Every city needs a hero, but Detroit’s white knight just might be a villain.
A rough childhood branded Jasper Storm trouble. A bad boy. Not worth a damn. His love of cars was the only thing that could battle his delinquency. With the need for speed in his blood, he overcame his wayward ways. Mostly. All grown up, the broken city of Detroit hails him their shining star. And the man behind a new cutting-edge automobile is ready to turn this bankrupt town around.
Everything he does in life is fast. He talks fast, f*cks fast, and drives fast. But when one reckless turn brings him face-to-face with the childhood he has tried very hard to forget, he finds himself on the edge of wondering if he shouldn’t slow down.
Charlotte Lane was the tomboy who lived next door. She was his best friend. He was her protector. Then tragedy struck and she disappeared, forever—or so he thought.
Jasper has many reasons to hate Charlotte and keep his distance, but she’s infiltrating his every thought and he can’t stay away. Back in town with an agenda of her own, she should push him aside. Make him turn around. Walk away herself. Yet she can’t.
With the past lurking between them, they proceed with caution. That is until one sex-filled night leads to murder. When Detroit’s biggest ally suddenly becomes suspect number one, will Charlotte—the girl Jasper once kept safe—be the one to save him?
Set the Pace
© 2016 by Kim Karr
Startled, I jump and quickly place the frame back in its place.
It’s the call button from the lobby. I’m not sure what to do. I should probably ask Jasper if he is expecting anyone before I let whomever it is up.
The hallway he disappeared down is fairly long and at the end are two doors. Both are slightly ajar. I can hear the shower running and music playing. I try to place the song. Just as I go to knock, I pause, and then grin, it’s Led Zeppelin—the same music that used to blare from his garage when he was out there with his father.
Somehow in my absentminded quandary, my fingertips have nudged the door open just enough that I can see inside the bathroom. Perfectly. In my direct line of sight is a huge glass wall and he is just beyond it.
My pulse is beating so hard I can feel it pounding at all my pulse points. I should leave. I don’t need to bother Jasper. Whoever it is buzzing to come up can just come back later. Yet, I can’t move. Or maybe it’s more like I don’t want to move.
Steam hovers in the air but there’s not nearly enough to obscure anything. And there he is, naked in the water, head bent as it sluices over him. His eyes are closed. One hand is on the wall. The other slides slowly down his belly and lands between his thighs.
Now I really can’t move. I’m frozen in place. His hand is on his cock. I swallow the noise my throat tries to make, but I’m sure I don’t do a good job of it. Thank you, Jesus, he doesn’t seem to notice. No, he definitely doesn’t notice because oh, my God, now he’s stroking himself. Slowly. Deliciously. Up, then down, and a twist of his palm around the head of his cock.
I shouldn’t be watching this, and yet I can’t look away. This is private. For him only, and yet I have to wonder if it’s because of me. Is it his attraction to me that made him step back just moments ago? Made him have to relieve the desire he was feeling? Then why did he say he wouldn’t kiss me again?
When he moves his wrist faster, I have to stifle my sudden harsh breath with my hand. My eyes are glued to his body and although I should leave, I can’t. I just can’t. Jasper, doing this to himself, is the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen in my life. The only thing stopping me from reaching between my own legs is my perverted fascination with wanting to watch him come. Oh, and of course the terror of getting caught.
His mouth opens, water filling it and overflowing when he tips his face into the spray. I want so much to be in there with him, share the water, and feel that mouth on my body, but I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen. We seem to be dancing around the attraction we feel for each other. Like both of us are afraid to take that leap from a two-decade-old friendship to intimacy. Afraid perhaps of where it might lead, or maybe where it won’t.
I can’t be sure.
Then again, it could be that the ghosts that accompany us are just too strong to bear.
Soon he’s fucking into his fist with a deliberation that makes me weak at the knees, and I watch. I watch the way his muscles cord in his arms, the way his cock moves within the confines of his fist, the way his face contorts into pure pleasure.
Looking at Jasper, watching him about to come, it opens up something within me. The feeling is hard to describe and I can only think of one word that is fitting—primal.
