Book Review: Drive to Thrive by C.D. Rachels

Drive to Thrive

Author: C.D. Rachels
Series: Formula Q, book 1
Publisher: Independent (January 16, 2023)
Kindle edition, 217 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary M/M Romance, Sports Romance


Formula Q is the fastest motorsport in the world. Only the highest-performing athletes can make it to the grid. They drive fast, work hard, and play hard, but off-camera, anything goes.

The public knows me as Damon ‘the Speed Demon’ Davidoff, eligible bachelor and winner of FQ titles around the world. Fans adore me and my team supports me. They don’t need to know I’m so deep in the closet I intend to bury myself there.

Then my poor health catches up to me and my world comes crashing down. I could bounce back easily if it weren’t for one little complication: my male nurse is attractive as hell.

I can suppress these feelings during the season break—I have to. I’m not going to expose my secret just because I feel a fire coursing through my veins when Rocky puts his hands on me.

As the weeks go by, I somehow let Rocky under my skin and into my heart. He’s smart, sweet, and everything I never knew I needed.

I thought I wanted a clean bill of health and to keep winning my races. Now, for the first time in my life, I want so much more. I want him, and damn if that isn’t the scariest thing I’ve ever felt.

Drive to Thrive is a male/male motorsports romance novel. It involves Christmas karaoke, New Year’s Eve parties, Las Vegas swimming pool dates, and yes, lots of racing action worldwide. It is book one of a series, has a HEA, and can be read as a standalone.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love when romances have disability and chronic illness rep, so I was thrilled to see Damon has a life-long chronic illness, and while part of the book is about him dealing with his health, it’s not the main focus. I really appreciate that once his health is back on track, he’s not magically HEALED or anything – he still deals daily with his chronic illness, but it’s managed and he’s able to live a normal life. Well, as normal as a superstar Formula Q racer’s life can be, haha!

Damon lives his life in the public eye, and being a superstar in a very “masculine” sport like racing he’s afraid to come out as gay because of the repercussions it might have on his career. He already feels like he’s on shaky ground because of what is essentially a flare-up of his chronic illness and now folks are questioning if he’s healthy enough to keep racing – he doesn’t want to get his management another potential reason to get rid of him.

Enter Rocky, the sweet (and super hot) nurse who gives Damon his thrice weekly IV nutrition treatments. Rocky and Damon are so sweet together, and my heart just hurt so much for them, especially Rocky. They want so badly to be together, but Damon is terrified to come out of the closet and Rocky is hurt by him staying in – and of course neither of them wants to hurt the other, but they also need to protect themselves. It’s an impossible situation, and my heart ached every moment until the resolution.

This is the first book in the Formula Q series, and I can’t wait to read more! This can be read as a standalone. I have my suspicions about which of Damon’s fellow drivers might be a lead in future books, and I’m so excited to see how their love stories play out on the page.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.