her to his nearness before a rumbling deep voice said from right behind her, "I'm Brodie. What can I do you for?"
At his deliberately misspoken question, little Red whirled, her expression aghast. She looked ready to faint. Or maybe scream.
Odds of her running away were high.
Brodie grinned — then winced at the pain in his head.
Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. She closed it again, breathing deeply from flared nostrils.
Gorgeous mouth, he noticed. Full lips that looked a little pouty when he doubted this woman knew how to pout. As he stared at her, more freckles appeared over the bridge of her narrow, hoity nose. Her eyes were vivid blue, like the midday sky or sapphires or ... hell, he was too hungover to pinpoint the exact color of her eyes.
Her hair though, he could nail that: Fire-red. And curly.
His gaze swept over her body quickly, but a glance was all he'd needed to realize she was stacked and doing her best to hide it.
Jack cleared his throat and the woman jumped as if his brother had goosed her. She looked back at Jack with longing, then at Brodie with distaste. "You're Brodie?"
Never had a woman said his name with such disappointment. True, he wasn't at his best, but still ...
Just then, Gina's boobs smooshed up against his sweaty back as she draped herself over him, trying to stake a claim.
"Brodie," she whined in his ear. "About tonight.?"
There'd be no shrugging her off, so he said to Red, "'scue me a sec," and turned to walk toward the car. After a smug look shot at Red, Gina came along.
He hadn't gone far enough away not to be heard, but it was his best stab at compassion. He shoved his hands in the back pockets of his sagging jeans. "I already told you no. No for tonight, no forever. Let it go, okay?"
"No buts. Jack and I share a lot, but not that."
He heard Red gasp again, heard Jack growl, and then the office door opened. Brodie glanced their way in time to see his brother escorting the scorched redhead inside.
Why the hell did that bug him so much? Because she came here for me.
"Jack was a mistake. I want you, Brodie."
He rolled his eyes. Now she was insulting his brother? Did the woman not know his feelings on family?
"This isn't a carnival. You don't get a ticket for all the rides." Her pout was deliberate and perfectly practiced. If she hadn't screwed his brother, he might've been interested. "Go home," he said, a little more gently. "We're not happening."
Without bothering to look at Gina again, he turned to Howler. The dog had sprawled in the scant shade of the Mustang, catcher-mitt paws in the air, junk on display, one loose lip drooping down to touch a floppy ear. "C'mon, boy. Let's go cool off."
Howler opened one eye, grumbled and closed it again.
"I'm going to get lunch."
That got his attention. The dog's long bony legs flailed in the air as he frantically struggled upright, lumbered to his feet and ran over with a "Woof."
Quiet voices reached him as Brodie stepped inside; Jack's calming, Red's rushed in denial. The brush of cooled air played over his fevered skin, drying the sweat on his body and tightening his nipples. He went past Jack's office, glancing in only long enough to say, "Be right back."
He saw Charlotte, his and Jack's secretary, who was more like a little sister since they'd known her forever, fetching cold bottles of water.
He leaned in to whisper, "Don't let her flee, okay? I gotta wash up but I'll only be a minute."
Brows up, Charlotte snorted. "I'm not your pimp."
Brodie cocked one brow. "She wants to hire me, brat."
"Not anymore, she doesn't. She's doing her best to convince Jack to take the job instead." With a wink, she sidled past him and down the hall to the office with the drinks.
"Son of a bitch," he muttered to her back, apparently not low enough.
Red leaned out the door to frown at him, but was guided back inside when Charlotte entered.
He heard Jack doing introductions. "Ms. Daniels, this is Charlotte Parrish, our assistant."
"Their everything," Charlotte corrected. Then the little witch shut the door so he couldn't hear anything else.
Howler gave Brodie a look, then pivoted to trot after Charlotte, knowing she was the real source of food.
Annoyed, Brodie shoved into the bathroom, but wished he hadn't when the door hit the wall and his head tried to crack and fall off his shoulders.
After digging aspirin from the crooked medicine cabinet, he washed them down with water from the tap, scrubbed his hands with the special soap to remove as much grease as he could, and splashed his face and chest.
One look in the mirror and he knew he hadn't improved things much. He still looked like hell. He thought about getting his shirt from his car ...
He rapidly dried off and sauntered to the office, opening the door and stepping inside just as Red was making her argument.
Charlotte blew him a kiss on her way out.
