I have had Happy Hour on my TBR for a few months now. The whole racing thing is what really got me wanting to read it. Being from western Canada, racing isn’t at the forefront of our national pastimes. But there is something about a man dressed in race gear; hair all messed from his helmet, and the rev of an engine. HOT, HOT, HOT! Jameson Riley is definitely no exception. He’s a hot head who doesn’t have room in his life for anything other than racing. When he’s out on the track, all pistons are firing and the only thing he sees is the checkered flag.
Sway Reins has known Jameson since they were eleven years old. She’s loved him since then too. She has always been there for him and will continue to be. Is it enough?
Checkered Flag moments: I absolutely loved that the background and setting for the story was racing. I’m one of those gals who love car talk (MOPAR and ¼ mile have been my thing). I have watched a few stock car events but never really saw the draw. However, after reading Happy Hour, I now have a new found love or at least extreme like in the sport. Author Shey Stahl added a racing tutorial so to speak by naming her chapters after various racing terms. What was so fab about these chapter titles was: 1—she provided a descriptor of each term and 2—each title really did reflect the events that occurred in the chapter. LOVED this aspect. Another checkered flag moment was the humor in the story. NASCAR is a culture in itself and some of the things or people that are associated with NASCAR (such as groupies AKA pit lizards) are down right hilarious. The characters themselves were a hoot. The family dynamics between Jameson and his siblings was riot and outrageous. Their shenanigans were over the top but I don’t think that it got in the way or distracted from the story. Stahl’s style of writing lends itself to being very descriptive. There is no doubt that you get a very clear visual of what she is describing. The inner monologues, for the most part were very amusing.
Black Flag moments: There weren’t many but I do want to mention them. Let me remind you that these aspects are my own personal tastes and opinions. I wasn’t so keen on the use of the word ‘funbags’ in reference to breast, boobs, tits, tatas, the girls; you get the picture. It was used anytime Stahl needed to write about them. I just felt she could have changed it up a bit. It got kind of old by the end of the story. I can’t say why this bothered me except that it was overused. Another part of the story that didn’t make it out of the pit in time (for me) was when Stahl was writing in the POV of Sway, the female primary character, there were times I felt like the voice was degrading and made her less of a woman than she was. Before you jump all over me, let me explain. Sway had been and was still irrevocably in love with Jameson. No doubt about it. She would do anything for him even if it meant compromising her heart and life. What bothered me was that Sway when in her inner monologue, talked like she was less than a woman for being this way. The reference to her being a pit lizard (which I love that term just not for Sway because she was anything but) and a couple of other references; I just felt that the character did not need to be so hard on herself. She was in love. Love isn’t always rational. Love doesn’t always make the right choices but it doesn’t make you any less of a woman because of it. I know that the character struggled with her feelings and wanting to do the right thing for her heart and her family. It’s more that I felt Sway’s character came across as a go no-where, depend on a man, not worthy woman. When in fact, she was well educated, independent and feisty as all get out. Yes she was vulnerable. Yes she was young. She was by no means stupid or thoughtless but she made herself out to be (at times). This may have been the author’s intention but I felt it was somehow disconnected. But again, this was not a non-qualifier, it just made me stop and think for a moment.
So although Happy Hour did not gain the checkered flag in this race, we are starting in second pole position, with enough points to snag the championship cup going into book two titled Black Flag. I definitely want to see how the car runs during this race. I think that it will run tight and the driver will be in top form giving us one heck of a race. Get ready to pop that champagne bottle open and do a victory lap. D 3.5/5
Stay tuned for my review on the rest of the series!!! Things just got interesting – in a seeing past the speed kinda way. 🙂
Amazon link: Happy Hour