Author: Tara Chevrestt
Hosted by: Tasty Book Tours
Crystal is an enlisted mechanic with a tragic past. Grant is an officer and a pilot with a broken heart. When faced with a difficult decision, will Crystal choose wisely or lose the best thing that ever happened to her?
The love between them burns hot, but their relationship won't stay fueled if they can't beat the obstacles in their way. Besides breaking the fraternization rules, Grant and Crystal have the difference of race between them…but can they prove to the rest of the world, and to each other, that love is color blind?
Afterburn is about overcoming one's past, not judging others, learning to forgive, and what it's like to be a woman in a "man's world".
"You called about a leak?" Crystal wasn't surprised to find Grant, looking immaculate in his flight uniform, leaning against the fuselage of his Falcon. She peered up at him from under her cap, trying to look coy, but knowing she failed miserably. She was still shaking from her encounter with Swenson. She heard her tools rattling in her tool bag.
The smile on Grant's face that had greeted her faded. "What's wrong?" He reached out a hand and touched her shoulder. His casual stance tensed, his body looking ready to battle any and all of her demons.
Crystal took a deep breath. "I'm okay. Just those problems at work I didn't want to talk about." She turned away from him, not wanting him to see the tears that filled her eyes. "Where's that leak? Which wing?" She dropped her bag onto the tarmac, lowered herself to her knees, and began removing fasteners of different sizes. "What size is it?" She kept her head down, avoiding his probing eyes.
"The only leak is in my heart. It doesn't need a fastener, only for you to smile." Grant's soft voice rolled over her as he crouched down beside her. The smell of his cologne tickled her nostrils, bringing to mind memories of their wonderful weekend together. His kindness was her undoing. Much to her embarrassment, she began to cry. Tears fell into her canvas bag, wetting the tools of her trade.
Grant was on his knees beside her now, and he kept a lookout as he put his arms around her and let her sob, offering her shelter and comfort. He made soothing sounds, held her tight, and waited.
Feeling safer and reeling from all her conflicting emotions, Crystal finally began to talk. In a tearful voice wracked by an occasional sob, she told Grant about that morning, about the declined promotions, about how she dreaded walking into her shop every day. It felt as though a leak was fixed in her own heart, no fastener or sealing required, just the love and strength of a caring man. If only all of her problems could be solved like this...
When she had told him everything, she sat back on her heels and waited, wary at the clouds of anger on Grant's face. He stared at her intently. "You need to go to EEO." He reached out and brushed a tear off of Crystal's face. "No one, no woman or man, is supposed to put up with discrimination or harassment over what they are. The military has a zero-tolerance policy. I've been there, Crystal, and I know you can fight it. We all deserve to be treated equally."
"I'm afraid," Crystal whispered. "Who will believe me?"
"I believe you." Footsteps sounded behind him, and Grant straightened and stood next to the jet wing, blocking Crystal's tear-stained face from view. She heard him quietly conversing with someone. When she saw the military boots walk away, she waited for Grant's face to appear below the jet again. He held out a hand to her.
"I have to do a practice CAP." He pulled her to her feet, grabbing her bag with his other hand.
She nodded, stood on shaky legs, and brushed off her coveralls. "Are you sure there isn't a leak I need to fix before you go? Combat Air Patrol maneuvers are no light thing. Was that really a fake call? Is your jet fueled?" Her words came out in a rush of nervousness. Her fiasco from the morning was forgotten in light of her sudden, new concern. She didn't want to watch him fly. Her feelings for him were growing too strong. A picture of her dad came to her mind. "I think I'll be going now. I can't watch you fly now that I...that I..." Her voice trailed off. She didn't dare say it. Didn't dare say the "L" word or that she cared for him deeply. It was too soon.
Grant placed his hands on her shoulders, preventing her from leaving. His voice was deep and serious. "Fake call. I just wanted to see you. Don't worry. I know what I'm doing." He gave her a reassuring squeeze. "With me at the controls and you as its mechanic, this jet will perform wonders in the sky. We make a good team—in more ways than one”
I rated Afterburn with THREE LEAVES. The book itself was too short and not enough in depth. I felt like I was rushed through the main points of the book to where they weren't believable.The main character, Crystal, has a few defining moments in her life that truly shape who she is. I didn't feel like we got to know enough about these moments. It would help me, as a reader, to know more about big moments in her past so I could understand her character. I felt like the explanation of these moments were very short. Grant is the male lead in the story and is way HOT! I loved hearing about his flying stories. I would also have like to know a bit more about Grant's life story and background.
I did enjoy and agree with the life lessons that are taught in Afterburn. This story is about not judging a book by it's cover. It shows that although there are still people who are uneducated, ignorant and who have prejudices towards other people, you should always give everyone a fair chance in life no matter their race, religion, or beliefs.
Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She shares a website with her naughty pen name.