Review: Racing To You

Racing to You Book Cover Racing to You
Racing Love
Robin Lovett
Romance, New Adult
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
July 2016
ePub
210
Purchased through Kobo

Love—the one roadblock they never expected.

Racing Love, Book 1

Aurelia is living her dream, teaching for a year in the south of France. Except it’s all going wrong. The carefree culture is challenging her academic goals, and her students are so difficult that she wants the unthinkable: to give up and go home.

Meeting Terrence doesn’t help. When he’s not training for the Tour de France, the cocky pro cyclist is flirting with Aurelia, but she didn’t cross an ocean to hook up with an American jock, even if he does have killer dimples and looks hot in spandex.

Until the jock sets out to prove he’s more than mere muscle. He wants to teach her what having fun really means, which could be as dangerous to her structured life as it is to her heart.

As life hits unexpected roadblocks, they turn to one another for support, and flirtation becomes game-changing love. But Terrence is chasing his dream of being the fastest man on two wheels, and she isn’t sure how far he’ll go to win…or how far she’s willing to follow.

Warnings: Includes a hopelessly romantic hero, a guilt-free sex proposition, a lot of orgasms and, of course, croissants.

Racing to You, Robin Lovett’s debut romance, is the story of a young bookworm and an ambitious competitive cyclist who meet in France at a stressful point in both their lives. Aurelia is intent on immersing herself in French culture while Terrence is working his way up to the Tour de France. Their worlds almost literally collide when Terrence’s cycling team makes a stop at Aurelia’s favourite cafe.

I’m just going to put this out there – I’m a good twenty years older than our heroine, and I had to keep asking myself “was I like this at that age?” Somehow, I’m not sure that my two years of college in Toronto really compares to Aurelia’s working visit to France. For that reason, I’m not sure that I’m this book’s demographic. I think my 20-something niece might get a little more out of it than I did.

That said, the book is written in such a way as to allow you to directly experience the main character’s life, which made a huge difference for me. I blasted through the book in a very comfortable two days (for me, that indicates a solid engagement in what I’m reading). I could relate to a story about a shy bookworm. My spouse has a tendency to collect bicycles if you leave him unattended for too long. If I didn’t find the book fun and entertaining, I’d have to have my head examined.

Best of all, I’m glad to find out that this adventure is only the beginning. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next!

(this review was also posted to Goodreads. Just in case you want to, you know, see what everyone else said. In the words of LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it.)

The things I wanted to show off but didn’t…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m horrible at self-editing and not posting current projects as they wind up becoming gifts for family and friends and I never want to either get hopes up or ruin a surprise.  I’m hoping to stop that practice come the New Year, as I’m going to try spacing my knits out throughout the year.  My yarny goals for 2015 are as follows:
– 1 pair of socks per month
– 1 pair of mittens per month. Possibly lined
– 1 4oz package of fiber spun & plied per month.

That gives me a pair of socks to take with me wherever I go (#projectsockdrawer), a pair of mittens to go nuts on the stranding (#projectmittenbasket), and a bit of an excuse to delve into the fiber stash (#fiberpalooza).  I’m hoping that by the end of the year I’ll have a few more handspun items knit, and a topped up sock drawer and mitten basket.  I like the idea of a mitten basket. Some days you want more variety than the same old mittens you’ve been wearing out for 3 years. (The Hashtags are mine, btw…inspired/purloined by other knitters’ projects, but mine nonetheless)

The family will just have to guess which knits are for them!

Maybe there will be some other items throughout the year, like the long-awaited Bigger on the Inside shawl that I’ve spun the yarn for — I just need the time to devote to knitting lace.

So now, after all the wall of text, I should probably break it up with a little eye candy.  Today’s choice is a lovely pair of socks that went t my Mother-in-Law, Sheila.

