Total Control

Total Control

4.3 16
by Pamela Britton
     
 

Indi Wilcox has a bad track record with race-car drivers-- and the skid marks on her heart to prove it. So when she's forced to team up with Todd Peters, NASCAR's number one bad boy, to grant the wish of a terminally ill child, she vows to keep things professional.

Todd isn't sure what he thinks about the new Miracles caseworker. Except that she's gorgeous

Overview

Indi Wilcox has a bad track record with race-car drivers-- and the skid marks on her heart to prove it. So when she's forced to team up with Todd Peters, NASCAR's number one bad boy, to grant the wish of a terminally ill child, she vows to keep things professional.

Todd isn't sure what he thinks about the new Miracles caseworker. Except that she's gorgeous-- and steaming mad. Not that he blames her. He accidentally let down one of her kids. Determined to prove to Indi that he's not just another spoiled NASCAR star, Todd sets out to make things right. With every combustible moment they share, deeper feelings take over. Giving up total control might be the scariest-- or the best-- risk they ever take.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373772421
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
09/01/2007
Series:
NASCAR Library Collection
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
4.21(w) x 6.62(h) x 1.01(d)

Read an Excerpt

"You are the biggest jerk that ever walked the earth."

Todd Peters froze, sunlight refracting off the water and momentarily blinding him.

"It's all I can do right now not to push you off the pier."

He squinted and turned, but it was hard to see with his eyes momentarily blinded by the sun. A woman. That much was clear. Blond haired. Skinny. And really, really angry.

"With any luck you'd land in a pool of piranhas. Hopefully a whole school of them. Maybe they'd eat your pestilent flesh, nibble out your eyes, then snack on your pea-sized brain for dessert."

Todd pushed himself up. "Can I help you?" he asked.

Out behind him a Jet Ski roared by. The whawha-wha of the engine popping in and out of the water made Todd long for the smooth surface of Lake Norman, too. "Yeah, you could help me. You could help me by showing up when you're supposed to. By not blowing off my clients. By being kind and thoughtful and considerate instead of selfish and pigheaded and a self-centered ass."

Okay. That was harsh. "Do I know you?" he asked.

"No, you don't know me, but I know of you," she said. "And what I know, I don't particularly like."

She'd started to come into focus. The hair went from mouse-blond to platinum with reds and browns mixed in, the strands loose and well past her shoulders. The oval face suddenly had the cheekbones of a ferocious feline. The brown eyes weren't just brown, they were a brilliant, nearly green-hazel—and they were furious.

"How'd you get down here?" he asked, glancing back toward his house and at the French doors at the rear of his multileveled home. They were closed. He leaned forward, hoping to see past the lush foliage that surrounded hisbackyard. The side gate appeared closed. And locked.

"I climbed over the fence," she admitted.

"You climbed over?" he asked, wondering if he needed to call the police.

"I wanted to see you. And since neither you nor your assistant, Jennifer Scott, seem willing to call me back, a padlock gate wasn't going to stand in my way."

Jennifer. She knew his PR rep. Maybe not a crazy woman after all. "I see," he said. "What'd you need to see me about?" he asked.

"I work for Miracles," she pronounced, an expectant expression coming to her face at the mention of the charity group.

"Who?"

"Miracles," she said again. "You know. Formerly known as the Wishing Tree Foundation."

Okay. That rang a bell. "I see. And what does Miracles want with me?" he asked, although he already knew. It wouldn't be the first time the wish-fulfilling organization had asked him to grant a wish, although this was the first time one of their volunteers had ever accosted him in his home.

"You mean you can't guess?"

"Why don't you just fill me in instead." She looked incredulous. Behind him, water splashed against the front of his boat. He braced himself for the inevitable rocking of the dock beneath his feet.

"You're unreal, you know that?" she said. "You show absolutely no remorse."

"Remorse? For what?" he asked. "Blowing off two meetings."

"I did?"

"Are you denying it?"

