Wheels of Steel, Book 1 by Pepper Pace
I really enjoyed this book.
Robin is a shy twenty one year old who is getting over the death of her father and readjusting to the new dynamic of her relationship with her mother after the loss of the buffer that kept their squabbles at bay. Having made the choice to move out and live on her own because she refused to go to college, she struggles to make ends meet. A tip from a work colleague sends her down the path of becoming a home care assistant (HCA). Her first client is an old woman who she eventually befriends. Her second client is Jason. Who on the surface is a surly student who has cerebral palsy (CP). Their friendship blooms.
The only thing that I disliked about the book was that there were a few spelling mistakes. I got the feeling that there may have been something wrong with Ms Pace's keyboard as every time she meant "than" we got "then". Also, now that I think of it, I did find the dialogue a bit hard to follow as I wasn't always sure who was speaking as there would be something said but the proceeding action was something of the person being talked to which made it not too clear and required a quick reread.
Now, what I liked about the book. Robin's characterisation was fantastic. A shy nervous girl who disliked crowds and being shouted at. I could really relate and the author conveyed this condition with great understanding. I also loved that although Robin was shy and nervous she had a strong side making her very dynamic. As the book proceeds we see her gaining more and more confidence and growing into herself.
Jason is grumpy when we first encounter him but soon it is explained were this stems from and he becomes a very sympathetic character. The relationship between him and Robin develops in a very natural way, refreshingly realistic and devoid of M&B cliché moves and dialogue. The situation of Robin being a HCA to Jason is handled very well. The author not shying away of dealing with every detail. It was interesting to see how Robin, whose duties involved doing some pretty intimate tasks for Jason, then has to see him in a romantic light.
I also loved the smooth changing of point of view between Robin and Jason. It felt good as a reader to be able to get into both of their heads.
My one big tip would be, have book 2 at the ready as you will want to reach for it as soon as book 1 ends, trust me. I am really looking forward to reading the next two books in this series.
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