"Yes, my boss requested Brodie specifically, but that was based off internet research. I'm sure he wouldn't be opposed to hiring you instead —"
"No." Brodie turned a chair to face her profile and slouched into it, his sprawled legs only inches from touching her small feet.
As Red inhaled, her extraordinary chest swelled, her chin tucked in, and her brows came down. It was an impressive show of anger and control.
If he wasn't such a dick, he might have felt chastened.
She slowly turned her head to pinpoint him with her brilliant blue-eyed disdain. "You look inebriated," she stated, her voice a little louder than it needed to be.
"Cuz I was. But that was last night. Now I'm just suffering a hangover." He winced theatrically. "Have a heart and talk a little softer."
"Why," she asked, her voice not one iota quieter, "are you working in the sun if you're —"
"How else will I learn?" Keeping his face straight wasn't easy, but her expression made the effort worthwhile.
Her brows smoothed out, then lifted. "Pardon?"
Jack laughed — and since he was a loving brother, he at least moderated his tone. "Brodie is a big believer in self-discipline."
"More like self-castigation," Charlotte muttered as she returned with a tray of sandwiches and chips on paper plates. "If he suffers the ill effects of his decisions, maybe he'll make better ones."
Brodie saluted her with his water bottle, then took half of his sandwich and offered it to Howler. The dog gulped it down in one big bite, then waited hopefully for another.
"Damn, man. You seriously gotta learn to chew."
Ears up and alert, the dog licked his loose lips.
Red blinked quickly.
Brodie blinked back at her. Mocking. Taunting.
Why, he didn't know, but it just happened.
She rolled in those soft, plush lips and turned away, her curvy little body stiff. "Mr. Crews —"
Jack and Brodie both said, "Yes?"
Her spine straightened even more. Her gaze stayed only on Jack. "I'm quite sure my employer would be pleased to —"
"Jack's not available." Brodie bit into the other half of his sandwich.
Her hands fisted in her lap. "I haven't yet said when I need him."
When she needed him? Smirking, the wheels already turning —
Jack glared a not-too-subtle warning at him, cutting off the joke he so badly wanted to make. Yeah, he got it. They needed the job.
He swallowed the bite and asked, "What're the specifics for the job?"
Somehow, the little prude managed to stiffen even more. She looked ready to break — and damn, how he wanted to see that.
Her attention only on Jack — or so she wanted them to believe — she pulled out a manila folder from the soft briefcase she held in her lap.
Tilting his head, Brodie studied her shapely calves and trim ankles beneath a knee-length skirt. Her skin was pale, her legs smooth, her feet small.
Hell, he'd known plenty of small, smooth, pale women, so why was he getting so twitchy?
"The job is immediate." She slid the folder across the desk.
As she did so, the skirt grew taut over her sexy rump and rounded thighs.
Yeah, he noticed. Hell, no amount of alcohol or morning-after headaches would keep him from seeing something that luscious.
Little red ringlets, curled from the humidity, stuck to her delicate nape and dangled around ears decorated only with pearl studs.
Realizing he was taking interested inventory, Brodie lounged further back in his seat and gestured for Jack to open the folder and peruse the contents.
First, Jack set aside the enclosed business card, then looked over what Brodie assumed to be a proposed contract. After a few seconds of reading, Jack asked, "Marigold, Kentucky?"
"A very small town that borders Tennessee. I've estimated it to be a single-day job. Five hours to drive there, an hour to retrieve the item my employer has purchased, then the drive back." She nodded at the papers. "Sign and you're hired."
Jack turned the contract so Brodie could see it, but spoke to the lady. "This says five thousand dollars. For a day job?"
Brodie nearly whistled. That was some serious cash. "What are we picking up? A dead body?"
Soft lips pinched. "Of course not."
"A live body?"
She swiveled her head to glare at him, cobalt eyes trying to cut out his heart.
"Hey, I've seen Transporter."
She inhaled, making her breasts strain the front of that damp, thus sheer, blouse. "What my client has purchased is very important to him. He wants to ensure its safety ... and it needs to be delivered to him by end of day tomorrow."
"Does the contract say what it is?" Brodie asked.
"Does it matter?" she returned.
Jack and Brodie shared a look, but hey, five grand was five grand. If he got there and it was anything shady, he could deal with it then.
Decision made, Brodie enjoyed telling her, "Well, Jack's out."
