Wednesday, January 13, 2010

REVIEW: Sex Drive by Susan Lyons

ISBN 9780758238252
Series: Wild Ride to Love, Book 1
(c) December 2009, Aphrodisia, Kensington

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

"Characters that wrap around your heart, sizzling passion, a true romance. What's not to love?"

Sex Drive truly is one Wild Ride to Love! The title alone tells me this book is gonna be one yummy read.

As I understand it, the four books in the series will feature a particular type of transportation wherein the characters will meet and mayhem--delicious ones, that is--ensues. In Sex Drive, the characters are seatmates on the long flight to Honolulu and our sexy hero initiates the heroine into the mile-high club.

Damien Black makes a sexy hero because he doesn't have any angst. Although angsty heroes make for tortured, conflicted, compelling characters, it's very refreshing to read a hero who doesn't have much baggage. He's easy-going and fun and I love his banter with Theresa, how he makes her feel at ease and how he appreciates her. Truthfully, Damien is a very easy man to fall in love with, not to mention that he possessed the requisite gorgeous hero looks. He said and did all the right things to make a girl's heart melt, and the best is that he's sincere about it. To top that, he's voted one of the top 10 sexiest bachelors in Australia (reminds me of Hugh Jackman). Theresa is one lucky woman indeed!

On the other hand, Dr. Theresa Fallon is a genius who got her PhD when she was twenty-two! (gulp) All work and no play, she's a control freak, likes to do things by herself as other people's work standards aren't up to hers, and Damien is just what she needs to loosen up. It's fun seeing her have fun and gaining confidence in herself with everything Damien does and says. And did I mention that Damien is such a sexy guy?

Though the intimate scenes were hot and plenty, the author takes us through the characters' progressing feelings about himself/herself and with each other in every scene such that the intimate acts don't come across as gratuitous. For me, the first few pages started out as slow with Theresa (in the first POV) in a monologue explaining how she came to be at the airport looking through bridal magazines, but once she's on the plane and found out that Damien's her seatmate, the book takes off.

And it's one wild ride, for both the characters and the reader. I like the way the Damien and Theresa gradually developed feelings for one another, fraught with all the highs and joys, doubts and uncertainties of a new romance. Like how Damien found himself floundering, wanting to say the right words at the right time, because it mattered now in the way it didn't before. I also like the way they helped each other to grow and expand beyond what they already are into better persons.

Susan Lyons is an amazing storyteller, creating characters that wrap around your heart. She really set Theresa up for the "big fall" (you have to read it and see), but I'm glad to see the issue resolved without employing the "big misunderstanding" trope and move on to the next. It made for an action-packed, tension-filled read. A true fairy tale for the romantic at heart. The next book in the series is Love, Unexpectedly and I can't wait to get it in April!

A note for readers: The book is written partly from the first person point of view (Theresa's) and third person point of view (Damien's) in alternating chapters, except for the grand finale/conclusion, which is all Theresa's. Though I was disconcerted at first by this format, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story.

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

* Note: The review copy is supplied by the author.

More fun stuff here, including a copy of Damien's Aussie barbecue recipe!

Want to win an autographed copy of Sex On The Beach?

How to Enter in the Drawing:  You can do any or all of the following:
1. Comment on any of the posts on January 13 and 14.
2. Ask questions. Susan will be dropping by the blog from time to time and will answer any questions you might have.
3. Answer this question: ("stolen" from Susan's book discussion questions)

Damien and Theresa met while on a flight to Honolulu. It’s a different world on an airplane, particularly on a very long flight. What’s been your experience on airplanes? Do you keep to yourself or chat to the person beside you, or even flirt? Is your behavior different on a plane than anywhere else? Why? 

Who Can Enter: Anybody on this planet.

Contest Deadline:  11:59pm EST on January 14, 2010

Winner Announcement:  The name of the winner will be posted on the blog on January 15, 2010. Instructions will be given then on how to claim the prize.

* Update: Check out the Sneak Peek of Sex On The Beach and an Interview with Susan Lyons!


Silver @ TRR said...

Great review, Shana! I've read this and it's awesome. Really love Damien.

Leontine said...

I've said it once and I'll say it again, plane sexing is one of those topics I haven't read about yet and it is in my top 5 of things I want to discover in the erotica genre :) I really enjoyed reading your review and 1st and 3rd POV, that is something I don't come across often. Thanks for pointing it out!

Susan Lyons said...

Silver, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.

Leontine, as for "plane sexing," it's one of those things that sounded like a great idea when I did the proposal, then I realized I actually had to write it! There's not a lot of space or privacy on a plane, so it was a challenge. I definitely had to put them in business class, not economy - LOL. In the end, they and I both had a lot of fun! Hope you do too, when you read the book.

Patti (Book Addict) said...

I like the idea behind the series -it should set the scene for some sexy stories! And I like that the hero is not tortured, while I do like tortured heroes, it's nice to get one without a bunch of baggage too!

