Title: Set the Pace
Series: The Detroit Love Duet #1
Author: Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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?
Jasper Storm…Is he a White Knight or a Black Sheep?
Adrenaline junkie, speed racer, lives fast and fucks harder. With his mess of light brown hair, matching light brown eyes that just look like they could peg you where you stand, and a body that must make every female in his vicinity yearn for him, there is no mistaking him in a crowd. Charlotte would describe him as handsome. REALLY handsome. Maybe even handsome as hell. With a strong jaw and sensual lips, Jasper has a sharp profile. He is long and lean. He is everything she remembers from her childhood but the man he has become today….
Charlotte The hand-written sign near the valet reads, “Be back in 5 minutes.”
Even standing beside Jasper for five seconds seems to make my heart beat double time. Five minutes will send it flying off the chart.
Needing to calm down, I take a step away and move to stand in front of him. “You know I can take a cab home. I’ll be fine.” That killer smile is just too much. “I’m a man of my word, Charlotte. I told you I’d make sure you get home safely and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Heart still racing, I look up at him. He’s not like anyone I know, yet he’s so much like the Jasper I knew at eight years old. Without a second thought, I push the toe of my sandal against his shoe. It was something I did all the time when we were kids. “I don’t remember you being so bossy.”
Both of us feeling better, the heavy mood seems to have shifted between us to something a little lighter, and he raises a brow. “I’ve changed a lot over the past twenty years.”
Boy, he’s not kidding.
Chewing on the inside of my cheek, I want to respond with a yes, you have, but I don’t.
That seems too flirty.
Instead I stare at my once best friend. At the light and dark of his chocolate-brown hair that is more than perfect. Thick and glossy, he no longer wears it so much longer in the front that its bad habit of falling over his eyes is anything he has to worry about. Still, the way it sticks up in just the right places and allows for the perfect shape of his brows to be seen, his long, long eyelashes to be noticed, and the golden flecks in his eyes to mesmerize anyone they come in contact with, are all traits beyond perfection.
Oh God, my entire body tingles just looking at him. He has to be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.
I shouldn’t be thinking this way.
Not about him.
And especially not after everything that has transpired today. This must be some kind of coping mechanism that I need to get under control. Yet when he leans forward and his male scent assaults me, all of my sanity goes right out the window, along with my control.
In that moment his eyes capture mine, and for one second I think he’s going to kiss me. I tense. My pulse pounds as I wait with both desire and uncertainty. Wait for the brush of his mouth against mine. The wet slide of his tongue. The exhilaration of my fingers threading through that hair from his forehead all the way back to his neck. His stubble razor sharp against my soft flesh. His hands rough on my hips.
“Let me hold that for you,” he says.
Blinking rapidly, I realize he is reaching to take the bag from my hand and not to kiss me. I should feel relieved. I don’t.
Jenn’s Star Rating: 5 Stars
That grin I wear whenever she’s with me spreads across my face and when I open my eyes to look at her, there’s a light inside me that I’ve never felt before-it’s as if she’s the brightness that’s been sent to help me ease out of the darkness I’ve been in for far too long.
Set the Pace by Kim Karr is Book One in The Detroit Love Duet. As you can probably tell from the Duet’s name this book takes place in Detroit and follows once childhood friends Charlotte Lane and Jasper Storm. Life and tragedy has pulled them apart and pitted them against one another. Now, all grown up, life has brought them back together and it’s the last thing Jasper expected or wanted. This is a contemporary romance with undertones of crime, suspense, and thrills. The writing is fantastic and these characters pull at your heartstrings both in happy and sad ways; for the things they have been through, the uncertainty they are facing, and the relationships they are building.
Kim Karr is an automatic read for me. She is an author I look forward to every new release and know that I will be getting an emotional story filled with twists and turns and characters that pull you into the story. Kim writes authentic stories filled with detail that transport you into another world. In Set the Pace you feel the desperation and heartbreak of the citizens of Detroit. You feel the pride of what it used to be and could be once more. It’s like you’re being transported through her words to Motor City. Kim has many talents but I do believe one of her strongest is capturing the feel of a location; as well as everything beautiful and sometimes ugly that comes along with it.
Jasper Storm is a man whose childhood made a big shift. He was living a reasonably comfortable life. He had a father who was the bread winner and they shared a love of cars. He had a mother who loved putting food on the table and bringing beauty to the world with colorful flowers. They lived in a nice home and Jasper was a happy kid. Then tragedy stuck and everything changed for Jasper. Life was no longer comfortable and even a lot less safe and happy.
Despite that he’s managed to do alright. He’s on the verge of making it and he’s got a set of great friends in his life. I loved Jasper’s friends; Will, Jake, and Drew (KIM: NONE OF THEM BETTER HAVE A HAND IN ANY OF THE BAD THINGS GOING ON AROUND JAPER & CHARLOTTE!). Each one grew up together around the 8 Mile area and they are all so different they bring life and energy to the story. I love their dynamic as a group of friends.
Charlotte Lane is the girl next door, figuratively and literally. She and Jasper were neighbors as kids but she also has an all-American wholesome, innocent thing going on about her. She’s trying to get her journalism career up and going and her job as well as some ulterior motives bring her back to Detroit after she disappeared in the night right as Jasper’s life was changing in the blink of an eye. Charlotte’s return has the people of Detroit up in arms, as her last name is associated with the disaster that changed Jasper’s life. She deals with the hostility with her head held high. She’s a fierce, strong character despite her doubts.
I loved Set the Pace and I can’t wait until Book Two of the duet is live. I need to find out what happens as this story ends with crap hitting the fan. These characters dug themselves into my heart and I need to get my hands on the resolution. Jasper is a bad-boy in knight’s armor while Charlotte is sugar and spice and everything nice who is represented as the villain of the story. It’s quite backwards and genius. Kim catches my heart with every new release and as I would expect Set the Pace is no exception. This is a story you can gab to friends about. It’s a story that will keep you up late into the night reading page after page. You’ll be biting your nails in anticipation and fanning your face to cool off from the swoon-worthy heat. It’s perfect parts romance, steam, and thrills!
Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic
Kim 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 soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.