Fast cars, motorcycles, and one-night-stands have been Mac’s life since she left the military. Bitter over a lost love and never one to gamble, she ends potential relationships with surgical precision to avoid another heartache. After her flight to Italy is delayed by a wicked storm she intervenes when a drunk passenger threatens the desk agent. Impressed with her courage, fellow passenger Lana Baroni offers to buy her a drink. One coffee and an upgrade later, they spend the fight to Italy talking cars and racing. When a site-seeing date with Lana turns into an afternoon tryst, Mac has to choose: hit the brakes, or roll the throttle and risk everything to win Lana’s love.
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Lesbian
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Class Differences, Cultural Differences, Interracial Relationship, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Out for You
Word Count: 65000
Languages Available: English
“Moltrasio, but I have some business in Milan beforehand. "And you?”
“I live here but I’m trying to get to Monza.”
“For the Grand Prix, yes?”
“Yes. How’d ya know? You psychic?”
“This.” She tapped the magazine in Mac’s lap.
Mac smiled and searched for something else to say. I could listen to her talk all day.“You follow Formula One?”
“You could say that.” Her mouth quirked up on one side. “Did they say how long before we board?”
“Nah, our plane had to land in Norfolk. The storms have grounded everyone.”
The woman frowned and pulled an e-reader from her bag. Mac took the clue and slid back in her seat and opened her magazine. The images of the drivers and cars sent a thrill through her. She flipped through it, trying to envision how it would be watching the race in person. She remembered the first time her dad took her to a race. They were standing on the concrete apron of the grandstands at the half-mile track in Richmond when the drivers started their engines. Mac’s dad had boosted her up on his shoulders to see over the crowd. The scent of his drugstore aftershave and cigarette smoke blended with the smell of fuel and sweat and adrenaline that was NASCAR. She shivered remembering the way her body vibrated with the roar of the engines. She traced her fingers over the images of the cars on the page. This is for you, Dad. And me.
One by Brenda Murphy is a supercharged erotic romance set against the glamorous sport of Formula One racing in Northern Italy. This story is sizzling and these two beautiful women tear up the track. DO NOT take it to work to read on your lunch break because you may overheat and never make it back to your desk.
Regan (Mac) MacDonald is a retired army veteran. Since leaving the military, her life has been all about fast cars, fast women and sex with no strings attached. Having been burned by love, she’s not looking for anything that could lead to more heartache. Waiting for her delayed flight to Italy, she intervenes when a drunken bigot starts to hassle the airline desk agent.
Fellow passenger Lana Baroni can’t help but be impressed by Mac’s courage. After a change in seating they spend the flight in first class discussing everything from engines to math theory. When an innocent offer of sightseeing turns into a steamy afternoon tryst, both Mac and Lana are tempted to keep this arrangement running at full speed.
Soon, Mac has to decide whether to hit the brakes on this relationship or risk her heart to cross the finish line with Lana’s love.
Mac is my favorite type of butch. She’s tough on the outside, but a big old softie on the inside. Her PTSD and a disfiguring war injury have damaged her self-esteem. She sees herself as a fraud and although she can keep Lana satisfied with the best sex of her life, she’s not so sure that her rough edges have a place in Lana’s world of wealth and refinement. Her insecurities made her very relatable to me and I genuinely wanted her to find her happiness. Watching Mac walk through her lack of confidence and see herself as Lana’s equal was very satisfying.
Lana is a Roman goddess come to life. She is an engineer at her family’s automobile company and she can reconstruct a carburetor just as easily as seduce a butch while in her four-inch heels. She is wickedly sensual because when it comes to sex, she knows what she wants and has no problem asking for it. Her humanity is found in her contradictions. She is bold in the bedroom yet she hasn’t summoned up the courage to come out to her father. She has a fiery temper, but her sweet nothings spoken in Italian melted my heart. It felt great to see her finally claim her place in her family’s company.
The Writing Style
I thought Murphy’s use of a continuous inner dialogue for Mac was a great device that gave me insight into her insecurities and fears. With her beautiful descriptive passages, Murphy brings to life the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy and she employs that same talent in bringing Mac’s PTSD nightmares to life. These two landscapes contrast nicely and add a visual component to Mac’s struggle to reconcile how she fits into the world as a war veteran.
Murphy did a great job in writing all the sexy bits. They are edgy without being outlandish. I never felt like I needed to map out a diagram on scratch paper to follow any complicated sexual gymnastics. That’s a sure fire way to kill the mood.
There is so much to like about this book. I’m a huge fan of diversity in lesbian fiction and not only is Mac African American, but both women are over forty. I love that. I know it’s shocking, but women over forty enjoy sex! Neither Mac nor Lana are phased about maneuvering through their 40’s and they really seem comfortable in their own skin. Part of that maturity allows them to stare down snide onlookers who don’t hide their contempt at seeing Lana with a black woman.
The sex is hot and steamy and I certainly left plenty of bookmarks on my Kindle for future reference. Who knew that mechanic’s tools could be so sexy? Mac and Lana make a very unlikely pair but their appeal is found in their differences. When the story ended, I immediately started imagining what was next for these ladies. Like some classic cars, Mac and Lana were built to last.
This is an EROTIC romance so there are some very graphic sex scenes and some light BDSM. If that throws up a caution flag for you then try out something with a little less horsepower.
If you are looking for something spicy to accompany your romance, One definitely belongs in the winner’s circle. (I’ve been trying to come up with ways to fit more racing analogies into this review, but the term “pole position” never applied.)