Drive Me Crazy by Portia Macintosh

Title - Drive Me Crazy
Author - Portia Macintosh
Publication Date - June 24th 2015
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime...

In reality it was business trip, prettied up as a romantic mini break, but the man behind the wheel was meant to be Candice Hart's boss and (married but separated, I swear!) lover. Not Danny the new guy!

Not only is Candice faced with a new driver, but the office's far too handsome hipster expects her to share the cramped space inside his "fully" restored VW Beetle, aka The Love Bug, and put up with his constant opinions about her life...

Before long she is tired of playing the 'good girl' and, with Danny's help, is determined to finally show the world the real Candice Hart!

There's one thought that is currently bouncing about in my mind, and has been doing so since I finished reading Drive Me Crazy. and that is that Portia Macintosh's book just keep getting better. I've adored all of Portia's previous novels that I've had the pleasure of reading - Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place, Bad Bridesmaid - and so I just couldn't wait to get my hands on her latest Drive Me Crazy. I completely adore the cover for this book, it's so fresh and vivid, and with that skyline in the distance, it just threw up a ton of possibilities for Portia's brand new characters who, by the way, I LOVED!

What I adore about Portia's characters in her novels, specifically the heroine's, is that they are always sassy, smart and perhaps not at the beginning, but by the end of the book, stronger than they've ever been before. Portia introduces the reader to Candice Hart, and as soon as the novel opens and the story begins to unravel, it becomes immediately clear to the reader that Candice is in a rather uncomfortable position, physically and emotionally. Physically in the sense of being sprawled across Will, her boss's desk, and emotionally in the sense of being the 'other woman', which it becomes evident she is not happy about. Who can blame her? After an impromptu caller knocks at Will's office, Candice is shoved beneath the desk to be hidden from sight and this is how their relationship has been working for a long time now. Candice's internal thoughts, not forgetting her dialogue, emphasised to me just how sick of this fooling around she was becoming. It was obvious that what poor Candice wanted, more than anything, was to be able to walk with her head held high, with Will beside her, finally showing the world that they are an actual proper couple, rather than the dirty sneaking about that is truly beginning to grind her gears. I warmed to Candice's character immediately. I've never been in such a position myself but with Portia's brilliant prose, I was able to easily place myself with Candice's shoes and I couldn't blame her for wanting more. I mean, who on earth would want to be shoved ungracefully beneath a desk? It's hardly going to make you feel like a lady, is it? So, I was completely behind Candice's decisions from the beginning. I pretty much cared about her from the get-go. As I read about her thoughts, emotions and her ideas for the future, a shared future with Will, I just wanted to cuddle her up and perhaps steer her in another direction, a happier, more promising one. Will was dirty dog, and when a titbit of information is revealed to Candice in regards to Will and his wife? I absolutely hit the roof on Candice's behalf. I mean REALLY, WILL?! REAAAALLY?! YOU'RE GOING TO DO THAT RIGHT NOW?!?! Argh, rage! Portia was such a gorgeous woman, inside and out, with a heart of gold, despite having such a tragic past. She was so besotted with Will, and the author achieved such a fantastic hook between Candice and Will, describing to me perfectly how Candice felt towards him. Will had such a hold over her and I was desperate for Candice to break free, but in two minds about whether she'd have the strength to actually do so. Will was very controlling in terms of Candice's life, especially in regards to her watching figure and being careful about what she ate. I hate to see it but the girl had it bad, and I hated Will for having her wrapped around his little fingers so tightly. 

There were so many wonderful, engaging characters within Drive Me Crazy, all funny and charming in their own ways, but what I loved most about this novel was the adventure of self-discovery that Candice ends up going on. It was incredibly heart-warming, and the transition of Candice's character from beginning to end was beautifully achieved. With the help of annoying (yet bloody gorgeous) IT geek Danny, Candice sets out on what was supposed to be a romantic getaway, organised by Will, until he is needed by his wife, meaning he can no longer join her on the trip. I was absolutely THRILLED when I realised that it would in fact be Geordie guy Danny who'd be accompanying Candice on the trip, and with the slightly bad vibes between them, I just knew it was going to be the trip of a lifetime that could perhaps show Candice that she could enjoy life without a dirty dog beside her, and perhaps a handsome, geeky, Geordie guy instead. From drunken tattoos to honeymoon suites, a relationship between Candice and Danny begins to slowly build, but friends or something more? Who knows. Maybe Candice will never be able to get over Will, but she sure as hell is going to enjoy herself on this trip, Danny will make sure of it.

Ultimately, Drive Me Crazy is about letting go of the things that hold you back from being the person you truly are, about screaming out "YOLO!" and enjoying every single second of the life you are given. This story was inspirational in more ways than one, making me want to set off on my own journey and see where I'd end up. It's about taking chances, believing in yourself and even, if needs be, throwing out a few expletives. Life was made for living, and Drive Me Crazy beautifully enforces that upon the reader, as well as taking us on a trip with two hilarious characters who don't realise quite how much they each need the other.

Becca's Books is awarding Drive Me Crazy by the fabulous Portia Macintosh with FIVE SCRUMPTIOUS CUPCAKES! Like I said at the beginning of my review, this author's books are just getting better and better, more enjoyable as each one is published and I cannot wait to see what Portia Macintosh gives her readers next. Hopefully more sassy heroines, and definitely more gorgeously geeky heroes!

*Special thanks to Portia Macintosh and Carina UK for providing me with a digital copy of Drive Me Crazy in exchange for a fair and honest review*

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