Crossing the Line
Crossing the Line is the third book in Audra North’s Hard Driving series, and the first to feature the sometimes fractious relationship between the press and the race car drivers who rely, for good or bad, on their coverage. Ty Riggs is becoming an established name on the Riggs driving team, following in the footsteps of his successful father, Bobby. It’s a family venture, and all the people who work for the team are loyal and competent – now.
But at one time, twenty years before, Bobby Riggs’ crew chief had made a deal with the devil so to speak, arranging for another team to throw the race and to ensure Bobby would come in first. Though Bobby had nothing to do with it, and it was hushed up at the time, it’s part of the track record of his team. But Bobby has been feeling guilty about it and Ty, who knows what happened, wishes his dad would just come forward and admit to it. Especially now, because someone has been implying that their current team is skirting the rules. It’s resulted in a fist fight between Ty and another driver, and is putting his future plans of running a driving program for disadvantaged teens in jeopardy.
Cori Bellowes is an up-and-coming sports reporter, having obtained a job six months earlier (and fresh out of journalism school) with Gold Cup Sports. In this traditionally male dominated field, she has her work cut out for her to make an impression, especially with her misogynistic boss. When given the chance to report on the Ty Riggs story, with a ‘suggestion’ to dig deeper and get to the bottom of the potential scandal, Cori agrees. It’s not what she wants to do, but if she’s going to get away from being treated like the coffee girl, she needs to get a significant story under her belt. Besides, she’s been a fan of Ty’s since he started his racing career and the chance to meet him in person is impossible to resist. When she finally gets to attend one of Ty’s press conferences, she knows that she needs to attract his interest if she’s to have a shot at getting more personal with him. She does this by being the only reporter to not ask about the fight or the cheating allegations. (Plus she’s one of the only females in the press room, and a young, attractive one at that). Ty is intrigued. When some one-on-one interview time becomes available, they get the chance to meet in person, and things move forward from there. Ty believes he’s found someone he can trust. What will happen when he finds out that Cori has a hidden agenda?
The first story in this series, In The Fast Lane, made my best of 2015 list for sports romances. It features a female race car driver and I love that it showcases the difficulties for women in the sport. In a way this story is a mirror of that, but showing the difficulties facing female reporters working in what is traditionally thought of as a male field. Cori comes across as a pleasant, friendly woman who is working hard to prove herself as a sports reporter. She doesn’t have the support of her parents who were disappointed in her career choice, and for that reason it’s doubly important that she prove to them that she made the right choice. As she starts to gain Ty’s trust and he shares some of his secrets with her, she tries to find a way to please her boss by getting recognition for her articles (and thus more advertising money for their smaller company) without compromising Ty’s trust. She writes articles that talk about him and his team, revealing his character to be what she sees – a thoughtful, generous, yet competitive man. The more time she spends with Ty, the deeper her attraction to him becomes. They share some very sexy scenes together. She wishes she could tell Ty the truth about why she sought him out in the first place, but fears his reaction. As a reader, you know the fallout is coming, you just don’t know when it will be and I was on edge waiting for it to happen.
As for Ty, the knowledge of the cheating that happened on his father’s team wears on him and on his relationship with his parents. His father isn’t in the best of health and is supposed to avoid extra stress, and because of it, he just wants to sweep everything under a rug. But the questions Ty is fielding from some reporters indicate to him that somebody has talked. Someone knows about what happened and is going to be relentless about pursuing the story. As Ty gets to know Cori, the relief he feels at being able to confide in her is palpable. She doesn’t judge him and seems to understand the difficulty he is experiencing in not being able to convince his father to come forward with the story before the press learns all the details. Ty feels a kinship with Cori, and their relationship progresses swiftly.
The world of car racing is well represented here, both from the press box with Cori, and down in the pit and in the race car with Ty. We get a sense of the trust and loyalty that the Riggs team members feel for each other, as well as the positive relationship that Ty has with the majority of the other drivers. The story is told from both Ty and Cori’s points of view, and thus gives insight into both their thought processes. My main complaint is that the resolution to the conflict comes too quickly. The ending is abrupt after the long buildup, and doesn’t give enough time to really feel that Ty and Cori are ready to move forward and put what’s happened behind them. Despite this, Crossing the Line is a solid addition to this car racing series and worth the read.
I'm a biochemist and a married mother of two. Reading has been my hobby since grade school, and I've been a fan of the romance genre since I was a teenager. Sharing my love of good books by writing reviews is a recent passion of mine, but one which is richly rewarding.
|Review Date:||June 15, 2016|
|Book Type:||Contemporary Romance|