Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Fast Track by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard, Book 12
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Romantic Suspense Fast Track Cover
ISBN: 9780525954453
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.

Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.

Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he’s unwittingly drawn into a volatile family drama.

Aiden wants to help Cordelia get answers about her mother, but threats from her wealthy, high-powered family are quickly becoming dangerous. Sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but after multiple attempts are made on Cordelia’s life, Aiden realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.

Secrets, danger, and family drama will take readers on a journey from Chicago to Sydney in Fast Track. I can always count on Julie Garwood to deliver an entertaining story, and Cordie and Aiden’s book is no exception.

Cordelia Kane’s life is turned upside down when her father reveals the truth about her mother right before he dies. Yet while Cordie is ready to let go of the past and start a new life in Boston, this revelation keeps her in Chicago…and in the sights of Aiden Madison, her best friend’s brother and the man she’s secretly loved for years. It’s Aiden who helps Cordie on her journey to Australia to learn the truth about the woman who gave birth to her. And when it becomes clear that someone is targeting Cordie, it’s Aiden who appoints himself her protector. The circumstances that draw them together are what finally opens Aiden’s eyes when it comes to seeing Cordie for the desirable woman she is. The two of them begin their love story with a solid foundation based on years of knowing one another, and I liked the easiness to their love story. That being said, their romance did lack the usual spark found in Ms. Garwood’s books, likely because we didn’t get to go very deep into Aiden’s character. Some of my all-time favorite love stories have been written by Ms. Garwood, so the extreme understated-ness of Cordie and Aiden’s romance was a bit of a disappointment, particularly since the two had so much potential. Still, I liked them together and I did finish Fast Track a satisfied reader.

Outside of the Aiden-Cordie romance, the biggest plot thread to Fast Track involved Cordie trying to learn more about her mother. There’s ample danger and a dash of suspense stemming from this storyline, and though I won’t spoil the book, I will say that my heart broke for Cordie. Her eye-opening trip to Sydney only makes me happier that she has such amazing best friends in Regan and Sophie. And speaking of Regan and Sophie, these two former Buchanan-Renard heroines (of Murder List and Fire and Ice respectively) along with their heroes, Alec and Jack, add warmth and humor to Fast Track. I loved seeing these four interact with Cordie and Aiden, and fans of the series will surely be delighted that they play such strong supporting roles. As someone who’s been reading the Buchanan-Renard series out of order, I can safely say that Fast Track can be read as a standalone. That being said, if you’re new to the series and don’t want to read Murder List and Fire and Ice after finishing this book I’ll be surprised.

I’m always eager to read Julie Garwood’s books, so you can bet I’ll be back for more Buchanan-Renard adventures, particularly if there’s a story in store for the sexy Liam Scott, a man so charismatic he threatens to steal the show from the Cordie and Aiden. Though Fast Track has its ups and downs, overall it’s a fast-paced, highly enjoyable read.

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