Throttled By Lauren Asher

So I decided this year that I would read more hard copy books. Not that there is anything wrong with Audible or Audiobooks. It is just that since I started working from home, the routine that I built around listening to books has changed. I, like some others, got some recommendations from Tiktok. Thank God I found Booktok. Anyway, since I have started the Dreamland Billionaire series, I decided to see what else Lauren Asher has written while waiting on Final Offer. Throttled was the first one to come up. So let’s get into it.

Throttled is the debut novel written by Lauren Asher and also the first book in the Dirty Air Series. I am not sure but I swore Dirty Air meant something else. The series has four books, each focusing on a different couple. They’re all interconnected standalone sports romances and can be read in any order, but I would recommend reading them in the following order. Throttled is a sports romance that focuses on F1 racing. Not something I normally look for but I was willing to learn about it. The book centers around Noah and Maya. Maya has graduated from college and she is invited by her brother to tag along for this season of races. Sounds like a good idea and the family is one board as if Maya is not allowed to look out for herself or experience herself. (Insert eyeroll.)

Noah is a formula 1 driver and Maya’s brother, Santiago gets signed to the same team… Bandini. Now I know nothing about racing much less the different types, so this was a learning experience for me. Noah Slade is a F1 racer with cynical view about love and relationships. In no small part to his crappy parents. Here is another series with crappy parents at the forefront. Noah is the son of an F1 legend who never lets him forget it, and is paving his own legacy in the sport, winning championship after championship. Noah has the pick of the bunnies. His reputation precedes him. Does he care? Why would he? The only relationship he has seen is that of his parents… and to say that they leave much to be desired is an understatement. (His mother only calls him when she wants to impress her friends. Asking for box seats to his races. His father shows up to throw his weight around holding onto his old racing days instead of being there for his son.)

Noah and Santiago have a rough start. Santiago puts his foot in his mouth with the press and crashes into Noah at the beginning of the race season. It doesn’t make for a great relationship for two teammates. Add to that the sexual tension that Noah has with Santiago’s sister… and it is a recipe for disaster. Noah doesn’t start off all that likeable. Particularly, through the eyes of Maya who doesn’t hesitate to let him know.

Maya Alatorre has just graduated from college and is starting her journey in life. Just like the rest of us at this time… she is now able to figure out what she likes. Very early on… I had an issue with her and her brother’s relationship. He decided to announce his deal with Bandini at her graduation. She couldn’t have one thing that was about her. Super annoying. Her family was loving in that annoying way where they don’t ever see you as an adult. It makes it hard to take her seriously as a main character and love interest. Santiago decides to take Maya along for the F1 racing season… and Maya plans to make the most out of it. With no job lined up, she starts vlogging her F1 experience, detailing race after race and each new city she explores. With Noah’s help, her vlog grows at an alarming rate. And while Maya has an attraction for Noah… her brother gives her the rules really quickly. Not to sleep with any of the drivers. (On the one hand, you could say that this is for her own good because if she is looking for the long term then these men are not on the same page as her and this is his job so please do not have an affair that makes us all look bad here.) I get it but it still kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed like more like a warning because Santiago is uncomfortable with his sister having sex and adult experiences. Sounds like a him problem.

Maya’s family seems like they love both of their children but they add on to the idea that Maya isn’t old enough or prepared enough to make her own decisions. Super annoying. But of course she takes heed of Santiago’s warning and steers clear of any romance. Easy with everyone except Noah. There is an instant attraction but Maya has heard all of the stories of Noah and his conquests. From Noah’s point of view, we see that he and his girls have a good time and then he sends them kicking and screaming away. It is not a secret what he does with these women but for some reason they all sign up for it. Maya tries her best to steer clear of Noah but the attraction is too hot.

She meets a new friend in Sophie and together they try to draw a line between them and the guys. Noah is no fool and knows that she is avoiding him but why would he be willing to be ignored? Sophie takes it upon herself to pay off her betting date with a double date. And when Noah gets a glimpse of Maya her red dress… he is ready to find out what she is doing…. She could have just told him she was on a date. Why did she lie…? It doesn’t lend to the idea that she is mature enough for this thing with Noah.

What is with these men in Asher’s book that want a casual relationship but really have no idea what that means. Noah sets out to impress Maya and does too much. I have seen Noah described as a 30 frat boy with the emotional intelligence of a 13 year old. And it is so true. He says basically that he wants to sleep with her until the end of the racing season and then send her on her way… Nothing more romantic than a man that can’t meet your standards trying to lower the bar to get you into bed. Nothing screams romantic like it. It doesn’t work out for Noah because Maya turns down his glowing offer. I get the feeling that he doesn’t get turned down that often because he really doesn’t take it well. He gets pissy drunk and sleeps with a woman the same night of the date. Way to win her over. Now he is not obligated to Maya but if he was trying to change her mind… That definitely wasn’t the way to do it.

I don’t that thinkthe love story held up for me. It was like an instalove story when they finally get together and they weren’t together long enough for me to consider them to be in love. And I am not sure that I believe the complete 180 he does in the span of the racing season to being against anything relationship/settling down wise then all of a sudden he is interested in changing himself… and getting to the bottom of his issues with his parents for her. I realize that I am in the minority when I say this but young adults getting involved with people who are in different stages of their lives always seems one sided to me. Like is Maya not allowed to explore and try things in life because the 30 year old in her life is now ready to settle down. Now he is interested in getting married and get married so she should rush to do that? Also it can leave one thinking that being older than 23/24 leaves you out of the running for a man that may care about you.

In the end… I would give it a 2.75 out of 5. It was a nice story but I am not sure I want to know about the other characters… Sophie and Liam did not catch my attention. I do want to know where Santi has been disappearing to… and with whom. I do hate leaving things incomplete… So I may dive into another in the series later on in the year.


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