Review: Revved by Sherilee Gray (Plus an exclusive interview with the author!)
Release Date: 10/05/2015
Publisher: Entangled Publishing | Imprint: Indulgence
Genre: Contemporary Romance | Series: Axle Alley Vipers
Heat Level: Blazing Hot
He’ll rev her up and drive her to the edge…
Rusty West swore she was done with men. Instead, she channeled her passion into West Restoration, the car shop she runs with her sisters. But Rusty’s aloof composure fades when the owner of the competition comes striding into her shop, over six feet of sexy, rough-edged confidence…hot enough to send Rusty’s motor into overdrive.
Reid Parker worked his ass off to get what he wants—and what he wants is West Restoration and its crew. He never expected to find a shop of all-female mechanics…or the stunning redhead who ignites a lust that threatens his cool. But Reid plays carefully. He never, ever gets involved with a woman beyond one night.
And no matter how hot the sparks, Rusty will never compromise her business for a man…
Keep reading for an exclusive interview with author Sherilee Gray, as well as my review and rating for Revved.
Spotlight Interview with Sherilee Gray
Hi Sherilee! Thank you so much for doing this interview. I’m so excited to have you featured on the Okie Dreams Book Review blog and I’m really excited to talk about Revved!
S: Hi Deanna! Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. I’m thrilled to be here!
First, can you tell us a little about Revved? How did this book begin for you? Was it a character or a particular image that caught your attention and made you want to write the book? How did this differ or compare to how the first book, Crashed, came about for you?
S: When I was coming up with the series, the girls, Alex, Rusty and Piper, were all just so clear in my mind. It was the three of them—what shaped them into the women they are, that got me excited to write each book. So Revved started out being all about Rusty. She’s just such a kickass character. Then Reid strode onto the page, larger than life, and I couldn’t wait to tell their story. They basically came together and knocked each other off their feet. They both have their demons and their fears and the story just came to life.
Was there a particular character you most related to in Revved? Why do you think that is? What made them stand out for you? For me personally, Reid and Rusty kind of took turns standing out. I started out loving alpha Reid, but then we met Rusty and man, I loved her feisty, stubborn nature and how she didn’t act as Reid expected her to do.
S: Heh, probably Rusty. I fancied myself a bit of a tomboy when I was a kid. To me all three women feel like they could be real people. Someone you could bump into on the street, or drive into their garage 😉
What was the hardest or most challenging part in writing Revved? Or the series in general?
S: All the feels! The emotional rollercoaster each book took me on. Still, I loved every minute!
What did you enjoy most about writing Revved? How about the series?
S: Rusty’s a tough cookie, she doesn’t take any crap from anyone. But it’s also a defense mechanism, a way to protect her heart and keep people at arm’s length. I loved writing those moments when Reid starts to discover that for himself, when she reveals more of herself and he gets glimpses of that softer side. It totally messes up his plans! Ha!
How did the series name and book titles come about? Did you choose them or did they come from the publisher?
S: I already had the series name and book titles picked when I submitted to Entangled Publishing. I was stoked I got to keep them! For the series title, I knew I wanted the garage to be on a road lined with business that all catered to cars in some way. So I played around with words until I came up with Axle Alley. I also knew the women who ran the shop were feisty and untouchable. Of course Dodge Vipers are a type of car, and there is a type of snake called a Viper. Get too close and you’ll get bitten 😉 It just seemed to fit!
Do you feel like you have an overarching theme in your books or this series? What would you say it is and why is it important for you to include it in your work?
S: In all three books the heroines stay true to themselves. There are no Cinderella moments in this series. There’s nothing wrong with that trope at all, I’ve read and loved a lot of them. But that would never work with these girls. Their men love them for who and what they are. I think everyone needs a hero like that 🙂
Is there anything interesting or fun you can tell us about writing and researching Revved or the Axle Alley Vipers series? Given the subject, I would think you had to do a fair bit of research on classic cars and the restoration process.
S: Well, my husband actually has the exact same car as Reid. A ’61 Plymouth Suburban…and ours was also a hearse in its previous life! As for research, my husband used to restore classic cars as a job. So yeah, I’m super lucky. I could grill him for information whenever I needed to!
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Revved, or from any of the other Axle Alley Vipers series books?
S: I think every readers experience is so different. Me personally, I have to have that HEA. So I want people to read the last page with a happy sigh and a feeling of satisfaction. I want them to feel the hours they spent on Axle Alley were worth it!
Is there someone you picture playing Reid and Rusty from Revved?
S: I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the guys and gals on Axle Alley. It’s where I went for inspiration when I wrote the series. But no, I’ve never really found that one person that could match how they look in my head. And I’ve looked. A lot 😉
Here’s the Pinterest board it you want to check it out! https://www.pinterest.com/SherileeGray/axle-alley-vipers/
Do you prefer writing to music or writing in silence? Are there any song you think fit Revved?
S: I used to write to music all the time, but now I tend to write in complete silence. That way I don’t get distracted or break into song and scare the neighbors when a good song comes on!
What’s next for you? Anything you can share with us about your future projects or release schedule?
S: I’m working on a few different things I’m super excited about! But unfortunately, nothing I can share at this stage!
*ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review *
First impression: Impeccable writing, fantastic characterization, with a dynamic and compelling opening that instantly pulled me into the story.
Oh, how I loved this book. I didn’t think anything could top Crashed, but I was wrong. Revved starts with a bang and boy, does it deliver a solid punch. I loved every emotion, scene, and word of this story. The characters are so damn magnetic and the story flows so naturally that it completely sweeps you away and places you in the world of the axle alley vipers.
People often ask why I read romance and it is books like this I point them toward. Unique, realistic, fun, with so much emotional and psychological depth to the characters they seem like people I know–or want to know, and hang with.
Reid Parker is hot. Like mega-wattage, I’ve-got-a-new-book-boyfriend hot. He’s also a jerk. At least, he is at first. He starts off as a man used to getting what he wants and not afraid to do whatever it takes to get it, even if some of his decisions and actions might be kind of questionable.
Bold, arrogant, dominant, possessive, Reid is every bit the perfect hero for Indulgence readers to salivate over. His flaws make him real, and his determination and drive make him a strong, powerful force. And every bit of him wants Rusty West. He wants the fire he sees in her eyes and the full-on inferno he senses inside of her. His character alone made for an awesome read, just with how he sees the world and the people around him–and how he sees himself. But pit him against Rusty and sparks fly. Wicked, intense steamy sparks, at that.
Revved is a seriously entertaining and amazing read. The more I read, the more I fell in love with the characters and their story. Sherilee Gray is a dynamite author and any book she writes will be on my auto-buy list. I love her books!
Sherilee Gray lives in beautiful New Zealand with her husband and their two children. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time reading, hoarding books, and eating copious amounts of chocolate.