"True," Jack said with sincere apology. "I have a previous commitment that can't be changed. But Brodie —"
"Your first choice," Brodie chimed in.
"— is absolutely available."
Her eyes narrowed.
Knowing he'd gotten his way, without quite knowing why it mattered, Brodie put his arms back in a relaxed pose, his fingers laced behind his neck so he could pop out some tension without being obvious about it. He really did feel like shit.
Yet the day rapidly improved.
Miss Priss glanced at his armpits, scrunched her face in disapproval and turned back to Jack with a plea. "But —"
"I'm sorry," Jack said.
She disapproved of armpits? Everyone had them, even prissy redheads. Brodie smiled. "I can leave at 5 A.M."
After prolonged hesitation and, he guessed, some teeth grinding, she finally nodded.
Thwarting the lady felt so good, it even took the edge off the drumbeat in his temples as he watched her averted face. "Just give me the address and the name of the person I'll be seeing, whatever other info I need, and I'll get it done."
Silently, she closed her briefcase, slid a long strap over her shoulder, and stood.
Jack came to his feet, too.
Brodie didn't. He tipped his chair back on two legs and watched the frustration play over her face. She wasn't a real beauty, but she was certainly pretty. The hair was a show-stopper. Those eyes, so damn blue they defied description, would always draw attention. And that mouth, even while compressed in annoyance, could inspire fantasies.
Here in the cooler air, her freckles weren't as noticeable.
Shame. They were kinda cute. Maybe sexy even.
All that with curves galore in such a small package, and it was no wonder she affected him.
Brodie forced his eyes off the lady long enough to cock a brow at his brother.
Jack's scowl sent a message loud and clear: if you lose this job by being an asshole, I'll make sure you regret it later.
Knowing Jack, he'd probably take advantage of Brodie's diminished state. Sighing, he decided to attempt some gentlemanly behavior.
But Red beat him to it.
"I'll have all the pertinent details, as well as half payment, with me tomorrow before we leave. We can finalize the contract then."
His chair dropped forward with a clatter, making his head nearly explode. He squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his jaw to contain his brain, which seemed to be doing aerobics between his ears. When it finally eased up he cracked open one eye.
Both Jack and Red watched him, the first with pity, the second with annoyance.
"We?" Brodie rasped, unsure he'd heard correctly.
"It is my responsibility to ensure the safety of my client's purchases." She looked down her nose at him. "You are merely the transporter."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Driven to Distraction"
Copyright © 2018 Lori Foster.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A little over the top in describing how sexy Brodie was but OK romantic read
Enjoyable story, really like unrelated families. Brodie, was a good hero, but don't understand why Ms. Foster thinks he better than any Winston brother, any Buckhorn or Dare, Jamie, Chris, or Jude. The bad guy in the story was very interesting
So, ever since I fell in love with every Hudson brother in Buckhorn, and if you haven't read those you MUST, I have been a Lori Foster fan. Now we are introduced to a fun new series with some very unusual jobs. But like all of Lori's books you have an amazingly hot guy, this one with two added great bonuses, a rescue dog AND a sense of humor? Be still my heart. I wasn't sure I was going to like Mary. I worried that she was going to be one of those heroines that you start out not liking in the book like some authors do, but not the case here. Reading Brodie and Mary's story was fun and I can't wait to see what the next book in the series brings. Hopefully more excitement, humor, cute couples and dogs! I was lucky to receive an ARC, but would have gladly purchased this to write my review because when you've been a fan of Lori's for 14 years you know you can't wait for the next exciting, fun, and hot adventure!
I know it is hard to believe but Lori Foster is a new author to me. I have no idea why that is but I know I will be looking at her other books as soon as time permits. From start to finish this Ms. Foster had me hooked and I couldn’t put Driven to Distraction down. Brodie Crews is attracted to Mary Daniels but she has no interest in him, totally focused on getting the job done. However, Mary is tempted by the sinfully hot Brodie and doesn’t know how she will manage to ignore his flirting. These two are total opposites and yet their attraction is explosive. The chemistry between them was off the charts and I could not wait to see how the story unfolded. When danger strikes, Brodie will do what it takes to protect Mary whatever the cost. There is mystery, suspense, and some smoking hot scenes which will keep you invested in the story well into the night. The writing was strong and I really liked the characters of Brodie and Mary. This is book one in a brand new series and I for one cannot wait to see what Lori Foster has in store for the next book.
