Cover Image: Against the Odds

Against the Odds

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was a tough one to get through. It had a great premise, but ended up jumbled and too heavy on the erotica and too light on the actual plot.
Was this review helpful?
This was a pretty good read and a nice start to the series. I really liked Nikki she is a wonderfully strong character and you cannot help but root for her I really liked Jake he was a really good match for her. This was a good read but it did drag a bit in the middle but other than that I enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
Its a really good book for the genre. I don't normally read these sorts of books but I actually really enjoyed it. Unlike some raunchy reads it has great characterisation, a deep plot and a pretty good story!
Was this review helpful?
I like the beginning and seeing both Nikki and Jake at their worst. I did like that they both found comfort in each other but it was a bit strange that they never spoke or acknowledged each other.

I like how the background is built up but I also feel like things were forecasted way early in the story which made it feel a bit predictable. It felt like all the characters knew more than I did and I had to play catch up for most of the story, understanding the family dynamic, their past, and where Nikki wanted her life to lead.

Jake's story starts off solidly with me wanting to know more about him and his family, but the more the story dug into his side of things it felt very flat and left on the surface. I really wanted to get to know him, or at least feel invested in his character enough to understand his passion and why he acts out, and that just didn't happen for me.

It's clear in the beginning that Nikki and Jake are the main characters but the story is told in a way that has to basically force them together. While I like the way they are introduced, it feels a bit odd to me that they both feel so connected to each other yet they don't know each other at all. There are some details that I think are supposed to be sweet and heartfelt but they felt more stalker-like and odd to me.

I would recommend this book to someone who likes new adult fiction, has an interest in racing and the mob, and is okay with a slow building story. I personally couldn't get invested in the characters which made the plot twists less believable to me.
Was this review helpful?
I was not a huge fan of this book. The plot was good, but it just seemed to drag on and on. So it took me longer than I would have liked to get through the book.
Was this review helpful?
Being the first book in a new series and the fact that the lead character was a female race car driver drew me to this book. First why so many mobs? And her brothers needed some lessons in how to treat your sister,I think Jake as the perfect one for her. The book did get a little slow in the middle. It felt like maybe these would be part of the next book. The ending was a  left open I'm sure for the next book. It's a good first book you just have to hang in there till the end. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Although the idea that they knew each other from the gravesite and had mutual friends in common for years before they actually met, and that they didn't both immediately recognize each other was a little bit farfetched for me, this was a sweet story with interesting characters. Nikki was strong and independent, even to her own detriment, and Jake was strong and protective while allowing her to be herself. 
The biggest problem I had was all the mobster shenanigans. Half the time, I wasn't sure who was after whom and why. The ending got real wild real fast.
Was this review helpful?
First of all I love that Nikki is a racecar driver. Not like street race but legit racing.
However all the drama and controversy surrounding it is just crazy. Her brothers actions were just horrific. I can't imagine that's how her parents would have wanted them to treat her. Also her brother needs to learn to separate emotions from business, that was a jerk move.
I loved Jake. He was just a sweetheart and perfect for Nikki. He's exactly what she needs in a partner. 
Why did there need to be so many different mobs? 3, there's 3. All involved in the story of this girl just trying to live her dream. It's crazy. One of them didn't even play any kind of meaning to the story. I'm assuming they'll reappear in the next book but who knows.
I loved the writing and how this story played out. Once I got started I couldn't wait to see what happened. I had forgotten it was the first book and was a little ticked at the open-ending. I will definitely be in lookout for the next book.
I received this from Netgalley to review.
Was this review helpful?
Nikki is a racecar driver trying to prove herself to others and herself after a nearly fatal accident two years ago. Jake is a mechanic with a temper that’s landed him in trouble too many times. They unknowingly “met” each other years ago in an event that changed their lives for the better. Now, they have a chance meeting and arrangement that may lead to more.

The story of Nikki and Jake begins with an honest look at their own faults and how their past influenced their viewpoints now. The chemistry between them was believable, but I have to admit that it didn’t enrapture me like other romances did. Near the end of the book, I started to like Nikki’s friend and ex, Damon, and was kind of rooting for a polyamorous relationship to develop.

This book that keeps you hooked as you try to unravel the mystery and figure out how everything is connected. Not everything is revealed in the end, but it’s good enough and has me eager for the sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’d highly recommend it. I give it 4 stars.
Was this review helpful?

It seem forever ago I started this book. When I requested it, the racing element caught my attention. I was slightly sceptical about the female lead being the driver based on how tough racing is to get into as a woman, especially F1, but I was intrigued to see what the author did with it.

