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Fast Track (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Julie Garwood
3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

Copyright © 2014 Julie Garwood


Some deathbed confessions are expected, others surprising, but this one . . . well, this one was a real doozy.

It was Andrew Kane’s third heart attack, and he wasn’t going to come back this time. Too much damage had been done to the anterior wall to hope for a recovery. He knew it, and so did his daughter, Cordie, who sat by his side in the critical care unit and prayed for a miracle.

Her father was hooked to a plethora of machines by a series of tubes and IVs. The constant beep from the heart monitor was a comfort to Cordie because it assured her that, even though his eyes were closed and his breathing was shallow, he was still alive. She wouldn’t leave him, not even for a minute, fearing he would take his last breath alone in the cold, sterile environment while machines sounded his passing with wailing alarms.

Cordie’s life had come to a screeching halt at eleven o’clock Friday night when she got the news. She had just arrived home from a charity event at St. Matthew’s High School for Boys, and she was exhausted. Her day had started at six fifteen in the morning when she left her brownstone to go to work. After teaching three chemistry classes and two biology classes, she graded papers during study period, supervised two lab experiments, broke up a fight, and filled in for a math teacher who was home with stomach flu. Then, once the students had been dismissed for the day, she, along with most of the other underpaid teachers, helped transform the gymnasium into a Monte Carlo atmosphere for the annual charity auction. The remainder of the evening was spent serving soft drinks and smiling at donors until her face felt frozen.

She had been teaching at St. Matthew’s for three years while she finished her PhD. The school was located on the edge of Chicago’s south side, a rough area of the city, to be sure, but thus far she hadn’t had any real trouble. A ten-foot-high wrought-iron fence that had been there since the school was built surrounded the property and the parking area, and she had to drive only two blocks from the highway exit to get to it. There was always a guard at the gate. An anonymous benefactor had made a substantial contribution to the school with the condition that there would be a guard on duty at all times, and ever since the principal had hired the highly recommended security firm, the number of slashed tires and smashed windshields had plummeted.

Although her father wouldn’t admit it, Cordie suspected he was the benefactor. When she started working at the school, he became a staunch supporter. He even took over the auto shop classes when the regular instructor quit in the middle of the semester. The boys could be difficult. Most of them were high risk, but her father didn’t have any problem controlling them. He’d grown up in New Jersey and, even now, after all these years living in Chicago, still had a bit of a Jersey accent and a tough-guy façade. He treated the boys with respect, and they responded in kind. His gruff, no-nonsense attitude and his enthusiasm won them over. The fact that he had built a national chain of auto repair shops from the ground up didn’t hurt. In the eyes of his otherwise cynical students it gave him credibility. While he was teaching the class, attendance was one hundred percent.

She knew it couldn’t have been easy for him raising her alone. It had always been just the two of them. There weren’t any relatives on either side of the family. Her mother had died when Cordie was a baby, so of course she didn’t have any memories of her. Her father told her she looked like her mother, but he never shared any stories about her. Cordie believed it was too painful for him to talk about losing the love of his life.

She wasn’t ready to lose him. He was her dad. He had always been . . . indestructible. Until his first heart attack six months ago, he had never been sick, never missed a day of work. Cordie depended on him for strength when times were difficult, and he was always there for her. Always.

When she had first entered the ICU room, the shock nearly undid her. A priest was standing over him administering the last rites. She barely recognized her father, and she stood there paralyzed with fear. He was a big man, almost six feet, with a muscular frame, but he looked so much smaller in the hospital bed, so weak and vulnerable.

Now, sitting next to him, she was overwhelmed with the need to help him. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and she impatiently wiped them away. It took several minutes for her to gain control of her emotions. If he opened his eyes, she didn’t want him to see her crying.

A senior cardiology resident came in to check on her father and assured her that he was resting comfortably. He couldn’t tell her how long it would be before his heart stopped beating.

“The heart is an amazing organ,” he told her.

“Then he could get better,” she whispered, clinging to the possibility.

Snatching her hope away, he shook his head. “No,” he said. “Dr. Platte explained the severity—”

She interrupted. “Yes, he explained.”

