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Test Drive (Body Shop Bad Boys) by [Harte, Marie]
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Test Drive (Body Shop Bad Boys) Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Review

""Test Drive" is high octane chemistry that keeps the pages turning and your engine revving! If the sexy Johnny Devlin was my mechanic, I'd be ripping out spark plugs on a weekly basis. #iwantjohnny." - Gina L. Maxwell, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of the Fighting for Love series

"It is always refreshing and endearing to be introduced to a man who is hard and tough on the outside, but sensitive and vulnerable on the inside. Each character is well written and fully developed, without taking attention away from the main leads. Harte has written yet another compelling novel with characters who readers have no choice but to cheer for." - RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

"Harte's take on the redeemed bad boy is fresh and sexy" - Kirkus

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte writes erotic romance and has over ninety titles in print and digital format. A caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, Marie is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for Fortune 500 companies before becoming a full time writer. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she's constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. Visit www.marieharte.com and fall in love.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1421 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (7 Jun. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01AO20BMA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,440 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I've got to admit that it took me a little while to get into this book. It's slow to start and didn't really pick up, for me, until about 20%. There are so many characters at the beginning that I found it hard to get to know them in the first few chapters and therefore I didn't really feel a connection.

However, don't let that deter you. By the time I hit the halfway mark, I'd gotten to know Johnny. He has a bit of a "player" reputation but he's not an arse. As the story moves along you soon realise there's much more to him than meets the eye.

Lara's a great female character - which is a rare compliment from me. She's tough, self sufficient and she's got her priorities in order. She works hard to get where she wants to be.

This is not a deep soulful story but it's well written, light, humorous and a good book for reading by the pool. The sub-characters, who overwhelmed me at the start are all intriguing and although Foley's story appears to be next, I'm dying to know Sam's story!!!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to more.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Johnny Devlin works at an auto repair shop and he is a ladies man. He doesn't do relationships, you could call him the king of one night stands. Lara Valley works at Ray's bar at night and goes to nursing school during the day. She wants a better life then what her parents are living. She doesn't have time for a man. Johnny noticed Lara the first time he saw her and has been asking her out for over four years and she keeps turning him down. Things happen and she begins to see a different side to him and decides to give him a chance. Can they make a go of a relationship or will the past ruin it? Will Lara push him away when she sees how he really is?
This is a first for me from this author and I was looking for a little more storyline. It was a good story, just seemed like something was missing. I did like how all of their friends were included in the story. I can't wait for more in this series to see where it will go.
**Wicked Reads Review Team**
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Format: Kindle Edition
* I received a free copy to read and review for wicked reads review team *

2.5 stars
I really liked the idea for this book, however sadly for me it was just too slow and took a bit too long to get into the actual story.
The book is about Johnny and Lara. He is a player who decides she is the woman for him. She just wants to better herself from the life her parents and sister live.
We got to know all the characters pretty well which was great.
I really wanted to like this book but sadly it just didn't do it for me.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one long winded story.

I liked some parts and the story was okay, but I just felt it was more like a tv series that dragged out the story line never really getting anywhere.

The writing is good, easy to follow.

The sexy times are a plenty and on the average side.

All up I couldn’t connect with the characters and I will not be continuing on with this series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b03c7bc) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f3e5354) out of 5 stars I can't say enough great things about Test Drive 7 Jun. 2016
By DiDi - Guilty Pleasures BR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

I somehow missed the news that Marie Harte's new series, Body Shop Bad Boys, is a spin-off of her McCauley Brothers series but that just made it all the better for me. Having seen bits and pieces of these characters in the other series, it was so easy to slip into this series and fall in love with this rough and tumble group of misfits that all work for Webster's Garage. I love that these are blue collar men to the core, that most have done some time, that they are a bit rude, crude and socially unacceptable but underneath it all they have good hearts. Colorful characters, hilarious and insightful dialog, and a love story years in the making made Test Drive another fantastic offering from this author and a great start to a new series.

I loved that Johnny, who has enjoyed his bad boy playboy status, has decided he wants more and he wants it with a woman he feels is too good for him but he can't seem to shake the feeling he's had since he met her; that she is special and the one that makes him want to be a better man. On the outside Johnny looks like your typical hard working mechanic, but there is so much more to him and I loved watching each and every part of him being exposed as he dove head first into a relationship. I loved that he was so multi-dimensional and that he worked to better himself, but didn't lose sight of who he was, what he enjoyed and what he wanted for his future. There was no doubt that Johnny had some issues stemming from losing his Mom at a young age and then the bevy of women that floated in an out of his life courtesy of his father, but he proved time and time again he's a good man.