"Driven to Distraction" was an interesting romance about a woman who works in acquiring collectors items (often from shady situations) with the help of a courier driver. Mary has been working for the wealthy Therman Ritter for a few years, alongside various drivers. Now, Therman has decided he wants Brodie to be the new driver- mainly because he saw news articles about how he rescued an abused animal. Mary and Brodie's first meeting is tense- but filled with lust. He tries to get her riled up at every turn. As the collectors' world seems to get more and more intense, this book gets a level of suspense that I wasn't really expecting. Mary and Brodie are constantly bickering and disagreeing. A lot of it is about Mary's independence and Brodie's interference with that. He does it all in the name of protecting her, and I had some mixed feelings. While yes, it's nice to look out for people you work with and want to be something more with, I felt like he crossed a lot of boundaries and justifies it with a dose of sexism (although he groups small or disabled men in with all of womankind). I found that it grated on me over time. In terms of the romance, it was pretty steamy and the beginning pulled me right in. As we added in the elements of Brodie's personality that I found stifling (and Mary slowly comes to accept), I wasn't sure how I felt about him and cooled a bit on the romance. What made this contemporary romance a bit more was the thriller feel with a classic bad guy who feels like a common villain. The added element of suspense gave it a quicker feel and kept the book moving along. Overall, I wasn't sure how I felt about it- I loved the first part, but definitely cooled on the romance later in the story. I also liked the suspense early on but eventually it started to feel like a cartoon villain and a bit of a caricature of a bad guy (and what is with everyone's hang-ups about women being porcelain dolls?). I did read it all the way through, and so I am rating for that plus an average between the first and last half for me. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
## BIZARRE. That's how I would decribe this book. The story line was odd to say the least. But what bothered me the most was the decription of the heroine. In the very first chapter we get the description of the heroine. Frizzy fire red hair, short, freckles, hoity nose, rounded thighs, pale skin, excessively curvy. At one point the hero used the word blotchy for her face. Are you kidding me? She sounds hideous. Brodie on the other hand was described as "masculine perfection". He has perfect abs, tall, thick lashes, brawny arms, broad back, granite shoulders, etc. I mean, way to go overboard with the decriptions. Come on. How are we supposed to believe that this adonis of a man is attracted to her? There has to be some initial attraction. Especially since he's being persued by a stunning blonde in a barely there sundress who he describes as fun and uninhibited. Btw, I don't like men who let other women touch them while together with the heroine like he did later in the story. Anyway, half way through the story she was all of a sudden gorgeous (?). But by then all I could picture was a troll. It really took away from the story IMO. Between the weird story line and the repetitive decriptions, this is a fail for me.
Great book by a great writer!!!
Mary Daniels seems similar to May Price from Jude's Law, but no quibbles with the result. A little uncertainty in the hero is always nice, and I look forward to the supporting cast showing in future books. Entertaining, steamy, easy to read, action packed - woo hoo!
I just loved Brodie Crews and Mary Daniels. Brodie is secure enough, in his ‘alpha-ness’, to be gorgeous and charming and sexy and have a heart of gold without being in your face. Seriously, what I loved the most about him was that he protects those he loves, rescues an abused dog, but still gives Mary room to make her own decisions and be his partner in all things. He even loves his mother! When these two meet, sparks fly. The ‘meet-cute’ is hilarious, I think for the reader and everyone BUT Mary (!), and so they do not start off on the right foot. But as the story unfolds, they become an unbreakable team and we discover layer after layer for both these characters. A very big part of the story is that rescue dog, Howler. OMG, the way Brodie takes care of this dog? It will make you laugh and make you want to hug ‘em both. Brodie built a special harness for Howler; he talks baby-talk to the dog; he worries about Howler’s separation anxiety; he even pretends he is eating the dog’s kibble because Howler would much rather eat people-food – the subterfuge seems to work. In return, Howler is such a loyal moosh, and he takes to Mary about as fast as Brodie did. This team of three is wonderful to read. I couldn’t wait to see how they would accomplish the next thing on their agenda. I’ve enjoyed Ms. Foster’s heroes and heroines for years and Driven to Distraction doesn’t disappoint. I really loved the developing relationship between Mary and Brodie. I loved the secondary characters. And I loved Howler. This book really kept my attention and I read it almost straight thru, except for some much needed sleep.
