Naked Paddock by M.K. Ducote

Posted July 4, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Naked Paddock by M.K. DucoteNaked Paddock by M.K. Ducote
Series: Naked Paddock #1
Published by Warchest Publishing on May 31st 2013
Genres: Romance
Pages: 430
Format: ARC
Source: ARC from publisher
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three-stars

Inspired by real events and the first novel of a trilogy series, Naked Paddock transports its readers on a wild journey through the adrenaline-fueled world of professional motorsports—a world of money, sex, ego and ruthless competition. Set on the stage of historic racetracks throughout the world, Naked Paddock introduces a lifelike cast of colorful characters, as quirky and flawed as they are entertaining: talented young drivers, pushy agents, wealthy sponsors, fickle team owners, trophy wives, flag-girls and ambitious models.

At its heart, Naked Paddock can be pared down to one man. Attractive, daring and privileged, Coleton Loren is a professional racecar driver unaccustomed to setbacks who finds himself injured in the off-season. Charmed by his beautiful, yet bookish doctor, Camilla, he sweeps her into his world—a world of gossip and glamour that she never knew or dreamed of—as he fights to reclaim the top step of the podium.

M.K. Ducote has toured the world’s premier racing circuits for years with her husband, a professional racecar driver with over 14 career podiums. With the intimate knowledge of a real racing insider, M.K. Ducote delivers a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of international motorsports and the people and passions that drive it.

Main Points
Writing Style:
I enjoyed Ducote’s writing. Sometimes it could get too technical but I appreciate that it was so both genders could stay interested. In fact, there was certainly a nice mix of drama and racing.
Plot:
It was a long book, and it seemed to jump from race to race. It also switched perspectives frequently.
I’ll get my few complaints out of the way. One big one was the time jumps. It kept fast-forwarding scenes and then we would only hear about what happened afterwards, instead of being in the middle of the action. Often I was disoriented and didn’t know where we were in time. It was a little disappointing.
Also, I didn’t understand the racing stuff and the business stuff, not being truly interested in either. It was kind of explained a few times for the average person, so I’ll give her that. I could easily just gloss over it and move on.
I noticed that while we were in Camilla’s perspective, she thought a lot about Coleton, but while we were in his perspective, he rarely thought about her. Perhaps this is typical of both genders? I find that hard to believe. Also, after the beginning, there was hardly a mention of Camilla’s occupation as a doctor. It’s like suddenly she didn’t have responsibilities as a doctor anymore, or we simply only saw the parts of her life where she got time off to be with Coleton.
Coleton bothered me as a character. He was very blunt, arrogant, and a little self-centered. Well, more than a little. And he said he’d change for her, but I’m not sure he really did. He still ordered her around a bit. And she went with it.
I guess Camilla bothered me a bit too. She said at the beginning that she’d be strong and not fall for him, but that didn’t last very long at all. In fact, we didn’t even see her change her mind, really. That was during one of those annoying time jumps. One minute, she’s in a crisis and doesn’t even want to think about him, the next minute, they were a happy couple. I would have liked to see some inner dialogue there. And after that, she probably let him push her around a bit too much. They had their sweet moments, but they weren’t really my favorite couple.
Also, most of the wives seemed to be cheaters. The females were not portrayed very nicely, excluding a few important ones like Camilla and Pamela, who acted like a mother to the racecar drivers. And dear sweet Grace.
I liked Grace. She had to deal with a cheating husband, even though she did not deserve it in the least. And she was put through a lot of trouble at possibly the worst  moment, when he was injured at the hospital. She’s a strong woman. Then she had to make the toughest decision ever- whether to stay with her husband or not. I won’t spoil it, but I think she makes the right choice. Grace is my favorite character.
Pushing aside the drama, this book is a good insight into how relationships work in a fast-moving, money-greedy world. A lot of the people in this book were about the money or the fame or both. But underneath that, some of them really had consciences and affections. By the end, we were able to tell who could overcome their base instincts and emerge as a worthy person.
Setting
I liked how France was described. It really seemed amazing, at times beautiful. That part was well done. Bravo.
Ending
Ha! What a cliffhanger! That’s probably the most epic cliffhanger I’ve ever seen. If I had doubts about reading the rest of the series until the end, they were banished with that cliffhanger. You can’t simply stop with that! I’m trying really hard not to spoil it. Fine, if you really want spoilers: View Spoiler »
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • message
  • ending
Less than perfect:
  • length
  • some characters
  • some technical writing
Bottom Line
This is an interesting mix of drama, romance, and racing. The writing is well done, while at times getting a bit technical. Some characters are lovable while others are questionable. It’s a bit long but the pacing is fine. The book has some interesting messages about relationships and what it means to move past the superficiality of the money-greedy fame-seeking society that can be found in sports and business. Would I read more by this author? I suppose so. Would I recommend this book to others? Possibly.

About M.K. Ducote

M.K. Ducote grew up in the small town of Davie, Florida. Eager to see more of the world, M.K. studied abroad in Melbourne, Tokyo and Paris as an undergraduate and graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in business finance, B.A. in classics and minor in art history. The eternal scholar, M.K. went on to law school and studied international law and human rights in Cape Town and Lima, graduating with a J.D. from the University of Florida and an LL.M. from the University of Miami.

Having seen the world, M.K. settled down to practice law and met her husband, Chapman Ducote, a professional racecar driver and entrepreneur with over 14 career podiums under his belt. Tossed into the exciting and scandalous world of motorsports, M.K. was enthralled by the behind-the-scenes drama. M.K. quickly turned to her life-long passion and set pen to paper, plucking from real life the colorful settings and scenes of her fiction series, Naked Paddock.

Each year, M.K. Ducote embraces her love for travel and writing, accompanying her husband to racing circuits all over the world and gathering inspiration for her high-octane racing novels. When not on the road, M.K. calls home to Miami Beach, Florida.

Rating
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Setting
four-stars
Romance
four-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Ending
three-stars
Overall: three-stars

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