At first I had a hard time trying to figure Lara out, I liked her and the fact that she wasn't afraid of hard work to achieve her dreams, but at times she seemed a bit judgmental and that bothered me. One thing was for certain, she was not immune to Johnny's charms despite her best efforts. I loved that while it took her years before she went out with Johnny that once she did she began to see the real him and she appreciated everything about him. I will say that her stubbornness and her insistence of doing everything for herself drove me a bit nuts at times, but she was a good person and I liked that she made an effort to understand Johnny and his friends better.

What started out as two people hanging out and having some fun escalated quickly into more despite both of them insisting it was casual. Their chemistry was off the charts and as always Ms. Harte delivered intimate scenes hot enough to jump start anyone's motor. However, even early on Johnny and Lara had this special connection which I think stemmed from them knowing each other for so long and being very comfortable about each other; they didn't play any games, they communicated pretty well and had no trouble enjoying each other's company even outside of the bedroom.

While I loved the time Johnny and Tara spent together getting to know one another some of my favorite scenes in this book were the ones they spent with Tara's family, especially her nieces and with Johnny's friends and co-workers. These scenes gave us a lot of insight into how they fit in each other's lives.

I can't say enough great things about Test Drive; I loved the interactions, the witty dialog, the emotions, the characters and most of all these two very different people who together complete each other.

Review copy provided for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f3e53a8) out of 5 stars Test Drive 10 Jun. 2016
By Tifferz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
3.5 Stars 3 Flames
Johnny has been working at the garage most of his life and he is a staple at Ray’s bar. He has a jaded past and has a hard time committing. But Lara continues to turn his head. Maybe the reason is because she constantly says no and he likes the rejection. As he gets to know Lara, he comes to realize that she is the one he will lose his heart to.
When I saw this book up for grabs I was at first hesitant on it. Marie Harte’s books can be a flip of the coin. Some are really great while others fall short. This novel was right in between. The characters were enjoyable and I could definitely see the appeal. However, Johnny did not cut it for me. I love a dirty talking, confident, charmer, and player as the next girl but when they are so full of themselves it kind of takes the excitement out of it. He had amazing qualities though. Great with children, protective, considerate, and up-front with what he wants.
Then there is Lara. I wanted to like her because she is doing her hardest to make the life she wants even when everyone is standing in the way. However, she whines a lot about her life and lets her family walk all over her. She also continues to keep Johnny at arm’s length then gets mad when he doesn’t push her. The tension between these two at the beginning did not feel real but as I continued to read you could feel the steam coming off the pages! I am excited for the next book as this series has a lot of potential.
I was gifted this novel from the JeepDiva in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and ratings are solely my own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f3e57e0) out of 5 stars Started out good but fizzled with little going on 18 July 2016
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Interests: Contemporary Romance, Mechanics/Car Guys, Bad Boy Heroes

Quick Summary
Bad boy mechanic Johnny Devlin has wanted Lara Valley since she started bartending at Ray’s. But Lara has plans for her life and she doesn't intend to let a ladies man get in her way. But when Johnny stops Lara from getting attacked, she agrees to go on a date with him. What Lara never expected was that Johnny was nothing like he first appeared. But can a relationship work between two people who seem so different?

What I Liked
So I have to be honest and say that I'm sitting here trying to figure out something that I liked about this book and I'm finding it to be a very hard task. Overall the book wasn't bad, there was just something missing for me, the pace was kind of slow and it felt like nothing really happened except for the very beginning and the very end. This is the first book I've read by Marie Harte and it references a lot of characters that are apparently in her other series, the McCauley Brothers. I was a bit intrigued by them and I plan to check out that series and see if its better.

I will say the one good spot in the story for me was Johnny, who is actually a pretty great guy. He comes across as a bad boy charmer who just does whatever he wants and dates a lot but in reality he's actually a very sweet guy. I liked that he was actually a bit nerdy and that it embarrassed him with Lara finds out about it.

What I Didn’t Like
Okay where to start...up to about halfway this book was just barely clinging to 3 stars for me but the last 25% knocked it down to 2 pretty much because I just don't like Lara. From the very beginning there was something a little bit off about the writing for me, though I could never figure out what it was. Also as much as I love a bad boy and I certainly love mechanics these guys were just a bit too much of guys for me. They were a little too crude and even though they’re respectful of women, the way they talked about women when they were hanging out together was a little too real. I know a lot of guys talk like that in real life but I don’t really want to read it in a romance novel.