His cock disappears inside his curled fingers and this stroke seems somehow more determined. Up, down, a twist around his crown, and then another twist. This time his head dips down, and then lowers still.
I press my thighs together to ward off the ache of arousal that is flooding me. I can’t hear him, but I wish I could. I know what he’s feeling, though, because I can see his mouth open and his face contort with satisfaction. He’s close. I can tell. And then soon enough, his taut belly strains, the muscles in his legs bunch, and then it happens—his desire jets out.
Never in my life have I wanted to make myself come like I do right in this moment. No, that’s not true. Never in my life have I wished for a man to take me the way I wish for Jasper to take me right now. Still, this is all kinds of wrong. I shouldn’t have watched him. I know this. Chiding myself, I lick salt from my upper lip and slowly, cautiously take a step back.
“Is there a show going on that I wasn’t invited to?”
That voice. I know that voice. The cynicism behind the tone.
No. No. No.
Imagine my shock when Set The Pace by Kim Karr released early. Our blog was scheduled to review the book on the original release day. I was scrambling to get this book read and have the review up before too many days passed by. As I began reading I was immediately sucked into their world.
Set The Pace was quite different from my first impressions after reading the synopsis for this book. I had it in my mind that this book was going to revolve around the auto racing sport. I was completely wrong. This book revolves around car designs and manufacturing. Detroit was the perfect city to set the scene for this story. But… there is much more to this book than developing and marketing a car in a decaying city. There’s a complex plot that began twenty years earlier. There are two murders, one obvious suspect, several people of interest, and one determined detective trying to close the case. Add a tragedy from twenty years earlier that destroyed hundreds of families and the children of that tragedy who are seeking their own peace of mind., the story becomes more complex.
For one it’s turning a tragedy into a positive beginning for the future. For another, it’s finding the answers as to what really happened and putting the ghosts to rest. For another, it’s seeking vengeance and revenge. Add a few players from the past, some self serving players in the present, and four men that want their car on the market, the plot becomes all the more complicated. Among all the mystery is a sizzling hot romance between two of the major players in the story. Before the budding relationship can blossom into a true commitment, the past and present tear them apart. To make this story even more interesting is the backdrop, Detroit City. The city takes on a life of itself. The people of Detroit have long memories, shattered hopes, poverty, and a dying city. All their hopes are on this new car manufacturer to bring jobs and prosperity back to their city.
Jasper Storm has a passion for cars. He has worked his entire adult life developing the car of the future, The Storm. Just as he is realizing his dreams, they are quickly becoming destroyed. He’s being framed for murder. It’s possible that someone is trying to sabatoge his creation, The Storm, before it hits the market. To make matters worse, the girl he hated for twenty years reappears back in town when everything begins to fall apart. The hate he has harbored turns into something beautiful when he gets to know the woman the girl has become.
Charlotte Lane disappeared in the middle of the night twenty years ago. The life she has lived has been haunted by the events of her last night in Detroit. She’s back in town to get answers and understand the truth. When her co worker, a writer for the blog is murdered on the night that could dictate the future Jasper Storm’s car, things become more complicated. Charlotte is forced to face the boy she left behind, Twenty years ago she desperately needed Jasper’s friendship. Today she desperately desires the man Jasper has become. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past or that Jasper could possibly be behind her co worker’s death. Her heart has always belonged to Jasper.
As the story unfolds, there are many twists and turns. The mystery becomes more complex. Kim Karr not only delivered the beginnings of a passionate romance but also a story that will keep the readers glued to the pages. Her vivid descriptions bring the characters to life, the city to life, and the mystery to life. She created so many questionable characters and questionable circumstances, that it makes it impossible to formulate a concrete theory. This book in many ways reminds me of the older detective television series from the past where solving a murder was anything but cut and dry. It was refreshing to become involved in this kind of story once again. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic
Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She is a daydreamer. So much so that if daydreaming could be a hobby it would be her favorite. It’s how her stories are born and how they take root. An imagination that runs wild is something to be thankful for, and she is very thankful.
She grew up in New York and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and with the rest of her time embraces one of her biggest passions–writing.
Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read.
She likes to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.