Author ~ Riley Hart
Published ~ 30 May 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A double shot of devastating news turns Justin Evanson’s life upside down. When he learns his father has cancer, and he has siblings he never knew existed, he leaves everything behind and moves to Virginia to support his dad as he tries to make amends with his family—a family Justin’s not sure he has a place in. Things go from bad to worse when he discovers his recent hookup is his newfound sister’s brother-in-law.
Drew Sinclair never expected to see Justin after their night at the club or to discover their family connection. If anyone found out, it would give Drew’s brother another reason to hate him. But there’s something about Justin that draws him in, and it’s not only because they burn up the sheets together.
One meeting leads to another, and before Justin realizes it, Drew has become the only thing in his world he feels is his. And for the first time in his life, Drew knows what it means to be needed. Being there for Justin and supporting him when things spiral out of control feels right. But with so much happening so quickly, it’s hard to trust their feelings. Is this thing between them real? Or just a test drive before life forces them down two separate roads?
It’s been a while since I read a Riley Hart book, but I’m so glad I picked up Test Drive. This book really grabbed me and I enjoyed it the whole way through, in fact I enjoyed it so much that I immediately downloaded the other two books in the series. That being said, I obviously did not read the first two books before picking this third one up and while there was enough background information given for me to follow the story, I did find myself wondering about some minor details relating to Justin’s family that now, having read Shifting Gears (Book 2) afterwards, are all clear to me. They weren’t details that impacted the story in any major way, just background I was wondering about.
Justin is in emotional turmoil. Not only is the father he grew up idolizing dying, but he just discovered that same father who took such good care of him has another family, including two children, who he abandoned without looking back when he came to live with Justin and his mother 18 years ago. Justin left his life in North Carolina to accompany his father to Virginia so he can make peace with all his children before he dies. Meeting these new siblings under the current circumstances is hard enough, but Justin also struggles with misplaced guilt about having grown up with the father they lost and anger at his father for taking away his chance to have grown up knowing his brother and sister.
Needing to let off steam, Justin finds a club and has a hot hook-up with a man who immediately bolts afterwards. A week later, Justin couldn’t be more surprised when his recent club hookup turns out to be Drew, his newly found sister’s new brother in law. Sounds a bit confusing, but it’s really not.
Drew has known he was bisexual for a while, but is now just really exploring his attraction to men. He has never told his family, not because he thinks they would have a problem, but there’s never been a reason to bring it up and add one more thing to the list of reasons for his father and brother to be disappointed in him. Drew knows his family loves him, but he’s always been the black sheep, not following in his father’s footsteps the way his brother Jacob has. Jacob and Drew don’t get along and haven’t for a very long time. Drew knows that if Jacob ever finds out he hooked up with his wife’s brother, it would be very bad and his attempts to try to make amends with Jacob never go very well.
As you can tell, family is a big focus of this book. Riley Hart did a great job dealing with the many different dynamics in this touchy situation. I could feel Justin’s pain at feeling like an outsider among his father, his siblings and their mother, even though they were all doing their best to get along, as well his anger at his father and his jealousy as they all step in to help.
Justin also feels lonely and this is the one thing he has some control over. He is up front with Drew about the fact that whatever they do is only temporary as he plans to go back to his life in North Carolina after his father dies. Drew is happy to be there for Justin and to continue exploring his attraction to men and to Justin in particular. Keeping it quiet from Drew’s brother is a given, but as their friendship and feelings grow from just hooking up, it becomes impossible to hide their attraction.
Justin and Drew’s chemistry is smoking hot! This book is sexy as hell and between the dirty talk, their clandestine meet ups and Drew’s drive to experience everything with Justin, the steam factor just keeps rising. It’s not just sex though. The two are completely adorable together; their nicknames and banter had me laughing. They have great communication and Drew would do just about anything to help comfort Justin, even risk the last tenuous bits of his relationship with his brother.
While the subject matter could have dragged this into a depressing angst-ridden story, Test Drive is none of these things. All the concerns Justin has about his relationship with Drew are valid and the drama and eventual separation of the two men was not overly drawn out, but was necessary to the story and to round out Justin’s character growth.
Test Drive is a great mix of family drama, hurt/comfort, humor, dirty talk, hot sex and a sweet love story. How can I not give it 5 stars when I immediately downloaded the prior two books on finishing this one? There was nothing in this story that I didn’t like and I’m definitely not going to lose track of Riley Hart’s future books.
Meet Riley Hart
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She's a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading. Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.