In the end, Against the Odds has split my opinion. On one hand, I liked the idea and the overall plot. There was a bit of sport, danger, suspense, and romance all tied up in this story and it did hold my interest as I wanted to know how things played out. Nevertheless, it wasn't perfect. Personally, I thought this book needed to be condensed more. Although wanting to know what happened next kept me reading, I frequently found myself wishing the pace would increase and I did skim. At times it felt like I was reading a lot of unnecessary details or filler scenes which slowed the pace. Part 3 was definitely the best and showed the full potential, but I almost didn't make it to the part with all of the action. I will be honest and say I did consider giving up because of the slow pace, since it hindered the flow and the intensity of the relationships. 

Overall though, it was an interesting read. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but not in a bad way. I do think it needs cutting down, but it did pick up towards the end. It had a little of everything.
Was this review helpful?
I have to be honest… In the first days I was reading this, I thought I was halfway through but I was probably at around 30 %. On the fifth day, when I looked on Goodreads, I was shocked to see that it only had 372 pages. It seemed longer to me and now I know why.

…Because there was so much going on, I was lost. But not in the way I didn’t know what was going on, I did and the book has a plot, but there were just so many things like the author decided to put everything in this one book. We have racing, Mafia, mystery, secrets, suicide, murders, revenge, beatings, rape … and I probably missed something. Basically, almost all were connected to Mafia somehow. Even Jake and Nikki’s love was connected to the Mafia.

In the beginning, I thought Nikki was selfish and self-centred because she didn’t even consider how her brothers saw her career. When she sold the gift her deceased father gave her just to save her racing career, I thought I was done with this book. But I look the other way and continued with the book. Still, even though she did the unimaginable, I disagree with the choice her brothers made to cut her off of their lives.

This book is divided into three parts. While I don’t mind that, I just thought that the author didn’t know what to do with her story and just cut it into parts, so the next one started with couple months or weeks after the last part ended. 

To be honest, I wasn’t very much invested in the story because Mafia and all things related is not what I usually read. The book seemed long at the moments and I also felt like the focus was more on her racing career and Mafia, while the romance was put on hold. Maybe I’m just being picky lately and I want some romance and comedy in my book…:C

Also, while the story did have a decent ending, sadly, it continues in the next book. And while I am curious what happens with Nikki and Jake in the second book, I don’t think I’ll read it due to the reasons above.

3,5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book I read from This author.  I have to say I'm not disappointed.  I really did enjoy the book.  

Nikki the badass girl which I love because you hardly see that. She is the racer and is hanging on the edge.  Nikki's  brothers who own an auto shop try to help her with racing.  Damon her ex whom is still in love with her tries to discourage her from racer.  

Jake is the perfect book boyfriend.  I love reading about this type of romance. Jake has such a sad last but with all that will Nikki and him have a future?
Was this review helpful?
In the new book “Against the Odds: Redline Series” author N.L. Burns skillfully weaves together a smoking-hot romance with a gripping mystery and places it smack-dab in the middle of the adrenaline-fueled world of racecars. As I was reading this book, I found myself falling in love with the lead characters Nikki Elliot and Jake Masercotti. Jake is everything devoted romance readers could want in a book-boyfriend – he’s hotter than Hades, a bad-boy past, muscles, and best of all TATTOOS!! Nikki is my new hero. Plainly put- she’s a PB (pure badass). I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Seriously though, when is it coming? I need to know…. Oh, and if you’re into star ratings, this is easily a 4 out of 5 star read.
Was this review helpful?
I want to say first and foremost, I loved the role reversal in this book. I won't lie, at first it was gut wrenching, I mean the mother's suicide when he was a kid, that took a minute to get past. I try not to read things that really bring me into a dark place but my oh my, did this book bring me right out. I genuinely appreciated that for once I read a story that took me out of the generic damsel in distress story line, it was so nice to actually be surprised when I was reading. Like where is this going now? I'd recommend this book to anyone that needs to feel satisfied because that's exactly what I felt what I finished this book. Thank you N.L. Taylor, you're definitely my top 15 writers, for sure.
Was this review helpful?
NetGalley sent me an ARC copy of this book for an honest opinion. 

I usually enjoy the male being the Knight in Shining Armor, but I felt in this book made Nikki a bit more of the savior in this book. N.L. Taylor has a fantastic writing style which keeps you involved from page one. I loved the way the story seemed to flow showing the true struggle between what the character's heart and mind feels. 

