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Second Gear #1

Pop The Clutch

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Not all people need a second chance at love. Some need a second chance at life.
To Violet Foster, the past ten years have been a continual replay of an ill-fated night in high school. Without warning, she went from Downriver’s sweetheart to unintentional adult film star, her most intimate moments shared with the world in ten-second loops. She's lost friends, been forced to change career plans, and had to stop dating because of that one indiscretion. The last thing she wants is to return to the scene of the crime, but with her grandma’s health failing, she doesn’t have a choice.
Easton Cole is a walking, talking bad-boy cliché in blue mechanic coveralls. He's always known his trailer-park-kid shadow would follow him into adulthood, but building his auto repair shop into a successful business means he has a chance to change that image. People in Downriver have long memories and getting them to forget his past is an uphill battle. The last thing he needs is the trouble Violet could bring. She's a lightning rod for gossip, with a reputation that precedes her. So what if he's been crushing on her practically since puberty?
Violet’s only planning on staying a month, even if the good memories of Downriver have started to overpower the bad, and Easton is dead set on making new ones…together. But the internet is forever, so there's no chance of Violet having a future unblemished by her past. And when the stain of her damaged reputation resurfaces, Violet knows it could destroy everything around her…including Easton.

297 pages, ebook

Published June 11, 2019

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About the author

Kristin Harte

17 books83 followers
Kristin Harte started off as a chemistry major in college but somehow ended up writing romances featuring ex-military heroes and the women who knock them to their knees…literally and figuratively. She likes drinking in the shade, snuggling under a warm blanket on a cold evening, and researching how to blow things up. Her children know nothing of what she writes, and her husband just hopes he’s not at their Chicago-ish home the day the government shows up to confront Kristin about her Google search history.

When not writing good men doing bad things, Kristin can be found writing paranormal romance as Ellis Leigh or co-writing naughty novellas as London Hale.

★ The Vigilante Justice series kicks off January 25th. Jessica from OMG Reads says "This is one you're gonna want to put on your radar #TRUST"

★ Never miss a single release! Sign up for Kristin Harte's newsletter for all the latest from Justice, Colorado. www.kristinharte.com/newsletter

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for TeriLyn.
1,344 reviews388 followers
June 11, 2019
**Pop The Clutch generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

4 "I was in so much trouble." Stars

What a great start to a new series. This story really resonated with me because of the setting being a very small town and how one mistake turns into a disastrous event sending you spiraling. It can happen so quickly and without apology. The author really nailed that aspect of her story making it so real and relatable. I loved that we had a bad boy pining for the good girl with the feelings not being unrequited.

These characters were flawed people, especially her heroine. Their lives were extraordinary in that they were ordinary people doing honest work trying to be their very best. It's an admirable quality in story telling that we don't often see in romance because usually characters are inflated to be something more out of reach. I so appreciate this author giving us characters who are this relatable making it easy to understand them.

The plot was interesting. I like what happened, the aftermath, and how both the hero and heroine are still reeling from a fateful night so long ago. There were times I found the heroine's plight with the hero a bit taxing. She kept waffling from ready to talk to not ready, the back and forth got a bit redundant and some of the details were more filler to me than pertinent to the story. But the writing in this second chance romance kept me engaged almost throughout and, again, I appreciated the simplicity of the story and their lives. The author left a lot of hints about new characters taking the spot light in books to follow and I very much look forward to reading those as well.
Profile Image for Carmen Rae.
1,481 reviews179 followers
June 17, 2019
I honestly picked up and put down this book half a dozen times. We have had so much on and the kids have been so painful this week I think I read those first two pages about five times. Then I finally got an hour of quiet to push past those first few pages and I was so invested in this story.

Since this is the first book I have read from this author I had no idea what to expect. And a few early reviews I checked out mentioned that this was an emotional story. And I don't know what I was thinking when I read the blurb but that wasn't what I was expecting from this book.

With that said the emotions in this book felt so honest and I was right behind the characters reactions to everything they went through. But I wasn't expecting Easton to be the amazing man that he was. Because he honestly was so awesome, I just wanted to curl up in his arms while I read this book.

Violet wasn't a bad leading lady she just didn't deal with the drama very well. But in saying that I actually can't say I blame her for the way she dealt with It because geez that was vicious. I seriously wanted her to get some revenge but that's probably my vengeful nature because Easton dealt with It beautifully.

