Crash and Burn | Matt’s Smut Vault: Racing Edition

***READER DISCRETION ADVISED: Please note that today’s book review deals with themes of drug abuse, self harm, and sexual consent.***

The racing Smut Vault is back for another story, and we’re switching gears to a more traditional NASCAR style setting. Today’s novel has a MUCH darker tone than you might be used to in romance writings, but if you have a desire to explore the macabre side of erotic literature, I promise I’ll get you home in one piece. Let’s take a deep breath, remember this is a work of fiction, and now it’s time get right to it!

Crash and Burn by Andrea Bellmont tells the story of Jessica Marin. She’s 35 years young, a former Miss NASCAR, and one of the most notorious pit lizards in American stock car racing history. This book doesn’t use that term however, and chooses to go with “Pit Stop Slut” instead. In fact, there’s a lot of not quite right NASCAR terminology from cover to cover on this, and the story is NASCAR adjacent at best. Overall, these inconsistencies are a good thing for the sport though as the male characters in this book can give off a very unwelcome image. Jessica was the established girlfriend of top stock car racer Mac Evers, until Mac shows her the door in the most humiliating of ways. And no, I don’t mean humiliating as in Mac telling Jessica to hit the bricks because she’s getting too old for him (despite that being what’s first communicated), but something much darker indeed. Mac coaxes Jessica into a humiliating and degrading gangbang featuring other fictionalized NASCAR drivers, a scene that purposefully leaves the reader questioning motive and consent. Soon after this humiliation Jessica stumbles outside a local club’s parking lot, and overdoses on booze and pills.

I should remind you at this point that this is merely the background introduction to the actual story, but the first two chapters of this tight novel set a powerful, uncomfortable tone. By happenstance, Jessica is found and taken to the hospital for emergency treatment by Dr. Peter Martinez. Peter, who also happens to be a part-time NASCAR driver somehow, does in fact rescue Jessica from this deadly scenario and a day later while still in the hospital the two begin to develop…something.

The novel is marketed as a “Savior Romance” and if you take a 50,000 foot view of it all, you can make a case for it. Yes, the doctor/racer wants to save Jessica and be the man she “needs,” but he’s not covering himself in glory either. As Jessica’s physician in the mere hours following what could easily be described as a drug fueled gang rape, what troubles Peter the most is how pretty she is, and how under more fortunate circumstances she must be romantically.

Sound medical advice from Dr Peter

Jessie and Dr. Peter of course start a sexually charged relationship, and while it’s probably better that Jessica isn’t as reckless, Peter’s own recklessness comes center stage to the reader. Jessica is unapologetic in her raw sexual energy, and had I been able to trust the good doctor’s intentions at first there’d have been a good payoff. Instead of giving herself once again to the intriguing nihilism of the fast, sexy and unapologetically moral-free lifestyle…she gets to give herself to an ethically questionable medical professional who won her trust while fantasizing how good her pussy must taste the morning after a suicide-inducing mentally sadistic humiliating gang fuck with famous NASCAR drivers!!! JESUS!

I’ll try to steer clear of that one (rather) significant complaint and move forward, as the compact story covers a lot of ground. It’s almost laughable to think about how an ER doctor could also be a NASCAR level racer, but Peter pulls it off and even has corporate backing and some high octane ex-girlfriends. As if it wasn’t clear before, Peter is pretty well a broken character sexually, and as the story pushes on the author paints the pair a little better when we can see all of their faults put on paper. As the reader is the “third person in the room” it’s a little harder sell to think these two are actually good for each other, but their relationship is pressing on with a speed to match the racing. The sex scenes, be they uncomfortable, purposefully tone deaf, or even genuinely romantic are all detailed well with the appropriate length to match the circumstances. This is who they are, all of them, and they won’t be changing for anyone. There’s is a racing romance from a gritty noire era where death is around the corner at every lap, and nothing is for the faint of heart.

Verdict: Crash and Burn by Andrea Bellmont is a dark inspired “second chance” romance that attempts to put two broken puzzle pieces together splashed across the backdrop of a NASCAR-esque setting. The racing terminology used within is woefully short on accuracy, but the heart is there and it’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed in a new draft with an advisor or two. There really are people like each of these characters in the greater racing world, so I’m willing to forgive the notion that the main antagonist drives a Chrysler 300 at Bristol in the book’s final scene. There are some unfortunate miscues in grammar and spelling here and there, but my greatest complaint is that the story is too short.

Stories like these tend to start out in roleplay chats and fanfic write ups, and I don’t think I’m off base in suggesting the roots of Crash and Burn came from a place like that. This feels like a boilerplate NASCAR fan-fic that was bravely attempted to expand just enough to a complete story. A veritable pornstar of a character with the depth measured solely by how many racers she can pop off between races, there was something here that worked once upon a time, and the fantasy was trying its best to find its place. The passion written for Jessica, Peter, and even the bad guys and girls leaps off the page at times, but is often tamped down by the need for brevity. As close as I feel to racing and NASCAR there are elements of this story that outright disgust me, but my sense of the macabre and my passion for understanding these characters leaves me wanting even more. Racing as a lifestyle has no finish line, and I don’t want this story to have one either.

Purchase link: Amazon

Author’s Twitter: @andrea_bellmont

TehBen.com is an independent website and reviewer. All opinions expressed are solely that of the website and its reviewer(s).

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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