I don't fly often and if I do I keep to myself, but I will say
that on a transatlantic flight a few years back, I'm 99% sure my seatmates had sex during the flight. They went from total strangers when we took off to sharing a blanket and then a bunch of moving around underneath the the point the guy next to me was edging my knee out of his way!! As I'm pretty non-confrontational and the rest of the plane was sleeping (and full), I just turned on my overhead light and glared a lot. It was a LONG flight.

Julia Hunter said...

Hi Susan,

I agree, what a fun concept for a story. I pretty much just put on the headsets and work on my computer. I think it's called civil inattention? Like in elevators?

Hmm...but I think your way is a much better way to enjoy the flight!

I look forward to reading it.


Sunny Gonzales said...

What a fab review! I wonder if I dare to initiate something with my future seatmate in order to join the mile-high club... tee hee!

So far, all of my flights are boring. My seatmate and I kept to ourselves with the in flight entertainment or reading books/newspapers. No excitement at all. Ho-hum.

Maybe I'm meant to live vicariously through books...sad...sad...

beverley said...

Hi Susan, your book sounds delicious. Was it hard writing in both first person and 3rd person?

CallMeKayla said...

this sounds so good!
I've never been on a plane before so I can't say..

Susan Lyons said...

Ooh, Patti - yuck re your seatmates! Sorry, that's just rude. It's one thing if you're in semi-privacy - only 2 seats together with no-one close by, in the dark - as in Sex Drive, but to inflict all that on a neighbor is icky!

Susan Lyons said...

Sunny and Kayla, looks like you'll just have to get your kicks from books. Which is, by the way, much safer!!

Susan Lyons said...

Hi Julia. You know, I used to work on the laptop too, but it seems they're giving less and less space. And the person ahead always shoves their seat way back, and the one beside me is so close they can read every word I write - and when you write sexy books, that's pretty embarrassing!

Susan Lyons said...

Beverley, that's a great question. When I first started writing (mysteries, at the time), my natural voice was first person. When I realized that what I really wanted to write was romance, the convention at the time was that they were all pretty much in third person, alternating the heroine's and hero's point of view. So, I learned how to do that. But I often find it's not as immediate. When I read third person, I don't feel as emotionally connected to the character or as engaged in the story.

The publishing biz has loosened up a lot in terms of the conventions, and now there are definitely romances written in first person - sometimes with both heroine and hero in first person, or sometimes just one point of view for the whole story.

For me, it's a matter of finding what voice "feels" best for each character. When I started Sex Drive (and the Wild Ride to Love series), I knew the stories were going to be about the sisters and their guys, so the heroines are a bit more the "main" characters than the heroes. Because Theresa starts out pretty inhibited and controlled, she could have come across as stiff and starchy, yet I really wanted the reader to identify with her, so writing her in first person just seemed to work for me. I've done the same thing in the next in the series, Love, Unexpectedly, out in April from Brava (under the pen name Susan Fox). Heroine Kat is in first person; hero Naveen is in third.

And no, it's not hard to write. I just get into that character's head and voice, and then it flows.

Jodie Esch said...

What a dynamite review Susan!


Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I've never had the opportunity to joint he mile high club but I think I need to add it to my TO DO list. Ha!

I get very nervous on airplanes so it would probably never happen OR it could be a way to divert my attention!

Thanks for the opportunity to win and live vicariously through your characters!

mdwartistry at yahoo

Ina said...

Hi Susan!
it's great to see you here - your book sounds fantastic and it's already on my wishlist...I really like your homepage, especially the Behind the Scenes part - I love to know the background of a book!

On my first trip with the plane I sat at the window the whole time and was watching the earth under me - it was a fantastic freeing!

greetings, Ina

skyla11377 said...

The Book Cover Is Hot And This Book Sounds Like A Great Read. Awesome Interview Very Informative.

Hey Susan What Are One Or Two Things We Wouldn’t Normally Know About You?

What’s Been Your Experience On Airplanes? Do You Keep To Yourself Or Chat To The Person Beside You, Or Even Flirt? Is Your Behavior Different On A Plane Than Anywhere Else? Why?

I Have Only Been On A Plane Once Round Trip When I Was Fifteen. It Was A Small Plain And My Ears Never Popped The Whole Trip. We Went From Boston To Florida Not A Long Trip But It Made Me Uncomfortable Because It Was My First Time And My Ears Were Bugging Me From The Air Pressure. I Was On The Plane With Mother And My Sister So They Were The Only Ones I Talked To The Whole Flight. I Acted The Same On The Plane As I Would Normally Act. I Am A Shy Person And Tend To Keep To Myself.


Susan Lyons said...

Thanks, Jodie.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr - it would definitely be a distraction! Bet the miles/hours would just "fly by" - LOL.

Susan Lyons said...

Thanks, Ina - and I'm glad you like my website. I'm always interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff, too.

As for that fantastic freeing feeling (try saying that 3 times fast!), if you've never tried a small seaplane, I hope you get that opportunity one day. The way they swoop off the water and back down again is amazing. You really do feel kind of like a bird - and so much closer to nature than in a big jet.