And now that I know how great Kristin's writing is and how much I loved the characters in this book I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
1,351 reviews7 followers
June 12, 2019
Easton Cole is the bb to end all bb's. He loves his family, supports his friends, and respects women. He is also a man's man. He owns his own auto repair shop with his buddies and strives to be everything and anything to anyone who needs him. Violet is a woman who is running. She made a mistake in high school, unintentionally, and it has followed her for the better part of a decade. She never intended to come home, she didn't want to face the recriminations that were the impetus of her leaving, but her grandmother is sick and needs her help.
Both Easton and Violet had crushes on the other when they were in school, but the never acted on them. She was dating someone else and he was from the wrong side of town. When she finally comes home, Easton offers friendship. He remembers all to well how people treated and looked at him and his family when his dad left. Even though friendship isn't what he wants, he wants more, he vows to be there for Violet for anything she needs.
Violet never expected for a man like Easton to be in her life. Even though she knows she should walk away, because she doesn't plan on staying, she can't do it. She feel safe and is falling for Easton. Will he be able to help her see that there is more to life than something that happened years ago? Or will she go back to Chicago and break his heart in the process?
A wonderful first book in the series. There were so many other characters that were introduced that I know the rest of the books in this series will be great as well. Ms. Harte talked about a subject that happens all the time; someone doing something everyone else does, but it being recorded. Moving on from embarrassment is hard, but it can be achieved if you have support. People always say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger", and while Violet didn't die, she struggled with her self worth. She also learned who her true friends were in the hardest way possible.
I recieved an ARC in exchange for an honest, voluntary review.
Profile Image for Eleanor.
1,404 reviews61 followers
June 24, 2019
I wrote in my Goodreads status: “That was intense, frustrating and awesome. “ And I stand by that statement.

I’ve been waiting for something like this from Harte, and she delivered without me even knowing she’s working on it. Yay for me.

And you, because Pop the Clutch is exactly the kind of contemporary romance one I enjoy.

Violet and Easton went to school together, but never really meshed together. Different social circles, very different backgrounds. But Violet always had a crush on Easton, and Easton was secretly in love with her. 9 years after graduation, Violet shows back in town to care for her sick grandmother, and runs into Easton.

What I loved about this is the fact that even after all this time, Easton hasn’t really stopped hoping to see Violet again. And he also hoped she will give life in the town another chance and not run when things get rough.

Can’t really blame Violet, though, for running. She was (partly wrongly) shamed and while kids can be cruel, some cruel kids also grow and become cruel adults. And the cruel kids-turn-adults don’t let her forget her mistakes.

Pop the Clutch deals with some serious social norms that are faulty in their core and Harte did a sensational job with that aspect of the story. But it also deals with acceptance and forgiveness, with family and love, and that’s what made the story so compelling for me.

I love Violet and Easton, but I also love Dahlia and Easton’s friends. I actually can’t wait for Easton’s sister’s book with Brogan. It’s going to be awesome!
Profile Image for Kay Daniels (Kay Daniels Romance).
1,638 reviews44 followers
June 1, 2019
Is there anything sexier than a man who displays vulnerability, is a gentleman, but is also still a man. Easton Cole runs his own business, fixes cars, takes care of his family, loves his mother, but also holds doors, cares about the feelings of the woman he's with and is vulnerable enough to be himself without being a macho jerk about it. To sum up...Easton Cole is the perfect book boyfriend in every way!!! Pop the Clutch is an excellent book, but Easton makes it even better. I have a major BB hangover which I'm sure I'll be riding for days!!!

Although we hear this again and again, it's a story like this that hammers it home in a very real way. It's a cruel lesson to learn while still in your youth, doing nothing more than what most of the adult population is doing behind closed doors, but because you were caught on camera and that video was shared not only among your peers, but also was leaked out for the world to see, your private life is no longer private. Your life, your world forever changes. You find out very quickly who your friends are, whom you can trust, and where you can and cannot hide.

Yes, the internet lasts forever, this is a hard lesson to learn for any youth, but even more so when it wasn't your choice to make. Violet made a mistake, one she has been running from since her senior year of high school. It isn't until her grandmother, the woman who raised her, needs her back home. The one place she hasn't returned to since she graduated, that Violet faces some of those dark ghosts. She has been able to outrun a lot of her past through various means, but returning to a small town where she grew up and people will recognize her is agonizingly tough.

Easton Cole grew up on the wrong side of town, and once his father picked up and abandoned their family, Easton made a promise never to be like him. Staying close to his mother and sister and building a successful business Easton is a far cry from the boy who grew up in poverty. He always had a crush on Violet, long before her fall from grace, so when she arrives back in town looking lost and alone, he remembers all too well that feeling, the looks he and his family received when standing in the welfare lines, and decides to extend a friendship branch.