“The damage—”

“I know,” she interrupted again. “He’s dying.”

She couldn’t let herself believe it, though. Oh God, please don’t let him die.

She knew she wasn’t being rational, pleading for the impossible. She was a fully grown woman, yet sitting there watching him she felt like a little girl again. And she was so scared.

She took hold of his hand. She wanted him to know she was there and that he wasn’t alone. Gradually her panic began to ease. The initial shock wore off, and she was calm once again.

As she sat there hour after hour, she thought about her father’s life. He really was a remarkable man. When she was just a toddler, he went back to school to finish his college degree in business. To support them, he worked as a mechanic in a tiny auto shop. By the time she was five years old, he owned that shop and four more. Then he expanded to sixteen shops in neighboring cities. By her tenth birthday, Kane Automotive was nationwide, and her father was a multimillionaire. Last year he’d sold the company, which had grown to more than twelve hundred shops around the country, but he still tinkered in his garage rebuilding old cars just for the love of the work.

There was never a time he wasn’t busy. Yet he was always in the front row for any of her school events. He took her to dance classes and piano lessons and never missed a recital. He was at every parent-teacher night as well. And how many times did he put up with all those sleepovers with her two best friends, Regan and Sophie? Three little girls who giggled over everything must have driven him crazy, but he took it all in stride. The countless trips to the art museum, the zoo, the science exhibits, and the children’s movies she wanted to see again and again—her dad had the patience of a saint. W hen he wasn’t teaching her how to rebuild an engine or change the oil, he was monitoring her schoolwork. Smiling at the memories, she realized how very blessed she was to have such a great father.

Around two in the morning she dozed off. She awakened with a start when he squeezed her hand.


She jumped up and moved closer to the bed. She thought his complexion wasn’t quite as gray, and he seemed surprisingly alert.

“I love you, Dad,” she whispered.

“I love you, too.” He took a breath and said, “This one wasn’t like the other two. It snuck up on me and grabbed me from behind. It felt like my heart was being squeezed by a vice. Dropped me to the ground.”

“Are you in pain now?” Fear made her voice quiver.

“No, no pain at all. I didn’t think I would go like this . . . or so soon. I thought I had more time, but I guess everyone thinks that.” He closed his eyes, took another shaky breath, and called her name again.

“I’m here,” she answered.

“You’re going to be okay. You know I don’t want to leave you all alone, but you’ll be okay.”

She thought he needed her assurance. “I know.”

“The lockbox at the bank. The papers are there. Jared Newton, my attorney, will help you. You remember him.”

“Yes. Please don’t worry about me. You taught me how to take care of myself.”

Several minutes passed in silence. His grip had loosened on her hand. She watched him struggle for each breath, and she could feel the fear catching hold once more.

She thought he had fallen asleep, but suddenly he spoke again. “It’s all in your name. She won’t be able to get her hands on it.”

What? Was he hallucinating? “Who are you talking about?”

He didn’t answer her. “When you fall in love with the right man, I won’t get to walk you down the aisle. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about such things now, Dad.”

“Just don’t make the same mistakes I made. Don’t long for what you can never have. Before you know it, you will have wasted years waiting. And then it’s too late. I should have remarried, but I couldn’t let her go.”

“Do you mean Mother?”

“Yes,” he said, his voice weaker now, his eyes closed. “It’s all there in the box. I waited too long.”

His words came slowly and were whispered between labored breaths. “When you were little I didn’t know how to tell you. And when you grew up it didn’t seem important. There was never the right time.”

She softly stroked his hand. “Tell me now.”

“There was no accident . . . Your mother didn’t die in a car accident.”

Cordie was confused. Why would he lie about that? They never talked about her mother, so why was he focusing on her now? “Then how did she die?”

His last words were faint but unmistakable. “She didn’t.”

Revue de presse

Praise for Julie Garwood

“A trusted brand name in romantic suspense.”—People

“Whoever thinks romantic suspense is dead should read a Julie Garwood book.”—USA Today

“Julie Garwood creates masterpieces every time she writes a book.”—The Kansas City Star

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 869 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : Piatkus (29 juillet 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00LFP6V70
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°56.216 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A OUBLIER 17 août 2014
Par Anne
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
J'ai lu les commentaires Amazon.com avant de changer mon achat : j'ai acheté le livre sur Kindle plutôt qu'en livre. 5 euros, le livre ne les mérite même pas.