Mary Daniels’ job and top priority is acquiring rare items for her rich boss. When they need a new driver, her boss’s top pick, Brodie Crews, has Mary practically begging him to reconsider. There’s something about Brodie, aside from all of his bad manners and habits, that leaves Mary unsettled like never before. When Brodie sees the uptight Mary, he can’t help but want to do everything possible to ruffle her feathers (as well as rub her the right way). I hadn’t really read an Lori Foster book in a while and I’m glad I got the chance. I really LOVED this book. I loved both Mary and Brodie and every interaction between the two. I can’t wait to read another book by this author! I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Driven to Distraction, book 1 in the new Road to Love series started off perfectly. Mary & Brodie's story has me anxious for more, especially that brother! Mary appears to be uptight and business focused. She's there to get the job done for her boss and that's it. Her boss usually picks decent drivers but upon first meeting Brodie Crews she's certain he picked the wrong brother. One is professional the other anything but. Her boss only wants Brodie so she's stuck with a overly sexual jerk for days on end. Brodie on the other hand is more show than go, yes he's a stubborn jerk at times but like Mary, the cover doesn't show the full extent of what's inside. Brodie is convinced he can change buttoned up little Mary into something else, the key is finding out what makes her tick. Once he does he's not as much concerned about unbuttoning her has he is protecting her. Driven to Distraction has a bit of suspense, a ton of snark and everything that you love about a Lori Foster book. Looking forward to the second book in this series.
With the witty and smart bantering dialog, that had me laughing out loud several times, the story enticed me and pulled me into the dangerous world of the rich and quirky people with their odd collections. Mary is holding on to her image as a tight-lipped, distant, introvert person, to keep the secrets from her past hidden, and to never experience the kind excruciating attention she got while living with her mom. But Brodie Crews is challenging everything Mary is trying to portray, the way she is trying to do her job, and most of all, he is making her feel again, the kind of feelings Mary was sure she would never experience. Brodie is macho, bossy and purposive. He knows what he wants when he wants it and is not shy about going after it. His family is everything to him, and he would do anything to protect the ones he loves. It was easy to like Brodie, especially when he turned to Mary, and fell utterly, helplessly, hopelessly in love with her. The heat is high. The zizzle between Mary and Brodie is a special kind of hot. Brodie sweeps Mary off her feet while Mary seduces Brodie with just a smile. I loved the chemistry between them, enjoyed the ribbing and teasing, the feelings they had growing for each other. Mary's struggles with intimacy and letting people into her life are real. She has to work on trusting the circle of people surrounding her. It just warmed my heart to see her flourish and grow within. The escalating danger that brings on deadly action, all wrapped around Mary and Brodie's job, was an intense plus to the fastly entertaining tale. The frame of the story might be a traditional one for the romance genre, but the author tells it in a fresh and delightful way that held my interest, enjoying each moment of the tale. A very promising start for the new series! Can't wait for more to come... ~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
✦Review: DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION (Road to Love) by Lori Foster Publication Date: November 20, 2018 Genre: Contemporary Romance Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated 3.5 Stars I enjoyed the interesting back story regarding the seedy underworld of collectors and the related courier business. It was fast paced with enough action to make it suspenseful, woven in with a spicy romance. I don’t care for snobby, judgmental and rude heroines that make me doubt attraction and the hero’s desire for more than a jump in the hay. Thankfully Mary had just enough endearing moments to keep me reading. I liked Brodie even though he strayed into the macho-micromanaging world a bit. But I overlooked that since he probably felt Mary would have used unsound judgement just out of rudeness to him. I liked how he was with family, his dog, and Mary. I’m glad she grew on me enough to be glad for their happily ever after. I am intrigued by the family and friends around them, so I look forward to reading the next in this series. *Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ~*~*~*~
This book started off strong for me. I adore Brodie Crews with his mustang, his protective streak and his awesome dog, Howler. I love how he got that dog. I love how he baby talks that dog and takes care of him when others didn't. As for his protective streak, I love that he likes to go to the rescue and won't let the buttoned-up Mary Daniels keep him in his place as "merely the transporter". And I enjoyed most of the story. Some of my issues started with Mary Daniels and her personality. I guess she never felt real to me. She's so strongly closed off to everyone in her life and that changes. But I expect a story to provide the growth a character needs to make those changes. I'm not sure I ever felt that with her. Maybe it's her job and the whole unusual nature of it. I don't think I ever bought that she walked off the street to become this assistant to a wealthy man, picking up his rare collection items on a moments notice. So I never connected with her and that aspect of the story that felt forced. And speaking of Mary's boss, he confused me too. I felt his responses were forced to meet the needs of the story. At the first sign of danger, his reaction was not what a caring employer would have been. And he does come off as trying to be Mary's family. There were just too many places where things didn't feel right to me. So why 3 1/2 stars? I loved the first half of the story. It was much more pulled together and sharp. At some point though, it become this forced thing that took a path the characters hadn't signed up for. A new character come in and I'm thinking WHY are we all of a sudden seeing this persons perspective. It was unsettling to me. Maybe a little more planning to make the story flow better would have helped. I did enjoy it. I did finish it. I will probably even want to read Jack's story, book 2. I like the family and the I'm really hoping for more of the first half and less of the second.