It isn't long before Violet and Easton develop into something more, but will it be enough to extend beyond the time Violet is in town taking care of her grandmother? She's been gone for almost a decade and Violet never expected to be back home for more than a short time, she also never expected someone like Easton in her life either. He makes being back home feel comfortable, but she also knows it's a facade. It would be so easy to stay and let him take care of her, it would also be so easy to run once again and forget being with him ever happened. At least she keeps telling herself that. How does she return to normal when she's torn in two?
Profile Image for Tiffany Readz.
1,883 reviews50 followers
June 4, 2019
Solid Romance

Kristin Harte gives her readers a nice, solid romance and great start to the Second Gear Series. While the blurb lets us know there's quite a bit going on here, the story is angsy and entertaining and I was instantly drawn to her characters.

Easton was the boy from the wrong side of the tracks whose mission was to turn his life around and he accomplished just that. Along with a couple of his childhood friends, he now owns and runs a successful auto repair shop in town, as well as helping others as much as he can. Almost too much, he hardly has a second to himself. He's an all around good guy and I honestly wasn't sure that Violet was good enough for him.

Violet left her home town all those years ago with her head hung in shame. Kids can be cruel and in the day and age of the internet, it's a million time worse. The only thing that would bring her back was the grandma that raised her, so here she is. Her plan is to help her grandma and head back to Chicago where she belongs, where nobody knows her or her past. And what do they say about best laid plans??

"Second chances were like zombies-rotting from the inside, reeking of death, and a total waste of time seeing how they were going to die again."

That's the way our girl feels until she spends some real time with Easton the man. They've both grown up, him more than her in my opinion and realize they have more in common than they originally knew. Once Violet learns her plans are going to have to change, she lets Easton in a little, as trust isn't her forte. Easton on the other hand is ready to go for it, past or no past. So here we go on a angst-filled roller coaster ride with these two crazy kids.

"Everyone needs family around them. even if it's the kind you pick instead of the one you're born into."

The book is well written and along with Violet and Easton, we meet the whole family. Somehow or another everybody is related and has an interesting story waiting to bust out of them. I'll be back for the next installment in the Second Gear series for sure!

Reviewed for Renee Entress's Blog.
Profile Image for April Symes.
5,009 reviews411 followers
June 11, 2019
Pop The Clutch by Kristen Harte is a fantastic read. You have a angst, drama, passion,love, working thru the landmine that is your past and yes, the family and friends.
Violet and Easton have known each other since high school. Easton had a crush on her back then and she thought he was handsome. Violet made a youthful mistake which someone capitalized on , to Violet's detriment. Her senior year of high school was made hellish and as soon as school was over, she got herself out of there.
When the story fast forwarded 10 years later, we find out why Violet is finally back and how she and Easton meet up. The chemistry between them is sensational. The plot is phenomenal, the characters (main and secondary) really are fleshed out and keep the reader engaged. There are several twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. The book ends on a HFN ending and will follow up with a book 2 with different characters that were secondary characters from book 1. What a great read and full of feels and heart.

My Rating: 4.5 stars *******
Profile Image for Fran Zoch, LSoR.
2,064 reviews12 followers
June 11, 2019
Once again Kristin Harte has made me fall in love with her writing and not want the book to end.
Easton and Violet both have had not easy lives here was becaus of an ass making her a porn star without her knowledge and his because he was from the wrong side of the track.
Together with each others backs they can get past anything at least that is what they are hoping for.
Profile Image for Barbara.
2,182 reviews42 followers
June 8, 2019
Wonderful start to a series. I loved the heartfelt feel of the storyline and I simply adored the characters. The book is very well written to the point I felt like I was right there in the small town of Downriver feeling everything the characters were going through. The author gave us a great storyline of how one high school mistake, the cruelty of teens and the internet can destroy a life for years to come.

Violet is a young girl that got caught on camera at the wrong time and as a result had her life turned totally upside down. As soon as she graduates high school she runs from her hometown and attempts to start a new life away from the scandal. She hasn’t returned to Downriver in almost 10 years. But her grandmother, who raised her, is very ill so Violet has to return home. She tried to stay out of the limelight but when she has to take her grandmother’s car into town to be fixed, she runs into Easton. Easton was labeled as the kid from the wrong side of the tracks. He had a bad boy rep in high school seeming to always be in trouble. Now he owns the local auto repair shop and is making a name for himself. He has always had a crush on Violet and hated that she ran away. When she walks into his shop, he is totally captivated. She is even more beautiful than his memory and dreams remember. So when Violet drops off her grandmother’s car he jumps at the chance to give her a ride home and talk with her. That one ride sets off a whirlwind of emotions for both of them. Can Violet survive being back in the town that caused her downfall, where almost everyone knows her story or can Easton convince her to stay and stop running?