J'ai un doute sur le fait que Julie Garwood ait elle-même écrit le livre. Comment un auteur peut changer son style, constant depuis plus d'une dizaine d'année, de façon si radicale ?

Pas d'humour dans le livre, pas de rebondissement de la fin d'un chapitre à l'autre (fin d'un chapitre : "il est merveilleux" - phrase suivante du chapitre suivant : "C'est un cochon malotru" par exemple) pas d'annonce de début de chapitre (Julie a l'habitude dans sa première phrase d'affirmer quelque chose qu'elle va expliquer dans son chapitre)

Les personnages sont creux, il n'y a pas l'optimisme de l’héroïne, pas d'optimisme dans les situations difficiles. Bref, rien de ce qui me plait dans les romans de Julie Garwood.

On retrouve tous les personnages de murder list et c'est une suite, mais n'importe qui aurait pu l'écrire.

J'attendais ce livre comme tous les étés pour un bon moment de détente et de rigolade. Rien du tout. Ce livre ne me laisse aucune impression et pas d'envie de le relire.

Si l'auteur a vraiment autant changé que cela, je n'achèterai plus ses livres. C'est inintéressant au possible.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 "GRIPPING ESCAPISM OF THE TALLEST ORDER" 9 septembre 2014
Format:MP3 CD
Kirkus Reviews has said that Julie Garwood writes “gripping escapism of the tallest order,” which accurately describes Fast Track as read by the always outstanding Tanya Eby. So, suspend disbelief and listen as passion and long hidden secrets take center stage.

Cordelia is an accomplished woman whom we find sitting by the bedside of her dying father. She learns that her mother was not killed in an auto accident when Cordelia was only a child, but is very much alive and well living in Australia. She left Cordelia’s father saying she had been unsatisfied in her life with him and wished to have nothing more to do with him. And, to put it bluntly he can keep Cordelia.

Curious to know the woman who had abandoned her so easily she determines to find her mother. Aiden Madison, a high powered businessman, that Cordelia has always loved insists that she join him on his private jet bound for Sydney, Australia. Of course, she agrees eager to find her mother.

Complicating matters and Cordelia’s life is Aiden who upon arrival in Australia buys her expensive gifts, ball gowns, and becomes an ever present figure in her life. He goes to far as to restrict her actions, obviously an extremely possessive move.

While a very intelligent woman Cordelia may soon find herself in situations she not only cannot control but does not relish. Once again Garwood has created a mysterious story, one that will keep listeners waiting for the next shoe to drop.

- Gail Cooke
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  667 commentaires
86 internautes sur 94 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Fast Track should have been name Off Track.... 31 juillet 2014
Par S.C.W. Toney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I recently had given up Julie Garwood because I felt she lost her magic.....but I enjoyed Murder List, although it definitely wasn't one of her best, but I genuinely enjoyed Cordie and Aiden within that book. Imagine my delight when I receive notification that Ms. Garwood was releasing their story. I pre-ordered the book and anxiously awaited it's arrival with high hopes....but after reading it, disappointment is the only word I can use to describe it.

The story starts out well...there is a flashback to the first time Aiden and Cordie meet....actually this is the only time I feel that we really get a true glimpse of Aiden in the book. The we fast forward to the present where Cordie finds out on her father's deathbed that her mother is actually not dead. I thought to myself, ok I am getting a glimpse of the old Garwood magic.

