Book Review: Jaci Burton’s One Sweet Ride

Posted August 9, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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

Book Review: Jaci Burton’s One Sweet Ride

One Sweet Ride


Jaci Burton

contemporary romance that was published by Penguin on June 4, 2013 and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mountain Moonlight, Unlaced, Riding on Instinct, The Perfect Play, Riding the Night, Fall Fury, Changing the Game, Heart of a Killer, Forbidden Fantasies, Taking a Shot, Playing to Win, Nautier and Wilder, Wild, Wicked, & Wanton, Thrown by a Curve, Straddling the Line, Melting the Ice, All Wound Up, "Hot Holiday Nights", Unexpected Rush

Sixth in the Play-by-Play sports romance series. The couple focus is on Grayson Preston and Evelyn Hill.

My Take

This was terrible. And I’d so been looking forward to Grayson’s story. It’s too shallow, and so mechanical. No, this mechanical is separate from the mechanics of racing, LOL! It’s also very “touchy-feely” with all sorts of relationship advice that both Gray and Evelyn are handing out to others. I’m not sure if it just didn’t feel right in the story, if it hit me wrong because of my own prejudice of being shocked that Gray could be so today, or if the Oprah-moments really were too much. Don’t get me wrong, it was good advice, but…oh, boy.

Gray is so black and white. There’s all sorts of evidence — admittedly, I can understand his not believing his dad could change — that there are some disconnects with what the senator was like when he first threatened Gray and with what’s happening now. The biggest of these is Evelyn herself. Gray’s a smart guy, and he’s picked up that Evelyn is smart. When she keeps telling him the senator has changed AND you add in her behavior, I’d certainly start wondering what’s “amiss” instead of hewing nail and claw to his old vision of his dad.

I like Gray; I just don’t think Burton spent much time thinking about realistic behavior. I like Evelyn too. She has a goal in mind and is determined to pursue it. Although, for such a smart woman with campaign experience, I’d’a thought she’d have chosen more appropriate clothing the first time she shows up at the track. I could see some trust fund baby who’s never mixed with anyone out of her social milieu making this mistake, but not Evelyn. Burton would have been better off if she’d had Evelyn suddenly drop everything and have to take a flight to see Gray with no time to change her clothes.

I do love how supportive Gray is of Evelyn’s dreams, even if he does have some knee-jerk reactions to some of Evelyn’s activities. That one at Craig’s party was so clichéd! Saw it coming from laps away! Other clichés include the ubiquitous we can never be together because __fill in the blank__, the “misunderstanding” when they get to Atlanta, the hospital scenes. Then there’s the lame dialog — thought and spoken.

No wonder these guys had so many groupies. All that charm.

Except, Gray, of course, who she didn’t find charming in the least, especially not today.”

Can we say obvious… Here, just bash me over the head with it. Why is it that we don’t learn about Evelyn’s passion until Gray “hits her over the head” with it? As it appears to be important, I should have thought some kind of foreshadowing would have been useful. A hint??

I did like Evelyn coming to understand how much more involved racing is than just sitting behind the wheel. Nice way to educate me too!

Oh, man, a teeny bit convoluted, but I do appreciate Gray’s point about his getting up in Evelyn’s personal life, LOL. And he is quite the gentleman in so many ways. I do like a polite and considerate man.

I know I haven’t dated in decades, but would any woman wait for two-and-a-half hours while her date was getting drunk before she ordered some food for herself? Then the first time Gray and Evelyn have sex…it may well be that these are the thoughts that go through most women’s minds, the worrying, the discomfort, but I don’t think I want to read it. That or Burton just did a terrible job of writing parts of this.

I’m confused. Midway through the story, Evelyn informs us that she’s responsible for her being there; later, it sounds as though it was a set-up by another party.

YEAH! An author who knows how to properly whup someone’s butt! YES!!

Cute, but oh so dull with no surprises.

The Story

An unexpected visitor shows up on the track and turns Grayson’s life upside down. A demand from his father, extortion from his mother, and Grayson is hooked back into the life he fled.

The Characters

Evelyn Hill is Gray’s father’s aide. She’s smart, determined, and has her life’s plan ahead of her — following the senator to the White House.

Grayson Preston is the happy son of an unhappy senator, busy pursuing his dream to race cars. And he’s doing well with his own racing team, Preston Racing, and two cars. Ian Smart, the crew chief, and Gray have been together a long time. Donny is his second driver; Gray reckons he has good potential if he can just focus! Stacie is Donny’s unhappy girlfriend.

Senator Mitchell Preston is his misogynistic jerk of a dad from whom Gray is estranged; the senator has a good chance of being picked as the vice-presidential candidate. Loretta Preston is his steamroller of a mom. She has her own agendas that she intends will profit from the senator’s (potential) VP position, and she’s ain’t gonna let Gray turn away. Carolina, a.k.a., Pudge, is his younger sister and an up-and-coming fashion designer. Governor Cameron is the presidential candidate.

Cal McClusky is one of his closest competitors with, unfortunately, a bad habit with alcohol.

Craig Reynolds is a college buddy forced out of baseball due to an injury; he’s married to Miranda, the sweetest lady who happens to be pregnant. Drew Hogan is one of his college roommates, a hockey player, with whom Carolina is infatuated. Trevor and Garrett (Thrown by a Curve, 5) are his other two roommates from school.

Bill Briscoe and his wife, Ginger, were the boys’ dorm parents in college. The news about Bill is devastating for Gray, as he was the father Gray had never had. Haven is their daughter with a passion for Trevor.

The Cover and Title

The cover is hot as usual with Grayson, his fire suit yanked down to his waist, baring his sweating torso, helmet in one hand as the other is scratching his head over that loss.

The title has so many connotations to it, as Grayson does indeed have One Sweet Ride in the career he’s chosen, the woman he wants, and the success of it.