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Book Review: Test Drive

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Sometimes you feel like erotica and sometimes you don’t. But if you like erotica, especially erotica featuring 4 alpha males having fun sexy-times with one woman, then you’ll likely enjoy Test Drive by N.S. Johnson.

It’s an interracial love story, not a romance. If you like sweet courting and shy flirting, this isn’t for you. This book is pure unadulterated erotica and it doesn’t try to be anything else. It’s also written by a woman of color, which is rare enough even in today’s market that it’s remarkable.

So let’s talk about the book.

Ellie is your typical “Good Girl” in pursuit of the “Perfect Life.” She’s got job as a tutor at her university, a sweet but ultimately boring boyfriend, she’s the kind of girl who wears knee-length skirts, sweater sets, and hose all day every day. When she offers to give her tutoring student a ride, she didn’t expect to find her life turned upside down by a bird themed street racing crew.

Hawk is everything her boyfriend isn’t - aggressive, sensual, and unafraid of pursuing what he wants and what he wants is Ellie.

There’s a lot of sex in this. Probably a good two-thirds of this was sex. But the plot, what there was of it, was about making choices for the right reasons and not because of what society or others wanted. Which is pretty darn complex for an erotica novel.

I actually liked most of the male characters… I found one of them annoying, but a 75% ratio isn’t too bad. He was also annoying because I don’t like that archetype or kink. So it was a case of Your Kink Is Not My Kink. LOL.

I also appreciated that Owl was doing his best to respect his girlfriend’s wishes for their relationship.

There was also a lot of consent. Like the guys asking for permission and waiting for verbal consent before proceeding. And there was communication about what their expectations were and compromise in regards to wants and desires. Seriously, the fact that Hawk out and out said to Ellie “I need you to tell me if you want this.” before going any further was bloody satisfying.

Here’s a thing. Consent is sexy. Consent doesn’t have to be a buzzkill. In a lot of old school romance novels there was and I quote, “The obligatory rape scene” where the hero raped the heroine. Sadly, while the rise of indie publishing has seen a lessening of this. Books like 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight still promote unhealthy relationships where the woman’s agency is abrogated.

It’s something so simple, but it is something I don’t see nearly enough. So running into it in a street racer erotica was refreshing as fuck.

I also appreciated that the heroine had her own wants and desires that were separate from the men. She wants to be an etymologist and the guys support her in this.

That doesn’t mean this book was perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There was some mild slut-shaming, but the heroine seemed to be aware of it and she owned her sexuality.

The book also could have used a good editor. Lots of homophones, missing commas, overuse of words (seriously – I commented at one point if the heroine gushed any more I’d start to wonder if she might not have incontinence issues) and at one instance a magically disappearing condom.

I swear I should keep track of all of the books/stories I’ve read which have condom hammerspace problems. Because it’s becoming a thing.

The location isn’t stated, but the more details the author gave the more I realized it is an impossible city. I don’t expect anyone to notice that, but while I’m okay with made up cities in books, they need to follow the laws of nature/location. Namely it needs to make sense. Otherwise you end up with Sunnydale from Buffy and yeah…

I also need to warn that there are several potential turn offs. The first and most obvious is that this book features polyamorous relations. Second, there is infidelity. Ellie doesn’t break up with her boyfriend before having sex with the crew. And third there is recreational drug use. Marijuana, but for some people that is a deal breaker.

But if you want hot sex featuring one woman and multiple men, I recommend this.

Overall, this is a solid FOUR STARS

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