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Robin and I were taking a poke through one of Calgary’s many fine yarn stores (quite possibly Pudding yarn) when we spied this really lovely skein of pink-and-grey Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi,  I loved it, but didn’t think I could justify the expense, when Robin mentioned that it would make some lovely socks for his Mum.

Bear in mind, when I think of Sheila, I think in terms of vibrant Autumn colours. Forest greens, bright and burnt oranges of falling leaves….it offsets her strawberry blonde quite nicely.  Apparently, though, she has a secret liking for lighter colours that her son is aware of, so we bought the skein, took it home, and I cast on a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks with it.

I wish I could remember the colourway, but the ball band has gotten lost in Crafting Central down in the basement.  Eventually I will find it and add it to the Ravelry entry for this sock.

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Sheila also scored a pair of Fiddlehead mittens I’d been working on for myself as a heavy-wool / extreme-cold-weather project. I really do need a pair of deep-winter mittens for scraping the car’s windshield on those days when it’s -20 or colder, but even as I was knitting these, I didn’t feel totally in tune with them for myself. They were telling me they were going to belong elsewhere.  I think they will keep her nice and toasty.  As it was, my Dad was eyeing them up.  Good thing his hands are Inhumanly Large and require Custom Fitting, otherwise she might have lost them to him!

Inspira’ed

It started innocently enough. I saw a pattern and thought it looked intriguing. I had a couple of balls of Noro sock yarn that were languishing due to the fact that I have some known issues with Kureyon, and got curious as to whether they would look good together.

The answer to this, by the way, is yes. Yes, they look very nice together, and I didn’t have to worry about my usual problems with Noro Kureyon as I was carrying it in my left hand where it wouldn’t pull too roughly on my fingers. The other yarn is Silk Garden Sock, and it popped against the Kureyon really nicely. Someone is going to be very warm this winter.

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You’d think that would be it and I’d move along, but no. I was looking at the “suggested yarns” section of the pattern on Ravelry and noticed that they recommended Lion Brand Amazing. It’s not as expensive as Noro, and it’s just as soft and warm.  So I picked up a bit of yarn at Michaels. I may have to revisit it to make some alterations for fit, but it’s sure snuggly!

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That’s it, right?  Um….no. I went stash diving for yarn that would be appropriate for someone in particular and came up with some handspun.

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What do I love about this pattern? It’s playful. You can be vastly entertained by the excitement of the colour changes and the ongoing cliffhanger as to whether there’s enough yarn to finish. There are unlimited combinations, unlimited possibilities.

I’ve been liking the “Steampunk” version, but that’s mainly due to the familiarity of it after the first one. Again…unlimited possibilities.

Now I have to decide which of the other projects on my needles to work with!

Static Cling

There must be something in the air because it appears I’m not the only one having issues with “involved” projects (honestly, it’s like the woman is looking in my kitchen window, much like my mother used to accuse Lynn Johnston of doing lo those many years ago*).  But wait…what is that?

That would happen to be a decision.  You notice that the ball attached to the sock is rather small, and the second ball is much larger and somewhat…crinkly looking.  That would be because I frogged back the non-matching, cuff-down, mate to the current sock.  I also calculated how much yarn would belong to each sock, and got crazy with the ball winder and the kitchen scale.  Finally, I figured out which direction the stripes were going for both and realized I’d be tossing out a good inch and a half of knit sock if I tried to match things up.  I’ve decided that I’m not going to care about whether the stripes match.  What I’m going to care about is that I have a wonderfully simple sock to knit, and it’s the beginning of the weekend.

It’s a beautiful feeling sometimes, just letting go.  I spent the day feeling frustrated, as the long (commercial) tunic-sweater I was wearing had decided that today would be a nice day to go all static cling on me.  I was a walking puffball of pent-up energy in more way than one until I got home and changed.  However…the decision to just let go and allow myself to knit something really simple?  That was like an anti-static spray to the soul.

*they have the same publisher too, apparently.  Somehow, I’m not sure this is a coincidence…