Hot Wheels and High Heels
Grade : B+

What does a trophy wife do when her husband absconds with everything they own? This is the dilemma facing Darcy McDaniel in Jane Graves’s fast and funny Hot Wheels and High Heels. If you are looking for the perfect summer read, look no further – this is it.

Lyla Scarsdale wanted to be a trophy wife, but she got pregnant and ended up married to a man who was not her prince charming. Instead of a McMansion in a gated community with a rich husband, she settled for a doublewide trailer and Darcy’s mechanic father. Practically from Darcy’s birth, Lyla drummed into her that she must marry a rich man, and after a short stint as a receptionist, she did. Darcy married Warren McDaniel, who is rich and successful and now she has the beautiful home, the country club membership, the unlimited shopping and everything her mother has taught her is worth having. So maybe Warren isn’t the most interesting companion – money can buy happiness, or so she’s been taught.

When Darcy returns from a Cancun vacation with a friend (Warren insisted she needed one) she finds out that while she’s been relaxing, he has:

  • sold the house
  • emptied all their bank accounts
  • taken all her jewelry
  • cancelled all her credit cards
  • embezzled a large sum of money from his employer and disappeared

Well, at least Darcy still has her cool Mercedes.

Umm, not for long. Seems as though Warren hasn’t kept up the payments and it doesn’t take long for the repo man to come knocking. John Stark is the owner of Lone Star Repossessions and he has no patience with spoiled high maintenance women. No matter how much she cries and flirts, John is unmoved - Darcy can have her cute Mercedes back if she can make the payments. To do that, she needs a job, but what kind of job can a professional trophy wife get? Well, it seems as though John needs a receptionist – not a high tech one, but an old fashioned receptionist who can answer the phones, take care of paperwork, and make coffee on occasion. Darcy can do that and since no one remotely qualified has applied for the job, Darcy gets it.

Darcy would never admit it, but she actually enjoys her work even though she really really hates life at minimum wage. But it looks like help is on the horizon. Warren's boss Jeremy Bridges begins to court her with lavish gifts. He makes it clear that he would like to make her his kept woman, and a few weeks ago Darcy would have jumped right into his limo. But that was before John came into her life. Jeremy’s presents are of the generic luxury type – caviar, Waterford, expensive clothes, while John comes over to fix her locks, put new counters over her ugly ones, and when he buys her something, it may not be expensive, but it’s clear he’s put some thought into the gift. Rather than pampering Darcy, John insists that she is a capable woman who can take care of herself.

Hot Wheels and High Heels is funny as can be and I had a blast reading it. The spoiled high maintenance woman is normally a character I don’t like at all, but I loved Darcy. She’s spoiled - she’s been raised to think of herself as an ornament and she loves nice things – who wouldn’t, but she isn’t an airhead and she’s not at all obnoxious. Over the course of the story, Darcy slowly begins to change. She begins to take pride in doing a job, she discovers that fast food can taste good, you can find what you need at Wal-Mart and SALE is not a four letter word. Darcy also discovers that it’s nice to be around a man who notices things like your favorite color and doesn’t notice things like cellulite. The fact that he’s a wonderful lover is the icing on the cake. John will never be rich, but he’s a decent reliable man and he’s a much better companion than Warren ever was.

The supporting characters were all charming and funny and I see sequels on the horizon. As for John – he’s totally yummy and nice as can be. Truly the man has no faults at all. The only problem I had was with Lyla. Frankly, if I had been Darcy’s father, I wouldn’t have put up with her, but we leave them in a passionate embrace. I still can’t figure that relationship out.

After several so-so reads I had too much fun reading this book, and it’s on my short list of best romances for 2007. If you buy this book and it gets lost in your TBR pile, read it in the winter – it's a delight in any season.

Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : July 5, 2007

Publication Date: 2007

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