The New York Times bestselling Driven series continues with a standalone story about finding love where you least expect it…  Behind the wheel, racing champion Zander Donavan is at the top of his game. But after too much excess in his personal life, he’s forced to step away. He needs to accomplish something all on his own—outside of his famous father’s shadow.    Getty Caster is running away from the abuse that clouds her past. She thinks she’s found the perfect escape—until she discovers a stranger in the beachside cottage she’d been promised. He’s undeniably sexy, but she’s there to heal. Alone.   Before long though, fighting with each other turns into fighting their attraction. And giving into desire sets off a chain reaction that has their pasts colliding. With an unexpected love on the line, can they overcome the fallout to build a future?

*Note:  This book was provided to the Book Hookup by the publisher via Net Galley but that did not in any way influence this review!

Down Shift is the eighth book in the Driven series and, you guessed it, the first one I’ve read. However, it’s definitely a stand-alone so don’t let the fact that there are so many before it deter you from experiencing Zander and Getty’s story. This is a book filled with emotion, struggles, and secrets. It’s about two lost souls who believe that they need to be alone to sort out their lives. And, it’s about the power of discovering that having someone to support you in difficult times will ease the pain.

Zander’s life has spiraled out of control ever since he received a box full of memories from his past…sad, emotional, heartbreaking memories. He knows he needs to face his past and come to terms with what happened but understanding and doing are two different things. The fear of learning more than he’s comfortable with, and remembering more than he wants to, is strong. And it’s caused him to alienate those around him…friends and family. Taking time to be on his own and deal with his demons seems to be the answer. Problem is, the location he chooses is already being used for the exact same reason. Getty has had a difficult life…privileged but difficult. She’s finally managed to escape it and needs this time and this place to regroup and rebuild her life on her own. Neither is expecting the other and neither wants the other around. However, as they very slowly come to trust each other and share their struggles, each is able to help the other move forward.

Although he could be moody and secretive, Zander’s sweet heart and ability to understand Getty’s need to move slowly made him absolutely swoony! At first glance, Getty seems timid and cautions but once you take a closer look, her strength is enviable. And so, together, these two people who are trying so hard to come to grips with who they really are and who they want to be find emotional safety…they find home. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of angst here, plenty of ups and downs, and misunderstandings big and small. But, through it all, the characters learn to rely on each other, grow, and discover love. It’s a good thing.

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