Sarah Mayberry – “Cruise Control”

14 May

Mayberry, Sarah - Cruise Control
GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: Mills & Boon Blaze, 2007 [Harlequin Blaze 2006]

SERIES:

WHY THIS NOVEL: I read positive comments about this author’s novels.


The back blurb:
“She’s going to drive him wild…
Limo driver Anna Jackson is ready to lose her inhibitions, and the seriously hot Marc Lewis looks like just the kind of risk she wants to take…

All she has to do is remember three simple rules:
1) Never stay overnight;
2) Make no plans for the future; and
3) Never, ever talk about emotions.

Once they hit the sheets, though, the rules aren’t so easy to follow. And once they spend the whole night together, can feelings be far behind?”


Anna Jackson is thirty-two, recovering from breast cancer and because she got a second chance at living, in the process of changing her life. She even made a list of pledges

1) change job – done that: instead of a lawyer she’s now a limo driver
2) make over – done that: changed her wardrobe, her make up + she now has spiky blond hair
3) be more impulsive – uh-oh
4) be adventurous – uh-oh
5) more passion in my life – it had been a “looonnngggg time” since she felt anything like desire

It’s #5 that has her worried the most.

Problem was, all her life she’d believed that the only thing that made it okay to want to sleep with a man was the fact that you were lining him up for the long haul–sex came with commitment in her book. Always had. But she’d just ruled out a relationship, hadn’t she?
The leaden weight returned to her belly as she considered the possibility of entering into a long-term relationship. No, definitely no commitment. So it was an affair or nothing. The question was, could she go there? (39)

Meeting Marc Lewis gives the answer to that. Without her reservations, this would have been a no-brainer because all it takes to turn Anna on is one look.

Not once in her life had she ever locked eyes with a strange man and felt the tingle of desire that was even now vibrating its way through her body. This sort of thing didn’t happen to her. All her past relationships had grown out of mutual respect and affection. (12)

Anna and Marc share an instant, raw, and powerful sexual attraction. Neither of them wants that and they try to stay away from each other to minimize the temptation to give in to their attraction. Whenever they meet, they are intensely aware of each other, and that is a loss of control over their bodies they both don’t want. Anna because it would be so different from the code she followed all her life so far no matter her list of pledges; Marc because after a divorce “[h]is life, his world, was all about control.”

Of course, Anna and Marc keep meeting and when they succumb to their attraction and need, it is explosive, primal, and all-consuming: nothing else matters than being together at that moment. It is the same for their second encounter.

After that, Anna and Marc agree to have a fling, no strings attached, to get over their attraction. This is where the three rules listed in the blurb come in. Only, it isn’t that easy. They hardly can bear to be apart and their bodies crave the others touch nearly constantly. The lines between sex and love, between fling and commitment get messy, and the struggle for control gets difficult. But one thing’s for sure: there is a lot of passion in Anna’s life now.

Although it develops rather late in the story, and therefore seems a bit heavy-handed as a counterpoint to Anna’s conflict, there’s a sweet secondary romance involving Anna’s homosexual brother Danny. Danny’s the one who gave Anna the three rules for a fling. He’s a proponent of commitment-free sexual relationships until he’s faced with a man who doesn’t want to play by Danny’s rules and then he has to make a decision of his own about the way he wants to live his life.

Verdict: My first novel by Sarah Mayberry and I liked it, especially the way Anna’s and Marc’s sexual attraction was depicted. (4/5)

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2 Responses to “Sarah Mayberry – “Cruise Control””

  1. Christine Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    Sara Mayberry has definitely landed on my list of category romance authors to try out. It seems a lot of readers really enjoy her work. Thank for the review! 🙂

  2. Taja Friday, May 15, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Christine – your welcome and I definitely recommend you try one of her novels. I’m glad I liked this one because I’d already ordered two other categories by her before I read this one. *g*

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