by Julie Garwood
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Fast Track is book 12 in the Buchanan-Reynard series. I fell in love with this series from the start, and I have been waiting for this particular couple since 2004 when I read Murder List, and when I read Fire & Ice (which I didn't exactly love) it only whet my appetite further. Man that makes me feel old. Anyway, after about book 6, the series (in my not so humble opinion) got a little spotty in terms of quality and enjoyment, but I had been hanging on and holding out for this one.
So, while this book should work well enough as a stand-alone (there's no encompassing story arc through this series), I definitely don't think you should read it without reading at least 1-7, because they encompass either the best of the bunch and/or characters that will be involved in this particular story.
So, Cordelia has been in love with Aiden (he's the brother of one of her two best friends) since she was a very little girl, but he of course has refused to admit he sees her as anything more than his little sister's friend. When Cordie's father dies from a heart attack and life-changing secrets are revealed, it forces her to accept that she just cannot keep living her life waiting for something that may never happen. Naturally, because this is romancelandia, that's when trouble starts and sparks fly.
I am going to have to admit, I am giving this book some serious nostalgia points and points for simply not completely disappointing me after a decade long wait, that being said, it didn't blow me completely out of the water. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this one, quite a bit more than Fire & Ice as a matter of fact. Julie Garwood has a way of writing that makes you see the characters, and for the most part even like them, and that is certainly the case here. There's no TSL moments and they aren't Mary Sue's either. I also like how the plot is kind of twisty. Both main characters have a lot going on in their lives, and both plot lines are plausible for the strange occurrences (discounting the fact that both characters are of course fabulously wealthy). But, when it comes down to the end, I feel like the resolutions are given short shrift after all the character growth and action. Some of that is because one particular point offended my sense of justice and vengeance, but I think even if it didn't I would still feel like things were wrapped up too neatly and quickly. In the end, I am giving this 4 stars (with the aforementioned bonus points) and would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has loved the series, including the ones who have given up on it since way back after Shadow Dance. I don't particularly recommend it for new readers though; unless you have an interest in the beginning of the series-in which case, I say start at the beginning because if you are a fan of romantic suspense, I doubt you will be disappointed.