I simply loved this storyline. It held me in it’s grasp and had my emotions on high alert. I laughed, I smiled, my heart broke and my heart sighed. Kudos to the author for a phenomenal read. This reader is looking forward to the next book in the series and the return to Downriver. 2 Thumbs Up and 5 stars.
Profile Image for Melissa Mendoza.
2,551 reviews50 followers
June 7, 2019

"Bad boy, cranky Easton was hot, but this? This Easton was a life ruiner."

5 second chance stars!!! What a likelike story told so beautifully! I was hooked!

Violet is headed back to her hometown after leaving it all behind after high school. Why did she leave?? Well let's just say the small town she's from frowns upon sex tapes. (You'll have to read the book to get more info). The last place in the world she wants to be is back in Downriver, but with her grandma fighting cancer, she has no choice but to be there with her. But what would being back in this town do to her?? How long can she avoid the past.

Easton, has always had a crush on Violet, ever since he picked her up in the rain crying. But after she vanished he never thought he'd see her again. But the minute she breezes into his auto shop to drop off her grandma's car, his world starts spinning.

While Violet is always ready to run and Easton is desperate to get his dream girl to stay in town, how will these two make it work?? I can't stress enough, how beautifully told this book is. Your heart breaks for Violet and the pain and trauma she's had to deal with after the "sex tape." And your heart breaks for Easton because he's desperately trying to hold on to her. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2019!
Profile Image for Angela.
386 reviews5 followers
June 19, 2019
I am going to start by saying that I had some mixed feelings with this book. On one hand, I really liked the characters, but I wish that they would have been stronger. The defining moment in Violets life was hellacious … there is no getting away from that. But she continued to allow that moment to define her and the only way to protect herself was to run away. But, I can’t say how any other character would have handled it, just my own opinion.

I am not going to get into the defining moment, because I believe that readers need to experience the book to be able to understand the character better. Easton is actually a very sweet character, but he kind of reminds me of a fixer … someone that has to have something to fix … but maybe in regards to Violet, it is more like someone to protect and defend. Neither defines the other, but together are they only whole.

So … I did like the book, but I didn’t like some of the decisions that were made by the characters. Not the defining moment … that was youthful decisions and everyone knows that kids can’t think straight and right to save their lives! But what they did after this. Now, saying that, I will still give credit where credit is deserved. Violet’s character is still a strong character. What happened could have broken her in a fundamental way, but she continued and she thrived.

Overall, I liked the story and the characters. They both had strength, but in different ways, even if I thought they should have showed that more. The storyline is interesting and I really felt for Violet, especially after learning more about how the present is still being handled by some characters, and boy does someone need to shove a boot up someone else's back door for their actions … a throat punch will not suffice! So, great opening for a new series and happy reading!
Profile Image for Kathy Rouchelle .
969 reviews12 followers
June 4, 2019
A wonderful yet heartbreaking story of how one teenage mistake, one mean girl and her brother and the internet can do to ruin a young girls life and drive her away from her home, creating havoc with her dreams and turning her future completely around. But coming home years later to be with her ailing grandmother should be easy if she just stays out of sight as much as possible, but for Violet, that is something that isn't in the cards when her grandmother send her to bring her car to the shop, and right into the presence of Easton Cole, the man, who as a boy had a crush on her. The man, who now standing in front of her takes her breath away. But her past still haunts her, in her mind as well as in reality and her fear is that Easton will bring it up. But Easton has always had a thing for Violet and when Jude calls out the name she was given after that fateful night, it is Easton who jumps to her defense. He remembers the night he picked her up one rainy night, walking home and crying. It was the best night of his life, even if it was the worse time of his life, and her's as well. The years have changed her, but not the town and as the two begin a relationship, allowing feelings to begin, it's the mean girl that has Violet spiraling and running away again. This time, she is taking Easton's heart with her.

I really loved this story and these characters. I would have wanted Violet to have strengthened a bit more than she did and I really wanted her to lay into that mean girl, but LOL..I'm not the author. But these two were so perfect together and I just loved them, especially Easton. What a sweetheart!

Wonderful read that will play with your emotions and leave you wanting just a bit more. I highly recommend.
516 reviews1 follower
June 14, 2019
Explosive! Gearmasic!

