Category Romance Review: Driving Force by Sally Wentworth

Driving Force, Sally Wentworth, Harlequin, 1988, Cover Artist TBD

Harlequin Presents #1197


3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Driving Force, a Sally Wentworth Harlequin Presents, offers few surprises but is a satisfactory read regardless.


West Marriot– our hero, not a 3-star hotel but a famous race car driver–was terribly injured in a race several months ago. Madeleine French, a nurse and physiotherapist, had been married to West for four years. Maddy couldn’t withstand the anxiety of being married to a man with such a dangerous career, so she gave him an ultimatum, married life or fast cars. When he refused to quit, she left him. Several months later, West was in an accident that immobilized him.

Maddy receives a call from West’s mother, requesting to catch up. In fact, Laura, West’s mother, declares to Laura West isn’t recovering at all and may never walk again. She begs Maddy to come to help her ex-husband, and although Maddy initially refuses, in time, she realizes she still loves her ex and can’t abandon him. Maddy knows it won’t be easy for West to accept her, as their divorce was acrimonious, with West, a man a proud man, begging Maddy to stay.


A power play over wills begins. West is furious that Maddy thinks she can come back into his life when she abandoned him before. Maddie is determined to see him as the man he once was–even if the man he once was broke her heart by choosing a life of danger over being a stable partner, whom she didn’t have to fret over constantly.

As is typical in so many of these Harleys, to add some more drama to the mix is another woman on the prowl, waiting for West to make his comeback and hinting at all sorts of nasty things to the heroine. There’s another man who’s very interested in Maddy, and Maddy does little to dissuade him of his interest. But these are just sides characters to the main plot.

Have Maddy and West learned enough over the past year of trauma to make it possible for the two to make it another go of their marriage?

Final Analysis of Driving Force

In another author’s hand, this book would be a tepid so-so read. But with Sally Wentworth’s standard angsty writing, a passionate hero who can admit when he’s wrong, and a defiant heroine who will compromise but won’t be run-over, this makes for an emotionally satisfying romance.

It’s obvious a man like West won’t be content with just walking again. He’s determined not just to enter but to win another race.

In the end, there’s a gentle resolution between the two. West gets his last hurrah, and Maddy gets her happily ever after with the man she loves.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

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