Susan Lyons said...

Hi Skyla. Oh yes, it's terrible when your ears won't pop. It doesn't happen often to me, and doesn't usually last very long, but sometimes if I have a sinus cold, it'll happen.

Hmm, things people might not know about me... I'm a big fan of the TV show "Castle" - I love the writing and acting. My favorite way to celebrate the steps along the way is with bubbly. For something big, it's a bottle of champagne (often shared with my critique group) and for smaller things it's one of those mini bottles of Henkell Trocken - and I drink it with my lunch, because that seems like more of a treat. And, very appropriately for someone named Lyons, I'm a Leo.

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

For a moment I didn't pay attention and my nice, long comment just disappeared! Are your comments on moderation mode?

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

I guess not, so here I go again - a little bit shorter (argghh).
This sounds like a really wonderful read! I'm glad that the heroine's 1st POV is alternated with the hero's POV, 'cause I always feel that I'm missing the other character's feelings and thoughts when there's only a single 1st POV.

I like to travel and I don't mind flying at all, but when I fly alone I try to keep to myself. The main reason is that you never know when you start talking to someone if that person keeps chitchatting during the rest of the flight. And then I wouln't be able to read my smutty books ;)
Thanks Ms. Lyons and girls from the RR for this great giveaway! :D

Armenia said...

Thank you for a chance to win your book. I just love the cover art, and now I am so intrigued by the story line.

The Wild Ride to Love series sounds fantastic and I am looking forward to them. So just to be mischievous, do all the characters in the series get to do the smexy on their mode of transportation?

answer to question: I wait for the person seated next to me to start a conversation. With so little space on a plane, I feel if I initially start talking I am encrouching on their bubble of space.

Susan Lyons said...

Hi Armenia,

In answer to your mischievous question - you bet! Different modes of transportation are sexy in their own ways, don't you think? My heroines and heroes sure do!

That's a great visual image, all those bubbles of space.

Erotic Horizon said...

I have recently found Ms. Lyons work and I am liking her style..

This one is definitely going on the list...


Susan Lyons said...

Thank you, E.H.! I hope you enjoy it.

devon said...

Susan the book sounds great - thanks for the contest.

As for flying, I usually have a book to read, so I generally dont want to make small talk with my neighbors - however, if a hot guy was sitting next to me I'd be up for anything...

Susan Lyons said...

Thanks, Devon - and here's hoping that next time you fly, you're seated beside that hot guy! But just in case it doesn't happen, I hope you have a great book.

Booklover1335 said...

Thanks for the great review. Sometimes stories written in the first person take a while to get used to, but if they are written well I enjoy them.

Susan, if your out there, what is your favorite scene from Sex Drive and why?

LOL, plane behavior is like elevator behaviour :) I'm pretty much the same no matter where I am. Have I ever flirted on a plane...unfortunately I've never been lucky enough to sit next to someone I would WANT to flirt with, but I'm open to the possibility should it ever present itself.

Congrats Susan on what sounds to be a delicious read! (on my way to check out Damien's recipe)

Madison Blake said...

I've never written plane sexing before, but sure sounds...interesting! And fun, I bet.

Fab review, by the way! Will have to pick this up.

Susan, here's a question for you: What's the wildest thing you've ever written?

Oh, and to answer the question above, I'd definitely flirt, if the guy's hot and I'm interested. If not, I'd rather not waste my time.

Anita Birt said...

Sue, you've done it again. Penned a sexy story with a real, honest to goodness plot!

Just in case future characters are flying on a Boeing 777 or 763, they won't be sitting together if they fly in executive class. The seats are in single pods. Not conducive to "mile high' high jinks.

Congratulations on the gold stars.

Susan Lyons said...

Hi Booklover. While you're checking out Damien's barbie recipe, also check out the Hawaiian coconut pie with lime and rum!

Mmm, favorite scene... That's a tough one. I think I have two, both taking place not on the plane but in Honolulu. The first is when Damien is doing a reading at a bookstore, then Theresa helps out with answering questions. Not only did I love writing scenes from his cop thriller, but this was a scene where I think each of them really saw each other in their professional roles, and truly respected each other. And then the second scene was later that night, skinny dipping and making love on Waikiki Beach. Hard to beat that! Moonlight, ocean, after an incredible evening spent together...

Susan Lyons said...

Yup, Madison, why waste time? After all, you could be reading a good book instead. LOL.

Let me see, the wildest thing I've ever written... How about Scott sneaking Jenny into the firehall in the middle of the night, and her pole dancing around the fire pole? That was fun! (That was in Hot in Here.) I also really enjoyed writing my novella "Private Eyes" for the March Aphrodisia, SOME LIKE IT ROUGH. My heroine, a buttoned-up admin assistant with a secret craving for adventure, goes undercover as a stripper. Writing the strip scenes - when she had one particular PI in mind to strip for - was pretty sexy! (And then, yes, of course they did get together, hot and heavy, afterwards!)

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