Dutton Adult / July 29, 2014 / $26.95 print / $12.99 digital
Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.
Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.
Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he’s unwittingly drawn into a volatile family drama.
Aiden wants to help Cordelia get answers about her mother, but threats from her wealthy, high-powered family are quickly becoming dangerous. Sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but after multiple attempts are made on Cordelia’s life, Aiden realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.
Do you remember your first Julie Garwood book? I do. It was Lion’s Lady. I was captivated by the way the heroine thoroughly confused and bewildered, and just turned the hero upside down and inside out with her feistiness, independence, honesty and honor. Lion’s Lady was released in 1988, but Garwood is still charming readers with her high-handed heroes and her spirited heroines.
In her newest release, Fast Track, heroine Cordelia Kane starts bewildering and confusing hero Aiden Madison at a very early age:
“You want me to ask a five-year-old how to fix the damn car?” Aiden asked with a hint of sarcasm.
“No,” Spencer said. “I’ll ask her.” . . .
“Did you say you could tell Aiden how to get the car started?” Spencer asked.
“I maybe could,” she said. She sat forward again. “It’s easy. All you have to do is put your foot on the gas pedal and push down. Hold it there. You don’t push up and down like you were doing. Then turn the key on and leave it on. You keep turning it off and on, and that’s wrong. Everything you did was wrong,” she happily informed him. Then she patted him again and added, “Don’t worry Aiden. The engine will maybe start.”
“Maybe huh? Okay, I’ll give it a try.” He followed her instructions, smiling inside over the fact that he was listening to a five-year-old, but after several seconds with nothing happening, he started to ease off the pedal.
She shouted in his ear “No, Wait!”
He kept his foot pressed to the floor and the engine coughed a couple of times then gained momentum and came to life. . .
As they pulled away from the soccer fields he lowered his voice so that only Spencer would hear “Are we going to admit that a five-year-old –“
Spencer interrupted. “We tell no one.”
Cordelia, or Cordie, as she's called, has had a crush on Aiden, her best friend’s brother, for almost twenty years. But with her father’s death, hidden secrets come to light. Her father lied about her mother’s death. She didn’t die, but callously left them both. And even with that heartless cruelty, her father never forgot the only woman he loved. Cordie sees parallels between her father’s devotion to her indifferent mother, and her unwavering crush on Aiden, and she is determined to move on and not waste any more time mooning over the unobtainable:
Yes, he was one gorgeous man, the epitome of tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome, but it was the power that radiated from him that kept women begging for his attention. And until a couple of days ago, Cordie had been just like all those silly women under Aiden’s spell. Her eyes were open now. Her father’s confession opened them. She had never been in love with Aiden; it had been a foolish crush. That was all. Fortunately for her the man was clueless. As brilliant as he was in business matters, he was a neophyte where women were concerned. She knew for a fact that he didn’t have any idea how she felt—how she had felt about him. If she weren’t his sister’s friend, she doubted he would have even give her a second glance. She certainly wasn’t his type.
Cordie’s actions puzzle Aiden, but even if doesn’t consciously realize how he feels, his actions illustrate the truth:
Aiden extricated himself from his growing entourage and walked over to Liam. ”I’d like a word with you Scott,” he said, his tone downright belligerent.
Liam looked up. “Sure, go ahead.”
“I don’t believe you’ve answered my question yet. Why are you here?”
Liam pushed the chair back and stood. “Alec thought there might be trouble, and I owe him a favor, so here I am. He’s worried about Cordie."
“I can take of Cordelia,” Aiden’s voice radiated anger.
Liam wasn’t fazed by the heated response. “And I can take care of Rayburn and his sons . . . if there’s trouble.”
Cordie rolled her eyes. She wasn’t impressed by the testosterone throwdown. She stood between the two men and sweetly said, “How about I take care of myself?”
Confronting an absent, completely lacking mother would be more than enough for most women to handle. Cordie, well, she has always been an overachiever. She not afraid to take on Aiden’s bossiness, even though he doesn’t always do what she says:
“Do you want me to sleep with you?” he asked.
“Okay.” He pulled the sheet back and got in bed with her. “Put your head on my shoulder.”
“You even telling me how to sleep now?”
Fast Track is filled with Garwood’s classic brand of humor, suspense, and romance.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Fast Track by Julie Garwood, out July 29:
Leigh Davis, blogger