Brake Failure by Alison Brodie


What’s it about?

“Brake Failure is a contemporary romance with humour, suspense and a kick-ass heroine.  The story is set in one of the most fascinating periods of America’s history:  the months leading up to Y2K “melt-down.”

“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you’re looking down the barrel of his gun?”
Ruby Mortimer-Smyth is an English debutante, destined for Ladies Day at Ascot and taking tea at The Savoy. She knows the etiquette for every occasion and her soufflés NEVER collapse.

She is in control of her life, tightly in control.  Until fate dumps her down in … Kansas.
Ruby believes that life is like a car; common-sense keeps it on the road, passion sends it into a ditch.  What she doesn’t know is, she’s on a collision course with Sheriff Hank Gephart.

Sheriff Hank Gephart can judge a person.  Miss Mortimer-Smyth might act like the Duchess of England but just under the surface there’s something bubbling, ready to explode.  She’s reckless, and she’s heading for brake failure.  And he’s not thinking about her car.

With the Millennium approaching, Ruby gets caught up in the Y2K hysteria.  She joins a group of Survivalists, who give her a gun and advise her to stockpile basic essentials, such as gasoline and water-purifying tablets.  So she bulk-buys Perrier, Gentleman’s Relish and macaroons.

Ruby, far from home, is making Unsuitable Friends and “finding herself” for the first time.  She falls in with a gang of Hells Angels and falls foul of the law.  At every turn, she comes up hard against Sheriff Hank Gephart, whose blue eyes seem to look deep into her soul.  She desperately wants him but knows she can never have him.
She’s angry and confused at the emotions he arouses in her.  Pushed to her limit, she bursts from her emotional straightjacket.

As the clock strikes midnight of the new Millennium, she’s on a freight train with three million dollars, a bottle of Wild Turkey and a smoking gun. What happened to Miss Prim-and-Proper?   And why did she shoot Mr Right?

You can buy a copy of this book as from today on Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon CN and is only $1 for the next 5 days !

About the author

Alison Brodie

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. Alison was a photographic model for a wide range of products, such as Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up. She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial. Alison lived in Kansas for two years. She loved the people, their friendliness, the history and the BBQs! Now, she lives in Biarritz, France with her rescue mutt, Bayley.

Alison loves to hear from her readers.


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I know I’m a die hard crime fan but sometimes even I want to have a little break. If this lovely cover was anything to go by, I was expecting a fun read with a Thelma (or Louise) vibe. It sure seemed I’d get exactly what I asked for because the story opens with Sheriff Hank Gephard who’s been shot and right before losing consciousness he utters Ruby’s name, pleading her not to do it…

The news spreads fast that Ruby was present at a bank robbery and she’s now missing. So how did this little grey mouse aka brown-haired librarian turn into a beautiful blonde with scarlet lips, how did she get mixed up in this bank robbery and why in the world did she shoot the Sheriff down? The mystery sounded promising from the start, especially because it seems so farfetched from Ruby’s stiff upbringing.

We learn the truth about what happened through 2 alternating timelines. The first is the police looking into her disappearance and interviewing Ruby’s family and friends, letting us get a glimpse of the old Ruby, who doesn’t sound anything like the Ruby we get to know in the second plotline because this Ruby now, she’s fun, she’s a Ruby who is most definitely on a road to transformation and it was just plain fun to see her as herself as time went on, she’s not a bad person at all but sometimes she just misjudges some situations.

Ruby was always a bit of a loose canon but at the age of seven her mother abandoned her and she came to live with her father, stepmother Vanessa and stepsister Claire. They were raised strictly and Vanessa encouraged Ruby to become another Claire. The two sisters were always rivalling to be the best in order to receive Vanessa’s love. For 20 years Ruby struggled to compete and she thought she finally had one over her when her husband tells her he’s being relocated to France. She can already see herself sipping coffee in the city of romance and sophistication, but then there’s a sudden change of plans and she finds herself in ‘hill billy’ Kansas of all places.

Even when she doesn’t want to be there, she makes new friends in no time and starts to have some fun in her life, breaking all the rules she so rigorously lived by. Suddenly she’s drinking, swearing and breaking the law while she’s at it. Her having a little bit of fun invariably ends with Sheriff Hank Gephard arriving on the scene. She hates the man ever since he accused her of drunk driving and yet she can’t seem to get him out of her system either. On top of their covert attraction to each other, there’s also Payat, the creative director her husband works with. He’s a Red Indian, exotic and gorgeous looking. She married Edward because he was the perfect candidate but there was never any real passion between them, and now she’s daydreaming about living in a wigwam as the wife of an Indian Chief. Although I secretly wanted her to give in and fall for the Sheriff it didn’t seem like this was going to happen any time soon…

The situations she gets herself in were quite amusing, her shenanigans had me chuckling often enough and the plot was not predictable at all. If I compare it to the last chicklit I read, I did feel some scenes were sometimes a bit more over the top which had me shaking my head in a how-can-this-be-happening kind a way more than once.

I really had no clue how she would ever end up in the bank and shooting the Sheriff, especially because they did seem to have a certain connection. Will the police find her, will they arrest her and who of the men in her life does she love really? Lots of questions that kept me entertained until the very end. If you’re looking for a light and humorous read, this one will certainly do the trick.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

9 thoughts on “Brake Failure by Alison Brodie

  1. I’m also reviewing this today! I absolutely adored Ruby, she was so funny and everything she got herself into was crazy! I’m glad you enjoyed it also, I thought it was a nice fun change from what I’ve been reading lately too! Lovely review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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