But the big thing that dropped a star for me was the big fight that Johnny and Lara have at the end of the book. Harte did the one thing that I hate in a romance, which is when the couple has the big fight and the author blames it completely on the hero...because guys are always at fault, right? Now Johnny has some blame in the fight, but it was mostly Lara that was the problem. She’s the one that keeps secrets in their relationship but Johnny tells her everything. From the very beginning Johnny knew exactly who Lara was; he knew that she was bartending just to get through school, that she was really smart and wanted to be a nurse and that she was a step above the usual crowd at Ray’s. Lara however knew nothing about who Johnny really was and spent the entire book being shocked every time he proved that he was actually smart, sweet, a gentleman and a romantic. After everything Johnny does for her and says to her, she can’t figure out that Johnny is a lot deeper than the appearance he usually puts forward. I felt Johnny’s feelings were pretty obvious but all Lara cares about is herself.

Then when Johnny has a small jealous moment after meeting Lara’s friend Pete at a party, (and seriously, I read a lot of romance and Johnny’s behavior was incredibly mild compared to most alpha males) Lara throws a hissy fit and gets drunk and angry at Johnny. Lara was just a huge turn-off for me. I will give the next one, Roadside Assistance, a try but I’ll keep my expectations low.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f3e5bac) out of 5 stars Test Drive (Body Shop Bad Boys #1) by Marie Harte 6 July 2016
By Krissy Malott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS
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
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.

My Review:
I judged this book by its cover.... heh

When I saw this book I didn't even bother reading what the book was about when I requested it. I saw the cover art and well, who could blame me? Mmm I could lick the cover... Delicious!

While the book isn't as decadent as its cover model its still a good read, not quite as fun as I was hoping it would be but hey, a really slow build and slow to chase and slow to win romance can be just as good as a fly by the seat of your pants extra sticky on the steamy kind of read too. It just takes longer to get to the finish.

I'm okay with those kind of reads once in awhile so ultimately this book wasn't one of those racing through for the heat and savor the breeze type of romances but I still thought it was enjoyable and I'd pass it along to the next gal looking for the same.

My Rating:
3 Stars

Reviewed By:
Krissys Bookshelf Reviews

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Disclaimer:
Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

Source:
Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f3e5c90) out of 5 stars Pretty Johnny 19 Jun. 2016
By RVAbooklover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Johnny has been attracted to Lara for the four years and eight months that he has known her. Unfortunately for Johnny, Lara refuses to date patrons of the bar at which she works. Lara has also placed Johnny firmly in the player category, with no interest in becoming another notch on Johnny's bedpost. After a run-in with her sister's ex, in which Johnny comes to the rescue, Lara agrees to go out with him. And here is where the fun begins.

What worked for me - Watching Johnny stress about how to impress this girl with whom he is so infatuated is charming and sweet. We are in Johnny's POV a lot, hearing his internal dialogue about his fears of being good enough to date, but not good enough to love. Johnny is a guy of many layers. He reads, he's smart, he's a bit of a geek, he takes care of the people in his life. Johnny is an all around great guy. The interaction between Lara's nieces and "Pretty Johnny" was sweet and funny.

Lara also worked for me. She is working hard to support herself while putting herself through nursing school. She's also helpful to her family, though they kind of make her crazy. Her view of the world is a little narrow - either she will turn out like her parents, or she has to do a 180. She doesn't quite recognize there are shades of gray as she strives to better her world.

I liked the supporting characters. The voices were clear, and I can't wait to read their stories.

The sexy times were hawt, honest, a little raw, a lot of sweet. Johnny's feelings for Lara are never really in question. Because he doesn't want to let on to Lara how much he cares for her, he doesn't verbalize how he feels, but it all comes out in the sexy times. Very well done.

What didn't work for me - the conflict level was low, which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. Not a big angst girl. That said, there were several non-starter plot points obviously designed to promote external drama that felt contrived. When Johnny and Lara have a disagreement, let's just say Johnny's reaction is OTT for the situation. We know Johnny has a big, bad case of the "I'm not worthy" 's, but the subsequent actions were drawn out and over blown.

Bottom line - I am a character-centric reader. Johnny and Lara were fun to read, though both of them walked a Mary Sue tightrope. A *little* too good to be true, almost. The book flowed well, the secondary characters were fun and well done, and I am looking forward to subsequent titles in this series.

Body Shop Bad Boys is a spin off of the hilarious McCauley Brothers series. While not as over the top humorous as TMB, Test Drive had some light moments.
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