Some pleasant NASCAR romance reading for summertime

Ah, summer, a time when readers of a certain age curl up with the infamous "beach books," literary fast food to while away those hellish hours spent at poolside. (Me, I'm reading Stephen King's "The Stand." 'Cause when the next pandemic comes, I'm gonna be ready.) Anyway, who knows if beach lit will survive in the world of kids with their "blogs" and their "Twitter," but it's here now.

We in NASCAR are fortunate that we've got our own line of Harlequin Romance novels devoted to our sport; you may recall our literary criticism of the classic "Speed Dating" from a couple months back.

Now, All Left Turns takes that a step further, bringing us the latest line of NASCAR Harlequins for your reading pleasure. Alas, these things are more fake than a driver's girlfriend's -- let's be nice and say "smile" -- but man, they ought to be real. For instance, there's the enticingly titled "Catch Me If You Catch Can":

Mike Thomas was just a simple man in Jeff Gordon's pit crew. Pinot Bordeaux was a movie star watching her first stock car race from the pit box with her millionaire, European boyfriend. In the post-race celebration, she spilled champagne on her dress and he was quick with a napkin. From that first meeting, she was love-struck for him and his big red can. But these lovers find trouble in Turn Two. The night of her big movie première coincides with the last race of the Chase. Now he must choose between the love of his life and the race of a lifetime.

Damn if that doesn't sound completely absurd and completely legit at the same time. I've said it before, these things are impervious to parody. Still, ALT does a fine job; head over there and check 'em out, and try not to be too horrified at the cover with a buck-studley Mark Martin. Nice work, fellas. And if you're feeling similarly creative, why not try coming up with a novel summary of your own in the comments?

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