Test Drive (Body Shop Bad Boys – Book 1)

Posted 06/07/2017 by Brandy in 2 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Romance - Contemporary / 0 Comments

Test Drive (Body Shop Bad Boys – Book 1)Test Drive by Marie Harte
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca Pages: 384
2 Stars

Rough and tumble bad boy mechanicsLiving fast and loving hard
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.
Body Shop Bad Boys Series: Test Drive (Book 1)Roadside Assistance (Book 2)Zero to Sixty (Book 3)
Praise for Marie Harte's McCauley Brothers Series: "Packed with sass, sensuality and heartwarming emotion...an absolute delight!" -Romance Junkies for What to Do with a Bad Boy"Funny, addicting, and full of hot sex scenes." -Booklist for How to Handle a Heartbreaker


To steal a phrase from one of my favorite romance book sites, Smart Bitches Trashy Books this book had all of my catnip – sexy mechanic, independent and sassy heroine, off the charts attraction, and hot cars. And though the story contained all these elements, it still fell a little flat. Scenes tended to drag a bit, the heroine was not my favorite, and some of the side characters became tedious. But the sexy mechanic hero? Yeah, he delivered in spades. #Ilovejohnny



“The opening riff of an old-school AC/DC song echoed through the garage.”



 The hero was an absolute dream. Johnny was smart, funny, sexy as sin, and generally a great guy. Oh and his “nerdiness” was adorable  and made me love him even more.He is officially on my book boyfriend list!

 I loved the relationship Johnny had with the other guys who worked at the shop. They teased each other in the way only true friends can but it was clear they always had Johnny’s back and best interest in any situation.

Though she is not my favorite heroine for many reasons, Lara did have a few things I found admirable about her character. First, she was super dedicated to making her life better and I had huge respect for that. As someone who also worked full-time while going to university, I really identified with that aspect of Lara’s story. I also appreciated that Lara stuck by her family no matter what.

Bonus Kudo: That cover ROCKS! So. Much. Sexy.


 Unfortunately, the problems I had with this book far out numbered the positive aspects. To start, can I just say again that Lara was one of my LEAST favorite heroines in a book in a long time? She whined, she complained, she acted like a martyr, but her worst crime had to be the way she treated Johnny through much of the book. Ugh, so not what I like to see in the female character.

Though I appreciated that Lara wanted to help her sister and nieces, the interaction between her and her sister became tedious and annoying and did little to add to the story except to remind me that Lara’s character needed improvement. The nieces were cute though, and I LOVED their interactions with Johnny.

Finally, the scenes with Del and her damn “no cussing” jar nearly drove me crazy. I mean, anyone who has ever been in a garage or around mechanics can attest to the fact most will drop at least a cuss word or two. It is kind of the nature of their personalities. Scrape your knuckles on an engine, slam your head into the hood of a car, drop a tool on your foot – you are going to let the cuss words fly. So the constant dialogue around the swear jar and Del’s behavior was like a fly I couldn’t swat.

In the end, my love of Johnny couldn’t overcome all the other parts of the book that did not work for me. I was pretty disappointed when I finished the book as I had hoped to have started a new series I could fall in love with. But alas, it was not and I won’t be continuing with the series even though I would love to see what happens to the rest of the guys. However, I would add that Marie Harte’s writing held my interest just enough, I tried another one of her books and found it to be slightly better (review forthcoming) and I will continue to give her a chance.

Has a book blurb ever made you excited to read a book only for the book then to leave you disappointed? Tell me about it!

2 Stars
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