Saturday 20 May 2017

REVIEW; Unsteady (Torque #1), by Shey Stahl


Genre: Romance, New Adult

Recommend: No

Book 1 (Individual Story)


Lenny is in an abusive marriage and one night she is pushed so far, that she packs her bag and leaves during the night. Contacting an old friend, she manages to get herself a job as a mechanic. 
The garage is owned by Red. Red's wife was murdered a few years previous and since has not even glanced at another woman. Until he meets Lenny. The pair fight their attraction for a while, but all becomes unsettled when Lenny's husband follows her and brings trouble with him.

My Thoughts:

I don't know where to begin. 

The writing was way too much tell and no show. At the beginning we are introduced to Red and his entire backstory just plonked on the pages in front of us. Then we meet Lenny and we get her backstory on a plate. There was no gradual finding out of information and read as if both characters were giving a speech on their lives. 

Secondly, the sexual attraction between the pair did not feel genuine. Red was still mourning his wife and by the sounds of it saw a lot of hot ass in shorts - what was it about Lenny that got his attention? Yeah she was good with his daughter but he acknowledged she was the first female that his body reacted to and that's bull. We are meant to believe the thing between them is the real deal or whatever but we only get physical assessments about her ass, legs, boobs etc. 

Now onto the automotive element. I have a degree in automotive engineering and work on my own car and with friends on theirs, so I know a thing or two about an engine. When I find a book remotely concerned with cars/racing, I want to read it! However, I end up being disappointed. The fact Lenny is a mechanic is fact enough. We do not need to be baby fed info about cars;

"Then she takes the shock in her hands and compresses it. Usually, a shock will take some effort to compress, and this one glides freely in an up and down motion"

Alright, so not everyone would know how a shock works, but this could've been written so much better. Like having a character comment on it rather than TELLING the reader a shit ton which breaks up the fantasy element of a reader spying on the characters. 

"...flipping the page to the repair order where the customer is complaining about having an oil leak for the last three months. People are idiots when it comes to cars. There's just some things that should be common sense. Like oil leaks. If you have one, get the damn thing looked at before it destroys your engine." 

What is the purpose of that other than informing the reader about oil leaks? I'm meant to be reading a romance, not a Haynes manual. It just offsets the pacing horrendously. 

"Daniel's working under the hood of that car checking the oil by pulling out the dipstick." 

We don't need to know what Daniel was doing on the car, and ending it at checking the oil would have sufficed. 

"People and their goddamn rattles. They sometimes forget these are cars made of metal and plastic and when you're going down the road and all that plastic is flexing, it's going to fucking rattle." 

Lol what?! Car manufacturers (designers and engineers) invest a shit ton of money into getting the NVH of all materials used in cars optimised to prevent rattles. The flexing of any material is assessed and hence so many polymers are now used, where plastics are reinforced with fibres to provide adequate strength but remain light weight to decrease "flexing". Secondly, manufacturers will also assess the joining compatabilties of any materials in contact, to minimise, but hopefully eradicate, any rattles. Now, older cars are more prone to rattles due to aging of materials and being produced before the recent material and testing developments. However, as an owner of car older than myself, which rattles, I can sympathise with the people Lenny hates on, as they are extraordinary undesirable. In most cases, these rattles are simply components having come partially lose, and if ignored can cause further damage to vital components and affect the road worthiness of a vehicle. Why would any mechanic turn down payment for simply the tightening of a few screws or nuts? 

Apart from that, the story was ok. However, the writing needs work. I'm by no means faulting the knowledge on cars, I've read about the author and she says she grew up in a mechanic environment and fair play to her for incorporating her experience and knowledge into a novel, but when you go overboard in displaying this research forcefully in a novel, it becomes boring. 


I had such high expectations but honestly, I skipped so much of the dialogue and sped-read towards the end just to complete it. So, as a result, I wouldn't recommend this 

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