Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Club: Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy

By: Kris Gilson

First off, I must divulge that I had never read any car racing-themed book.  I just wasn’t interested.  Nuh-uh…no way.  Then came Flat Out Sexy and….OH. MY. GOD.  I was totally hooked.  This book centers around Tamara Briggs, a widow with two children whose husband died in a crash at Talladega.  She is just getting back into the dating scene when she meets Elec Monroe at a cocktail party.  She’s with a dud of a date when they accidentally collide.  Elec is smokin’ hot, the attraction is instantaneous.  Tamara dumps the dud, and they unexpectedly share a scorching night together (he was trying to be gentlemanly…didn’t work out so much!).  

There are two things wrong with this scenario…Elec is a race car driver and he’s seven years younger.   Tamara really tries to keep it light and casual and wants to do right by her children and she obviously has fears over Elec’s occupation.  Beyond the age and occupation, she has a few body image issues, but they make her more likeable and don’t detract from the story.  Elec is an all-around great guy; he’s nice to her kids and he falls for her immediately.  At Elec’s age and with his occupation and having women fall all over him all the time, you’d think he’d at least be tempted a little.  But he only has eyes for Tamara.  It makes you love his character even more and the chemistry between the two sizzles right off the charts.  

This book is fast paced and funny, but there is also emotion and depth to the story.  The kids in the story are great, never annoying, and they are not used as props, they’re integral to the story.  I liked how Tamara wasn’t willing to just dump her kids in order to be with Elec; they had to figure out how to make time into their routines.  The secondary characters are funny and charming, adding to an all-around awesome story (oh, how I loved Suzanne and Ryder and couldn’t wait for their story!).   The racing scenes and information are interesting and not overpowering and written so well that it made me want to become a racing fan.

Flat Out Sexy is the first in a series and I highly recommend reading them all….in order!

I actually found this recipe on a website called “Talladega Superspeedway Recipes and Menu Ideas”:

Apricot Honey Grilled Chicken

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 min.
Grilling Time: 15 min
  • Glaze Ingredients
    • 1 - Tablespoon butter
    • 1/4 - cup chopped onion
    • 1/3 - cup apricot spreadable fruit
    • 2 - Tablespoons honey
    • 1 - teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • Chicken Ingredients
    • 1/2 - teaspoon dried oregano leaves 
    • 1/4 - teaspoon salt 
    • 1/4 - teaspoon pepper 
    • 4 - boneless skinless (4-ounce) chicken breast halves
Preheat gas grill on medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white.
  1. While grill is heating, in a 1-quart saucepan, you want to melt butter in until sizzling and add onion.
  2. Sauté over medium heat for 1 minute or until onion is softened.
  3. Stir in fruit, honey and lemon peel. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, you will combine oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Rub on both sides of chicken breasts and place chicken onto grill.
  6. Grill, turning once, for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
  7. Brush chicken with glaze during last 5 minutes of grilling. Cook remaining glaze in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Serve warm glaze over chicken.
A Note About Book Club
After a year of meetings and books and authors and giveaways, we've decided to close the door on what has become a really fun weekly event for all of us. However, it takes more time than we've got to give right now and since we can't do it weekly, we've decided to do it once in a while. We'll still hold occasional meetings to talk about books we love, authors we love and of course, Oreos. Thanks for making the Romance and Oreos Book Club such a fun place to hang out this last year! Thanks so much to Aly Hackett and Ronlyn Howe, who helped out behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. And to the authors who participated in the meetings and offered giveaways, thank you!