"I don't manage my schedule," he said, going back to his task of untying his boat. "So if I did blow you off, chances are I didn't know it was you."

"How can that be?" she asked, following him from cleat to cleat.

"I'm told where to go, and if I can't make a meeting, I tell my reps to cancel it." He untied another line. The Scarab was thirty-five feet long, sleek and heavy. It'd been a gift from one of his sponsors, its red, yellow and orange paint scheme seemingly luminescent. The minute he untied a line, the fiberglass hull started to drift away. He moved quickly to the next cleat.

"You blew off two meetings with us. One last month and one this month."

"That's unusual," he said. "I don't usually cancel meetings with charity organizations," he added.

That wasn't exactly true. Over the past few months he'd canceled a lot of meetings—thanks to his relentless pursuit of Kristen, a woman who he'd hoped to have a future with, but who'd ditched him in favor of another man.

"Yes, but what makes your behavior all the more deplorable about canceling this meeting is that these weren't with us. They were with one of our clients—a terminally ill child named Benjamin Koch, who, for some misguided and totally incomprehensible reason, wants to meet you—his favorite race car driver—before he gets sicker than he already is, only you…" Red blotches of color stood out on her cheeks, the splash of crimson spreading all the way to her neck. "You stood him up."

He straightened, nylon rope forgotten. "I did?"

"You did, and to be perfectly honest, I was hoping that after the second time he'd start rooting for, you know, Adam Drake. Alas, he's still enamored of you—goodness knows why—and so this time I'm leaving nothing to chance. I want to set up another time for you to meet Benjamin, only this time I need to warn you that if you stand him up again, I'll hire a hit man, have you boiled in tar, hung out on a rack, tortured and then dragged behind one of those race cars you drive, preferably one piloted by one of your arch enemies."

HE DIDN'T SEEM AMUSED. Or threatened. He didn't look anything, Indi thought.

"Wow," he drawled, his accent making him sound like a Southern gentleman. But she knew for a fact he was no gentleman. "That's harsh."

"That's only the first part."

She thought he might have smiled, saw the very edges of his lips tip up, but then he frowned. "Like I said, sometimes I cancel meetings without even knowing who they're with."

"Well, maybe you should take the time to unearth that little tidbit of information."

"Maybe I should," he said, going back to work.

"Will you meet with him then?"

"Of course," he said, peering up when he knelt down by another line.

"When?"

"I'm not certain." He tossed the rope into the boat. "Like I said before, I don't handle my own schedule."

"Well, if you don't mind, I'd like to call whoever does manage your schedule and arrange for a meeting now."

"Sure," he said. "But is it going to make a difference if we do it right this minute? Or in a couple hours?"

"Well…I—"

"Cause if you don't mind, I'd like to enjoy what's left of the day."

Spoiled race car driver. They were all alike. "It'll only take you two minutes to do it."

"Actually, it might take longer than that, depending on if I can get a hold of Jen or not."

"Please try."

He patted his pockets. "Don't have my cell phone."

"Use mine," she said.

He glanced from the boat to the lake to the boat happy to have to deal with this now. But to give him credit, he held out his hand.

"I'll be right back," she said. "I have to go get it." He stiffened. "What?"

"The battery was low. The phone's charging in my rental car."

"Fine," he said, dismissing her with a wave of his fingers. "And go though my house," he called out after her. "That's all I need for you to do—break your neck on my fence."

Blah-blah-blah-blah, she silently mimicked. He could just sit there. It was the least the jerk could do. Whenever she thought of the way poor Benjamin's face crumpled the second time Mr. Fancy Pants Race Car Driver had stood him up, well, it infuriated her all the more. She'd take her time, and Todd Peters would learn to like it, she thought, inhaling the sweet scent of lilies someone had planted along a winding pathway. The air was heavy with the exhalation of foliage: ferns, ivy and some kind of tree with thick, glossy leaves. "Whoa," she said, the minute she pulled open a French door that, like about a half a dozen others, lined the rear of the house.

