Book review + excerpt: Joy Ride ~ Lauren Blakely

Posted May 1, 2017 in Reviews by Marieke/ 0 Comments

Book review + excerpt: Joy Ride ~ Lauren BlakelyTitle: Joy Ride
Author: Lauren Blakely
Series: Standalone
Release date: May 1, 2017
(Sub)genres: Romantic Comedy
Pages: 300
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Rating: four-stars
I received this book from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of FULL PACKAGE and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

Let’s be honest, ladies. A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood...for the best joy ride of your life.

I’m at your service. Ready to go all night long.

But then a wildly sexy brunette appears in my life and throws a wrench in all my plans. She’s fiery, she’s talented, she’s gorgeous, and I’d really like to know what makes her engine hum.

Henley also happens to be my biggest rival, and now we’re forced to work together every day on the most important custom car build of my career. The trouble is I can’t quite figure out if she wants to kick me in the lug nuts or beg me to give her a good, hard fuel injection. Until one night that question is answered on the hood of a sports car when she calls out my name three times. And we can’t seem to put on the brakes.

If sleeping with the enemy is a bad idea, how much more dangerous would it be to fall in love with her?

Joy Ride is Lauren Blakely’s latest Romantic Comedy. Like many of her other books, it’s almost told entirely from the guy’s POV, and the couples from her previous books are happy to make a (small) appearance. Joy Ride tells the story of Max, custom care builder extraordinaire and Henley, his former apprentice and the one lady who drives him mad.

“Why the fuck does the term guilty pleasure even exist? If something brings you pleasure, don’t feel guilty. Case closed.”

Max loves his life. And since life is short, he lives it to the fullest. A job he enjoys (building custom cars at his own garage), great friends and some great hobbies like pool tables, scotch and women (the one-night-stand variety to be specific) … Yes, Max isn’t serious when it comes to women, but he always makes sure the time they spend together between the sheets is awesome (for both parties). Five years ago, he fired one the most talented apprentices he ever had, Henley. He had his reasons, but he still thinks about her from time to time, and not just because she was such a good car builder. Seeing her again brings back all the memories… And she’s way hotter than before.

“That voice. That sexy purr. Like honey, like whiskey. Like dirty dreams. Everything in me goes still. I haven’t heard that voice in years. I don’t even have to turn around because one more click, then another, and here she is, standing in front of me.”

Max and Henley always had chemistry. The moment Max laid his eyes on her, he instantly was attracted to her. But he also noticed her talent right away, and Max knew he couldn’t do anything with Henley. Now, five years later Max and Henley are working on a joint project. Not because they want to work together so desperately, but said project can create lots of attention, and which custom builder doesn’t want that? Working together also means spending time together, and soon all the lusty feelings between Henley and Max finally explode. The feelings where there five years ago, and of course they are still present. Obviously, since this is a Romantic Story the couple has to deal with some issues (otherwise it would be too sweet), but they get their Happily Ever After.

Like the other Romantic Comedies by this author, I love Joy Ride. The story of Henley and Max has its serious moments, but overall, it’s sweet and hot. I love that Henley is a woman comfortable in a men’s world. And even better, she is very good at what she does; custom building cars. Max is your typical Lauren Blakely RomCom guy; handsome and cocky but with his heart in the right place. I love him and Henley together. I enjoy a single POV story like this one, but it always makes me curious. I want to know what the other party – in this case Henley – is thinking and feeling.

“Her brown eyes are a fireworks show. They twinkle. They spark. They’re so fucking gorgeous. I grab her waist and pull her close to me. “I’m not just crazy for you. I’m in love with you, tiger. I’m madly in love with you.”

I love Max and Henley, I give Joy Ride 4 stars.



I point to the guy behind the glass. “You want Peter’s number?”

“I don’t know. Do you think he likes piňa coladas and making love in the rain?”

For a flash second, a burst of wildfire curls through my veins. It feels like white-hot jealousy. Which is ridiculous since she’s not making love to Peter.

Or me, for that matter, obviously.

I fight off the envy with a full dose of sarcasm. “Have you ever noticed you never have a good pair of headphones when you need them?”

She huffs. “Message received. I’ll just shut up and read a book.” She reaches for her phone on the seat, but accidentally knocks it to the floor of the car. I lean down to pick it up, and when I hand it to her I see her playlist.

Nena’s “99 Luftballoons.”

The Go-Go’s “Vacation.”

Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”

I smirk. That’s too fucking adorable. “You like bubblegum pop?”

Her cheeks go red. “There’s nothing wrong with bubblegum pop,” she says as she tries to grab her phone from my hand.

I. Can’t. Resist.

I don’t know what comes over me, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s the way this girl needles me. It’s her French maid routine. It’s her pushing all my buttons. It’s the way she detests me.

I hold her phone behind my head.

“Max,” she says, in a perfect plea. God, it’s hot. I can hear her saying it in bed.

I feign surprise. “Oh, did you want your phone back, tiger?”

Her eyes widen when I use that word. Frankly, I’m surprised I said it. But she is a tiger, especially right now as she leans across the seat, reaching for it.

Damn, I’m an asshole. And yet, I can’t seem to stop playing keep-away with her phone, jamming it far behind me so that it hits the side of the car. She lunges for it, thrusting her arm out, but only hitting my forearm.

She swats me. “Give it to me.”

My brain short-circuits. She would sound hot saying that bent over the bed.

Then in a flurry, she unbuckles her seat belt and lunges at me.

Foul play indeed.

She’s on me. She’s fucking on me. She climbs, stretching high, her tits near my motherfucking face, so help me God. They are saggy, drooping, ugly breasts.

Except they’re not.

They’re perfect. Lush, ripe.

Like her sweet perfume scent. Like her cinnamon breath that flutters across my cheek as she rises higher. As she reaches, her T-shirt rides up, revealing a sliver of her stomach.

I’ve never seen anything so sexy in my life.

I don’t move. I don’t breathe.

I simply try not to grow more aroused. But then she wraps one hand around my wrist and pries the phone with the other as her breasts smash against my eyes.

Man down.


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