Downshift by Winter Travers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved so much about this book! The book overall felt very real and believable. There were no outlandish characters or bazaar ideals. I've been deep in the reading trenches of dark and twisted romance for a while so it felt nice to read something that is more low-key and "real life." That being said, there were still plenty of feels and action. There was just enough subject matter regarding the auto racing and its community to explain what was going on and peak your interest, but not so much that it would take away from the budding relationships. The characters were well fleshed-out and their personalities were solid and stayed true to each throughout.
Our heroine, Violet, is one to primarily keep to herself. She is a book-loving librarian that lives on a very tight budget. She carries herself well, dresses nicely, yet modestly for work, and comes home to a quiet, low-budget apartment. She had a rough childhood in regards to how she was treated in school, and lived in a low-income tiny apartment with her loving parents.
Luke and his siblings grew up on the "wrong side of the tracks," Skid Row. Luke is the oldest of his siblings and worked hard to become successful enough to make something of himself outside of that disparaging community. With the sudden loss of both parents, it fell on Luke's shoulders to resume responsibility for his 14 year old sister. All living together, three grown men and their young sister, they struggle to find a "new normal" while coping with their loss.
I love the yes, no, maybe beginning that Violet and Luke share when they first meet. There is a physical attraction but not an immediate fondness by any means. Violet's car troubles sort of forces the two to spend a little time together and a relationship starts to form as they get to know more about each other. However, presumptions and judgements get in the way and the couple runs into trouble. There are some analogies in the writing between the relationships and the racing. At least I see it that way. Luke is a risk taker, though not the reckless sort. Violet is one to feel safe in her bubble, not attracting attention to herself, and certainly not taking risks. I saw that in certain scenes such as:
"'Well, I'll just have to call you [Vi] more often. You ready to go for that ride now, Vi?' I glanced over, her hand gripping the armrest and the other one clenched in her lap.
'Um, I guess, but do we have to go so fast?'
'Fast is what I do, Princess.' I eyed the turn coming, knowing exactly what I needed to do, but just hoped Violet wasn't going to freak out. 'So, have you ever watched street racing?'"
I loved watching this couple fall in love and work through struggles and family dynamics. I look forward to what is to come for Luke and Violet and Luke's other brothers!
*I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*
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