Book Reviews

Drive to Thrive (Formula Q 1) by CD Rachels

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Doctors/Nurses/EMTs/Vets / Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 24-January-2023

Book Blurb

Formula Q is the fastest motorsport in the world. Only the highest-performing athletes can make it to the grid. They drive fast, work hard, and play hard, but off-camera, anything goes.

The public knows me as Damon ‘the Speed Demon’ Davidoff, eligible bachelor and winner of FQ titles around the world. Fans adore me and my team supports me. They don’t need to know I’m so deep in the closet I intend to bury myself there.

Then my poor health catches up to me and my world comes crashing down. I could bounce back easily if it weren’t for one little complication: my male nurse is attractive as hell.

I can suppress these feelings during the season break—I have to. I’m not going to expose my secret just because I feel a fire coursing through my veins when Rocky puts his hands on me.

As the weeks go by, I somehow let Rocky under my skin and into my heart. He’s smart, sweet, and everything I never knew I needed.

I thought I wanted a clean bill of health and to keep winning my races. Now, for the first time in my life, I want so much more. I want him, and damn if that isn’t the scariest thing I’ve ever felt.


Book Review

Choosing a book to read is subject to so many aspects. Many pick books by habit – committing to best sellers (thus, sadly allowing critics to predigest their literary nourishment). Other readers are addicted to particular authors, or fictional tropes (gay aliens, sexual dominants, pink mysteries). As a reviewer with some latitude, I react to my mood of the moment – and then I am still prepared to be surprised. (So many books are akin to blind dates – some memorable, some ready to “put out” for you, and, sadly, quite a few I must peremptorily return home early!)


‘Drive to Thrive’ was an interesting read – one not easily categorized, and subject to some metamorphoses as I went through it. We are first, with some flash, introduced to Damon Davidoff seeing himself on TV while in a doctor’s waiting room. We immediately know (1) he is, at least, well-known and (2) perhaps medically challenged. Both aspects are confirmed, and we are involved! He is twenty-seven, an international auto racer, and has gastrointestinal glitches. For those taking notes – see “ischemic bowels” – which, assuredly, is not the newest dance craze! This quickly leads to a further introduction, to Rocky Acala, a copper-toned Asian home-duty nurse, who is “the most gorgeous man (Damon’s) ever seen.”


By now you should be predisposed to curling up with a glass of wine and book in hand, or skimming through for the dirty parts or, (shame on you) leaving it in the loo to entertain guests with indigestion! I admit to choice number one.


Damon is a closeted gay, sadly addicted to “keeping my endorsements and my parents’ approval.”


The book wends through attraction, developed with much discretion, as an inevitable connection grows. The ultimate sexual expression of their relationship is sufficiently delayed as to let the reader get to know each main character as they get to know each other. Some medical auscultating and palpating (both sounding dirtier than they are in fact) generates a tingle of hormonal response, and a precursor to what’s to come (cum?). Think of romance on TV, and how long it takes to reach even the kissing level. This gay read is almost clean enough for your naan.


‘Drive to Thrive’ quite nicely presents the development of an adult gay relationship. Does it start as sexual or social? Is it merely hormonal? As we used to query – does the little head or big head rule? Author Rachels takes on this trip to HEA with very good form, even though there is a tendency to gush. Rocky: “It takes me a bit to get reacquainted to all eight glorious inches of his member, but I’m persistent. And horny.”


All the bumps in the road are there. Rocky, being totally out, has to make tough decisions about any relationship with Damon. It takes Damon longer… but HEA is assured.


Now, here are just a few tidbits you’ll never get on romance TV:


1. “The man is a snack in his nursing scrubs, but in plain clothes, he looks like a whole damn meal.”


2. Damon explores Rocky’s tutty, and Rocky observes: “He can probably tell I’m clean. Prepped, and ready to go.” Bob-O-Link: Does this seems a riff on a saw - the proof is in the posterior?


3. The editor as quizzical purveyor. “His smooth chest peaks (?) out of the v-neck.”


Enjoy. I did.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 238 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-January-2023
Price $4.99 ebook, $16.00 paperback
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