Test Drive is the first book in the new Body Shop Bad Boys series by Marie Harte. This contemporary romance series does connect to a previous series from the author, but I have not read it and think that aside from already knowing some of the secondary characters ahead of time readers will not miss out if they have not already read other books from the author.
Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster's Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it's the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat. 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.
Test Drive is fast and furious. Johnny has not always been the best guy, but he does have a sense of honor and is upfront with he women that enter his life. Lara is trying to build herself a better life, going to school and working hard to make sure she does not spend the rest of her life saving pennies like her parents. She is thankful for the love and support they have given her, but she wants more. The help she gives her family brings more trouble into her life and Johnny steps up to help, and in the process proves that under the tattoos and muscles he is a real softy while Lara proves to be smarter and more assertive than expected. My only real trouble with the book is a couple more intimate scenes seemed over the top to me, but that is my own personal preference and expectations. Others might enjoy the moments that made me pause a little. As a whole I liked the characters and the story- there was enough suspense and action to balance out the lust and sweet moments.
Test Drive is a fast and sun read. Johnny and Lara are great characters and I really liked the set up of characters with less than perfect pasts and families finding their happily ever after in each other. i think I am going to keep on with this series, and as time permits I will check out other books from Harte.