I would certainly be up to reading more books by this author!
Was this review helpful?
Nikki is a race car driver. Nikki is badass. But the men in Nikki’s life are controlling douchebags, and somehow she ends up apologising to them. The worst of these idiots – though her brother Dino is pretty bad, and sets the tone of misogyny with which the book is rife – is Damon, Nikki’s gangster ex who is always in some kind of fury about how Nikki dares to not be sweetly grateful for his constant, aggressive oversight. We spend way too much time in Dickhead Damon’s head. Then there’s Jake, the man who wins her heart enough that she – A RACE CAR DRIVER IN HER TWENTIES – gives him her flower, because sure, she’s a virgin, that makes sense. Jake is sweet – he paints, he journals – but he is also mob connected, and he is keeping secrets from her, controlling her in his own special way. The lesson of this book? Definitely have sisters and girlfriends. Men are the worst. – Rachel Hyland

1 1/2 stars
Was this review helpful?
Redemption takes a whole lot of effort and this book right here had my attention from the beginning to the end!
Jake's the guy who's attracted trouble so much so that the burden of guilt weighs him down, but he's got to fight for his younger brother-Dario, and then there's Nikki, the racer. She tough, fighting a lot of battles but when the two meet, there's more than just history and attraction, there's understanding and through them you wonder who'll cave in and who'll take a bow.
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC.
Was this review helpful?
Against the Odds is book one of the Redline Series by N.L. Taylor.  This book is a suspense romance novel packed with lots of danger and actions.  The car racing and Mafia aspect of the book were entertaining.  The story was well built and the suspense had kept me engaged until the end of the book.  The characters were complex and N.L. Taylor did a great job in making them relatable.  I was so drawn into Jake and felt so sorry for his past.  At the one point of the story, I was screaming what other bad things life would throw his way. Nikki was so inspiring. She was so determined in achieving her dreams no matter what hardships and obstacles she had to face.  Through this book, there was a constant message which I love – accept your failure, embrace your dreams, rise up to life’s struggles and live a life filled with love and happiness.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
When I first saw this book cover I absolutely loved it because it reminded me of Lucas from Tammara Webber’s book Easy. So I knew I had to instantly read this to see if the guy was going to be anything like Lucas. He was an I loved it.

This book follows a guy named Jake and he has had a rough life with his mom committing suicide at the age of 12. He has a younger brother named Dario whom he doesn’t have custody of because of some of the choices that Jake as made. Every Sunday he would go an visit his moms grave. Which just breaks my heart. He works for an auto mechanic even though his true passion is taking photos.

Nikki is a race car driver an I loved that she was because it’s usually the men that are. So I loved the role reversal. She has a fatal accident an since then she is trying to rebuild her career because her family doesn’t want to support her, even though racing is something she has always dreamed of. 

I loved that there was a mafia aspect to this story. I have read one other series that did an I loved the extra something that it adds to the story.
Was this review helpful?
Jake Masercotti is a broken man. His mother committed suicide when he was 12 and his little brother is still in foster care. Yet thanks to Jake's bad choices is unable to gain custody of his brother, Dario. At 21, he is still mourning her death. When he was a teen, he used to spend every Sunday at her gravesite mourning her death. Every Sunday, a blonde angel was doing the same. They both felt alone in their anguish but hearing the other gave them both comfort that someone knows how the other feels. Ironically, both keep a journal about their suffering and mourning. Jake works for Tiger's Den, automotive shop that Sean owns. Jake is Sean's best mechanic even though cars are not his true passion. Photography and art is but that won't pay the bills or help him get custody of his brother. Jake helps out his best friend Johnny by looking at a Mustang when he sees his "angel" at the gas station driving a Sunbeam Tiger. He is determined to find her. His life has been a wreck since he lost his journal in the cemetery and losing his "angel."
Nikki Elliot lost both of her parents. She was lucky that a family friend--Sean took her and her older brothers in instead of going into the system. She was able to continue her racing career that she and her father started when she was 5. But now her mentor, coach, and greatest fan is gone. The only thing she has left of him is his Sunbeam Tiger and her racing. Both of which are put to the test after a horrible crash at Le Mans. Nikki crashed her own Tiger during that race and she lost part of her short term memory. She cannot remember the days leading up to the race or the after the race which is bothersome for her since every racer learns from every race. 

Nikki's racing career is hanging on by a thread. Her older brothers own their parents' auto body shop and occasionally assist her with her racing team. But she's running out of money and sponsors. Her friend and ex-boyfriend Damon who has Mafia connections tries to encourage Nikki to quit racing. He is also still in love with her. But other forces keep them apart. Damon is scared that Nikki will eventually regain her lost memories. What will happen to her if she does?  Will Jake find Nikki? Who will Nikki be with at the end? Will she find her sponsorship to return to the professional circuit?
Was this review helpful?