by T. C. Archer
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Categories: Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller, Sports-Themed
Publisher: Etopia Press
Release Date: July 6, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 95,000
Fast cars and a smokin' hot passion...
Rex intends to own and drive his own car, but that will cost him millions up front. Last season was a disaster, thanks to a nasty break up, but it taught him a lesson and helped sharpen his focus on what he needed to do: Win every race. And stay away from pretty girls. The last thing he needed was to learn that his new head mechanic, Jimmy James, was the gorgeous redhead pin-up walking around his pit like it was some kind of dance floor.
Gail "Jimmy" James is the first female NASCAR mechanic. As if competing in a man's world isn't tough enough, her bombshell figure bellies her genius IQ, and the pit is no place for either. Nothing Jimmy knew about Rex Henderson the driver prepared her for Rex Henderson the man. But Jimmy has no time to dwell on her feelings as strange mechanical problems curse Rex's car. Whether sabotage or her own mistakes, Jimmy must stay one step ahead of trouble if she's going to keep her job, and keep her driver alive...
About the Author:
T. C. Archer is comprised of award winning authors Evan Trevane and Shawn M. Casey. They live in the Northeast. Evan has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and Shawn is a small business owner. Their collaboration began on a lark with the post WWII film noir story The Pickle My Little Friend, and has evolved into over a dozen works, which includes their new series The Phenom League, and Daphne Du Maurier winner the romantic thriller For His Eyes Only.
Connect with T.C. Archer
Damn, Rex thought, it happened again. First he’d flirted with his head mechanic in the garage with a reporter hiding nearby, then he’d practically mauled her while another one watched. This was exactly what he feared would happen. Only he hadn’t figured himself for the idiot who would get caught with his pants down like Brent had.
Still no sign of Gail. Where was she? Emerson had always been there with the crew for first day practice laps. What was with the chick anyway? She came off as a NASCAR fanatic, then wimped out when they really needed her.
His gaze snagged on a tall blonde sitting on the pit wall beside Dillon’s car.
She wore a white halter, low-riding jeans, and Dillon’s mirrored sunglasses.
Rex tried not to look at her as he drove by. Her hand under her blonde bangs
shielded her face from the sun. Was she looking at him or the damned rabbit on
The white stripe at the end of pit row passed under his car. Rex accelerated onto the track between turn one and two. The car rocked violently as he drove from the flat warning strip onto the banked pavement of the curve. He fought the stiff steering while gathering the speed needed for centrifugal force to balance the car on the steep bank. Then the pavement flattened into the backstretch and he shifted into fourth.
“One-fifty,” Ricky said over the radio.
“The car feels loose,” Rex came back as he settled against the wall, still accelerating.
“The tires will warm up,” Duff’s voice crackled. “Lay off for a lap or two.”
Hell no, he wasn’t going to let up. He intended to open the sucker up.
Rex let off the gas to cruise at one-thirty. He wove left then right. The tires squealed and the sound diminished as the rubber heated up by turn three. Slight jerks from his rear end rocked the car, sending it high out of turn three into turn four.
“You’re high,” Ricky said. “Settle in lower.”
“There’s a vibration in the right rear,” Rex said. “Feels like I have a tire going down already.”
“I don’t see anything,” Ricky came back.
Rex glanced toward the spotter’s station at the top of the grandstands. Ricky didn’t have a clear view of the right rear, but his line of sight would be right down the side of the car where he could see any list front to back.
“Could be a flat spot on the tread.” Rex pulled out of turn four onto the front stretch.
“Tire temperature’s still low,” Duff said. “Take another lap and see if it smoothes out.”
“Roger.” Rex accelerated up against the wall.
“One-fifty. One-sixty,” Ricky called out.
The speed radar display Ricky consulted matched what Rex felt in the car’s vibration and the revs of the engine. Around the gentle dogleg in the front stretch and toward the start/finish line, Rex pushed his car faster in nervous anticipation of a rear end tire failure.
“One-seventy,” Ricky reported.
“How’s it feel, Rex?” Duff asked.
Rex didn’t answer until he had ducked into turn one doing one seventy-five. “Some vibration still, but not as loose.”
“Be careful, buddy,” Duff said. “That’s why they call these practice laps.”
No one finished in the top ten by milking a lap, even practice laps. A quick mental calculation indicated he only had time for five or six practice laps this session. If something was wrong with the car, he had to find out now. A pit to change tires would eat up one of those laps. If Gail screwed up some adjustment, he might not get back on the track for another hour, then only if Duff could barter time with one of the other drivers. Dammit. Where the hell was she? The rear end slid up the track on the exit of turn two and Rex eased off the gas enough to let the car straighten out on its own.
“Too loose?” Duff asked.
“I guess the tires have to heat up more,” Rex replied.
He ran up next to the back wall, holding the accelerator to the floorboards. The engine revs climbed.
“One-eighty,” Ricky said.
Exhilaration shot through Rex. The car felt great, despite the slight shimmy. No big deal. At one-eighty, he’d never had a new car that didn’t shake a little, especially at Daytona. Maybe it was the mystique of the track, or new season butterflies.
Turn three approached. Rex steered into the groove without letting off the gas. The shimmy worsened, but he kept power to the rear wheels and steered a little high on the turn. He swung high out of turn three and steered hard into four.
“Easy, you’re a little high,” Ricky warned.
But Rex already knew he had over-committed into turn four. The G forces climbed as he rounded the apex of the turn. The vibration quickened. He let off the gas, then realized his mistake. The car jerked to the right and drifted sideways. The Chevy slid up the banked curve in a four-wheel drift toward the wall. Tires squealed.
He fought the loss of control by steering into the drift. The tires gripped. He steered left to get into the groove for the straightaway, but it was too late. His trajectory would take him into the wall. He gripped the wheel as the pavement rushed under the car, tires on the verge of breaking lose, the wall looming closer, closer. Rex braced for impact as a bone-jarring thud crumpled the front fender and hood.
flared off metal and wall. Engine coolant shot from under the hood and clouded
the windshield. The car pivoted, slamming the rear quarter panel into the wall.
Rex tried to steer away from the wall, but the car continued to hammer and scrape the barrier. He yanked harder on the wheel. The car came off the wall for an instant, then the steering wheel shuddered and went limp.
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