However, from this point forward the book veered off track. Was this novel supposed to be a romantic suspense? Or Chick Lit? I'm not really sure since there was very little romance and it was definitely not suspenseful. It wasn't true chick lit. Perhaps Ms. Garwood was aiming for the strong stoic alpha male? If so, I get it. Actually that's what I want when I read a romance, a strong alpha male....I absolutely love the Jacks in both Jill Shalvis' and Lisa Kleypas' novels. And Aiden is described as a very rich alpha man. However, Aiden never fit the bill....actually the appropriate adjective to describe the Aiden in this book is ghost-like....he flickered in and out of this book and left no lasting impression. He was constantly on the phone or the computer. The only time he appeared was during the love scenes and but then he faded away again as soon as it was over. He didn't really pay much attention to Cordie or anything except building hotels. Alec and Liam, who are supposed to be secondary characters practically leapt off the pages in the novel. As for Cordie, there was some depth to her character, but by the end of the book I feel like she had resigned herself to the same fate as her dad.....

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed by the recent quality of Ms. Garwood's books. After Slowburn, I stopped pre-ordering her novels. I now only occasionally borrow her ebooks from my local library. I feel like purchasing them is a rip off. I'm not sure if they are being edited to meet the low standards that many publishers are currently using or if her writing has truly stalled. All I can say, I miss the Julie Garwood who wrote my favorite historical romances like The Wedding, The Secret, The Bride, Saving Grace, The Prize and Ransom. So my question is...will the real Julie Garwood please stand up? Or at least step into the light?
86 internautes sur 97 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Where's the love, heroes, humor and fun of the past novels? 31 juillet 2014
Par Tree Delight - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I'm sure writing is a hard job. No doubt. Every author struggles with ups and downs. I can forgive bad writing, but this one isn't bad. It's just plain lazy. That I cannot forgive. I am huge Julie Garwood fan. I loved her books because she added humor, characters and charm. Sorry, you won't find those typical Garwood qualities in this book. Boring characters without any development. You will not find Jade, Cain or any of the past Julie Garwood characters here. You will find a lackluster romance with no real understanding of why these two even like each other. Much of the action takes place off "screen" with others really doing the detective, fun solving the mystery work.

It would have been so much better if Cordelia and Aiden stayed in Australia and got to know the families involved. Instead, we have Cordelia stuck in a hotel room and waiting for Aiden to get off the phone. I miss the heroes and heroines and humor in Julie Garwood's books. I hope we can read about those type of characters soon.
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing, bland suspense story from a (usually) good novelist. 30 juillet 2014
Par MJ - Publié sur Amazon.com
I usually love Julie Garwood, but this one was really disappointing. The male lead is not well drawn...he's stiff, bland, two-dimensional and typically overprotective. He's a very stereotypical presentation of a businessman who works all the time, so I kept waiting to see something occur that would show us a more complete portrait/another side to him, but it never happened. The female lead, Cordie, is better, but after confronting her mother for leaving her, she doesn't really have much to do other than sell her house and hide in a hotel suite after she gets hit by a car. It is established that she was being followed, but there is no suspense or surprise when something bad happens. The patriarch (her grandfather) is the 'big bad' character - but we never really connect with him or get to know him. Seems like Garwood could develop tension between his desire to protect his family from scandal and the fact that this is his granddaughter - but it's never explored. The main plot feels phoned-in. The subplot about the congressman is predictable, stereotypical (politicians lie), and seems like it was tacked on as an afterthought, with no real connection to the rest of the story. The dialog was incredibly repetitive...basically the same disagreement between the leads about her risk taking and his efforts to be controlling.

Garwood novels can be sparkling, irreverent, entertaining and fun at their best. This is not one of them.
68 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointed 30 juillet 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I'll keep this short and sweet. I've waited ten years for this book and I'm so disappointed. There was no fun, humor or romance. Just an overbearing cold Aidan and sex. and surprise surprise, someone's trying to kill her and she needs protection so let's lock her up in the hotel room for half the book... Sounds familiar. I feel like Julie Garwoods books become increasingly cookie cutter with each one she writes. I think this will be the last book I will be purchasing of hers. I was just hoping for more, like how she used to write.
42 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 First Draft? 30 juillet 2014
Par BePren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
While this book seemed fine- it lacked the usual depth and sparkle I expect from a Garwood novel. It seemed rushed in parts, and the characters were not fleshed out enough. I have enjoyed Julie Garwood's novels for years- and have re-read some so many times I could recite them verbatim, but have been disappointed by her most recent books, especially this one. It kills me to give a less than stellar review- sorry!
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