The inside was huge. But of course she'd known it would be the moment she'd pulled up in front of the split-level mansion. She was in some sort of game room. There was a pool table, plasma TV and a pinball machine in the corner that she'd passed as she walked across a hardwood floor and toward the front of the house only to discover there was no exit, just stairs. She climbed those next. At the top she found a mammoth-size kitchen—complete with its own hearth—and one very large family room off the side of it. Windows stretched up ten feet high, allowing her a view of the dock. The egomaniac stood there, glanced at his watch, then at his boat that was still tethered by a single line to his private dock.

You can just wait, she thought again.

She didn't deliberately take her time. All right. Maybe she did. But it was hard not to gawk at the main foyer that rose up three stories tall. Singlepaned windows allowed light to filter onto the offwhite marble floor. There was a fixture hanging from the middle of the ceiling some thirty feet above her head, one with bulbs that were made of blown glass and that were elongated and twisted in such a way that the fixture resembled a giant sun. She would bet with the lights on that's exactly what it was supposed to look like. Unbelievable.

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Pamela Britton blames her zany sense of humor on the amount of Fruity Pebbles she consumes. Not wanting to actually have to work for a living, Pamela has enjoyed a variety of odd careers such as modeling, working for race teams— including NASCAR's Winston Cup— and drawing horses for a living.

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Total Control 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Jutzie More than 1 year ago
Total Control by Pamela Britton NASCAR Series Book 5 Indi Wilcox is ticked off with a capital T. Another egotistical sports figure has blown off meeting with a young fan who may have very little time left. Young Benjamin is dying and his wish was to meet the man he considers a hero, a NASCAR driver. She’s not going to put up with it and takes it onto herself to do something about it. Todd Peters has made life about himself and winning, he’s not always a team player either. He has been pegged with the reputation of being the ‘bad boy.’ When the pretty woman comes and tells him what he’s done to the young boy, he sets out to fix it. Todd also loves a good challenge, but could Indi be even too big a challenge for him? The reader is introduced to Todd in passing in the first books, in book four we get to know him somewhat better after Mathew Knight buys the team he races on. This fifth book is different, it has some very real life issues in it as Indi works with very ill children. Another excellent story in this seven book series. **Mild language
brittanywjohnson More than 1 year ago
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Precious_ReaderGirl More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I had read by Pamela Britton, so I can't attest to the quality of her other books, or compare them with this one. While I was reading the first half of this book, I found it to be really good. However, the second half was basically just the two main characters going back and forth on why Indi was closed off and why they couldn't be together, even though they loved each other. It was just fight after hurtful fight, and then Linda trying to convince Indi to call Todd. It got old, fast. The ending sort of made up for it, but I feel as if you could have cut out half of this book and had a much more satisfying read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Not as great as all the rest of Pamela's books. But it is still pretty good.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very well written novel that keeps you going from cover to cover. I read this book in one day and wanted more.
harstan More than 1 year ago
When NASCAR renowned bad boy Todd Peters fails to meet his commitment that he made with Miracles, formerly known as the Wishing Tree Foundation Indi Wilcox is outraged. She and the other workers at Miracles try to grant the wish of seriously ill children so to have some hot shot disappoint Benjamin Koch is contemptible. Angry, Indi plans to confront the mean spirited Todd to fulfill his promise.----------------- Todd surprises Indi by doing just that and much more as he continues to visit the child. He also tries to persuade Indi to go out with him, but she went around the track with one of his peers so she refuses to date a driver. He pressures her TO THE LIMIT to take a chance on riding with him through the DANGEROUS CURVES of a relationship.---------------------- - Pamela Britton's latest NASCAR romance (see ON THE EDGE) is an exciting tale that combines a strong racing drama with the powerful vast emotions of a person watching the suffering of a loved one from cancer. The story line moves around the track smoothly, but also poignantly with Indi¿s efforts to grant a wish for the ailing little Ben. Fans will lose control with this superb affecting contemporary.----------------- Harriet Klausner