Quite the ride.... I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Mary and Brodie was a slow burn coming together, but it was a slow burn I quite enjoyed! The plotline was multi-layered and you really become invested in these characters. Mary will break your hard and come into a family that she wasn't quite ready to accept. A family is not always blood. Check this book out - you will not be disappointed!
Is he a driver or protection? Brodie is hired to be a driver for Mary as she makes transactions for their wealthy boss who tends to collect some very unusual pieces of art. They seem to get into some unusual situations and find themselves in danger more often than not while on the job, but off the job things are explosive also. The chemistry is off the charts and things get a little steamy. This is yet another excellent story by Lori Foster.
I've only recently started reading Lori Foster's books (yes, I know, huge miss on my part) but I am definitely enjoying her writing style. And Driven to Distraction was definitely not a disappointment. Ultimately, in my opinion, this was a beautiful love story, a story of overcoming fear and demons from the past, with just the right amount of suspense to make it irresistible even to those who like their books a little bit more dangerous. Mary and Brodie are two intriguing characters. On first glance they are as different as night and day. But once you start getting to know them, you can see all they ways they fit perfectly together. That doesn't mean that their relationship is easy. On the contrary, actually. Due to her past, Mary is quite resistant to all of Brodie's advances. Even if she feels the scorching chemistry between them as strong as he does. On top of that, the danger following them around, makes things even more complicated. But all that suppressed chemistry and lurking danger leads to some burn the sheets action that will leave you breathless. There were few places in the story that the story went a little bit slow for me, but at the same time, I was so invested in the characters that I couldn't put the book down. I ended up finishing it in one sitting which resulted in me going to bed after 5am. So in a few words, this is definitely a book I recommend, especially if you are looking for a good romantic story with a pinch of danger and sprinkle of hotness :) I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Lori Foster Driven to Distraction is an interesting take on first impressions are not always the best. Driven to Distraction is what readers come to expect from Lori Foster with her female leads feisty, somewhat lost, strong willed and seem to take their first impression and hold on to it until finally the male lead has them questioning everything they know. Brodie is alpha male who protects those he respects. He is a little over the top as most of the men are in these stories. Road to Love is the start of a new series with that in mind readers are introduced to endless amounts of characters. Characters pop off the pages while others fade into the background waiting for their story to be told. Lori Foster is able to create a beautiful landscape that will have readers wanting more. The characters comes to life in this action packed romance that has readers wondering what is so important that someone is will to kill another? Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher Harlequinn for the advance copy of Lori Foster Driven to Distraction
I love all Lori Foster novels. She is a master at her craft. I don’t think anyone can write a series quite like her, where every book is anticipated the same. I love the slow builds and the character highlights. I also love the action. Both aspects are believable and realistic. Something I often dislike about romance novels. The first book of this series... In Driven to Distraction, we meet Mary and fall in love with Brodie. We also get an introduction to Brodie’s family and it is enticing and gives me something to look forward to. I love Mary because she is a strong heroine but isn’t annoying with it. Looking forward to the rest of the series. As usual, Lori Foster Delivers.
