Review: Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens

Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 384
Source: Book provided by NetGalley for review
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Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she’s racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense–and strictly forbidden–attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind…

 

Review:  I’ll be the first person to admit that the only thing I really know about motorcycles is they serve as a fantastic prop for hot looking guys. Author S.C. Stephens helped expand that view by using motorcycle racing as the backdrop for her new adult novel, Furious Rush.

As a reader, I am always looking for fresh storylines. Not only does Furious Rush deliver a new setting for me, but the author is very deliberate about placing a female, Kenzie Cox, in the lead position. Not only is Kenzie trying to win the various races, but she is competing in a male-dominated field. There are numerous spots in the story where Kenzie has an opportunity to push for equal treatment, whether it is on the track or on the back of a fake bull. That desire also serves as a partial explanation why she gets so hot under the collar when Hayden refers to her as “princess.”

The chemistry between Hayden and Kenzie is obvious from the moment they set eyes on each other at an illegal street race. When they see each other again on Kenzie’s turf, not only does Hayden’s past serve as a barrier between them, but he is the new rider for the Benneti team, which means immediate termination if they are caught together. I found the whole Benneti/Cox feud to be fascinating, in sort of a Romeo and Juliet kind of way.

Kenzie’s character is very focused on keeping the rules. She’s obviously trying to be the son her father never had. The pressure for success gets even stronger as her team dwindles. Facing her father’s disappointment and the potential loss of racing team sponsors, she is willing to do anything, even if it means breaking her rules, to win. She finds the key to her success racing next to Hayden, but only as long as no one finds out.

With the clock ticking, Kenzie has to make the ultimate decision to go on her own or risk everything she has worked for. Her decision creates a fast-paced story full of racing action.

While I love the fresh storyline, there seemed to be several areas that needed more focus. Perhaps the author purposely left some areas unresolved such as Hayden’s past with Felicia in order to build future installments. Between wedding planning for Kensie’s sister and Hayden’s reason for continuing to participate in illegal racing, I felt there was a disconnect. If Kenzie’s father had fought this long to stay in business, it made me wonder why he’d give up. The writer does an excellent job delivering an interesting concept, but more depth would have been phenomenal.

 

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