While I’m a huge fan of Lori Foster’s books, this one left me wishing for more. The plot was different from anything I’d read but It did take me a little bit to get into the story and I felt it lacked character development. It does have some suspense that adds some excitement to the story; however, the villain was a little too crazy to me. I am going to keep an open mind about the next book in the series and do look forward to it. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Some authors have a framework around which all stories are developed. With Lori Foster, It is always a big story, with more than a bit of suspense, This one is a surefire winner, sexy and funny with scorching chemistry. The plot is constructed such that although it is a big story, it is understated and doesn't eclipse the characters. Few authors can paint such a detailed picture of the leading characters that the reader becomes as familiar with them as with their next-door neighbor, perhaps more. And as in many of this author's books, there is a dog with personality who has a starring role in the story. Mary with her red hair and freckles clearly has body image dissatisfaction. Her self-talk is all about her dissatisfaction, both with herself and with others. She is anxious about many things; her ability to please her employer, her ability to keep her job, how others see her and she is always waiting for the other shoe to fall. When she goes to meet Brodie, concerned about making a good first impression, she is so disturbed by her first impression that she tries to control the situation, to back away, to no avail. Brodie is hung over, shirtless and working on his car with a woman hanging all over him. When he sees Mary, his perception upon taking inventory is vastly different from Mary's. He sees, a prissy although a gorgeous young woman who is clearly less than impressed with him. She has come with clear instructions that she is to hire Brodie to acquire an 'artifact' of sorts for her employer. Her employer has chosen Brodie and isn't interested in making a change at Mary's request. She is not the easiest woman to like with her controlling behavior and negative attitude. Brodie would cut her loose if it weren't for the money. This job brought with it a big payday needed for his business. He is determined to do the job and take care of Mary despite her resistance. The author quickly sets the stage for the journey which, as you might imagine is much more complicated than anticipated. Mary's employer knew what he was doing when he selected Brodie as Mary's driver. He had done his research. He sees that Mary has no life-balance and intends to shake her up a bit in this partnership. An unforeseen danger lies ahead. Mary has much to learn about herself, about trust and about how important she is to her work family. Some things about this story are a bit farfetched and yet they work to add flavor to this mixture of Rom-Com and Romantic-Suspense. I'm quite anxious for Book 2 in this entertaining new series.
There was sizzle between Mary and Brodie from the beginning. They both may have been Driven to Distraction by their mutual attraction which they tried to ignore but I could not be distracted from following the story that Lori Foster mapped out for them. And she mapped their road out perfectly. With each book she writes, Ms. Foster amazes me with her storytelling. With each book of hers I read, I don't think she'll be able to top the story but then the next book comes out and she proves me wrong! This is a must-read. It will not disappoint. I was given an ARC in exchanged for my honest review.
Please see all of my reviews on my blog at www.robinlovesreading.com. At Mary Daniels first glance towards Brodie Crews, she is completely breathless. In his own way, he is just as affected. She meets him when she hires him as a transporter for a job to acquire rare artifacts. Things get started off on the wrong foot, however. Brodie has a hangover and Mary wonders that he hardly seems responsible enough for the job she needs him to do. Mary is flummoxed. When she approaches the Mustang Transport company she is immediately worried for her job. It is very important to her and now she is forced to work for a potent guy determined to call her Red. She is serious about what she does and now it appears to her that Brodie could easily upset that. In many ways the two seem complete opposites. She is conservative and apparently trying very hard to protect her inner shell. Brodie is nothing like her. He seems very outgoing and appears to not take anything too serious. So, Mary’s job and her protected way about herself just might be at risk. The fact that they both share a powerful attraction to one another further complicates things. Mary’s employer wants unique items and things become very hairy for her and Brodie. Mystery and danger begin to develop in this sizzling romance. Although they spend even more time together due to these difficult circumstances it certainly poses no hardship. It is very clear that Mary and Brodie are perfect for each other in every way that counts. My review would be remiss if I did not mention Howler, Brodie’s dog, as well as the background behind that. Brodie’s relationship with Howler is absolutely wonderful. Leave it to Lori Foster for writing another exceptional book that combines sizzling romance, suspense, humor and overwhelming sensitivity. Driven to Distraction is a wonderful start to another new series. It is rather exciting to wonder which character from this engaging book will get their own story. Many thanks for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.
"Driven to Distraction" (Road to Love Book 1) by Lori Foster is a wonderful read. I loved Brodie and Mary's story. This is a fantastic start to this new series, packed with action, romance, passion, entertaining and interesting characters, humor, and more. I can't wait to see what happens next in this series. Highly recommend to all fans of romance and series.