I don't know if you believe in karma but I do. Let me start off by saying I was captivated from the very beginning. This book was invigorating from the first paragraph, stretch that, the first sentence had me. Violet and Easton had chemistry from the start.

Being a mechanic' wife oops! Cuze me, an automotive technician wife as my husband would remind me.(behind his back ma-can-nic) in my head. As a wife this book came at the right time. I had an issue with a battery. I could not figure out how to charge it with the fancy portable charger my husband has. Huh! My daughter telling me to hook up one way cuz she watches her father while I'm tripping cuz I'm use to batteries having the + - signs to let you know neg and pos charge. I'm calling him because he knows I'm paranoid. Needless to say the mailman had to help me cuz I was too scared to mess up. That's a perk of being married to a mechanic . I don't have fix my car. Anywho, I digress back to the story. I can honestly say I can relate to Easton and Violet's story. Easton has been involved with her for years and his one good deed has paid off. While as Violet finally returns to take Care of her grandma after years of running away from her past. A mistake she made in high school that has followed her she to her nemesis. Will Easton get a second chance to show Violet what true friendship and love could really be like? Would he be able to show the townsfolk that he is a better person than his father and mechanic? Do you think Violet will be able to come back to her hometown and prove she is a better person? Everyone makes mistakes but owning them are what makes you a better and stronger person. Violet has that in shades she just needs to believe. If you believe in second chances then I think you should give this book a try. It is off the charts. I would have have it more stars.
Profile Image for Sheila Schoenauer.
845 reviews9 followers
June 4, 2019
*4.5 stars*
This is the first book that I've read by this author and I have to say I truly enjoyed it. I felt the emotions running through this book almost from the start. Easton and Violet have been it for each other for a very long time but life and circumstances have kept them in different circles and out of each others paths until now. A mistake and stupid people have kept Violet running for almost 10 years. Now that her gramma needs her home there is no avoiding her home town. While I enjoyed this story it also irritated me. Has no one grown up in the past 10 years? Why are some of these idiots still acting like they are in high school? We all make stupid mistakes as kids, especially teens. But we live and learn from them AND we move on. It just seems like some of these people don't know how to move on. I liked Violet but I also didn't like how much of a coward she was that she couldn't prove to these people that their stupidity didn't affect her. Yeah near the end she admitted that it was more a fear of how everything would have affected Easton but she should have trusted that he was man enough to handle it and to help her. I loved Easton. He was such a gentleman and such a dedicated worker. It was easy to swoon all over him. He never gave up on Violet and for that I loved him even more. This was a great book and a good start to a new series. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. *I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.*
539 reviews4 followers
June 3, 2019
I have really enjoyed this author's previous books and this latest one is no exception. It is a second chance romance that takes place in a small hometown. Being a small hometown has its perks, but also a long memory about past events. Violet and Easton have known each other since they were in middle school and both had unrequited crushes on each other. However, they ran in different circles once they reached high school. Then,Violet made a fateful mistake while a senior which led to her just biding her time until she could escape Downriver altogether. Unfortunately life can throw the cruelest of curveballs, and Violet must return home to care for her grandmother who has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She hoped to not run into anybody who knew her from before, but her grandmother and fate put her right in the path of Easton, the auto repair guru of Downriver. Easton,the boy who had become a hot as hell man and one who had never forgotten the feelings he once had for her. But will his caring, charming, sexy self be enough to make Violet stay in Downriver? Or will events out of their control force her to run and hide back in Chicago? This is a story where maybe the boy from the wrong side of the tracks really can get the good girl after all. I loved all the secondary characters in this book as well and can't wait to read more about the lives and loves of the residents of Downriver. Definitely check this book out!
Profile Image for Gladys.
11.3k reviews121 followers
June 8, 2019
This is a book that beautifully and heartbreakingly combines romance and reality. Violet and Easton's story quickly pulled me in and kept me on the hook. What can I say about Violet? My heart ached for her. A single mistake changed her life forever. From town good girl to outcast and dirty joke in what basically boils down to a simple mouse click and plain meanness and cruelty. I felt that what makes this such a compelling read is that this can and does happen to anyone and in today's world at anytime. It is a scary thought. So to say this girl has baggage is an understatement. I will say I thought Violet was stronger than she gave herself credit for. She may have had to leave town, change her plans and live a very different life but she lived through it and unfortunately not everyone can or does. Easton was in my opinion, the pinnacle book boyfriend poster boy. A bad boy that was a genuine good guy. Strong, protective, loving and kind but also with enough of an edge to get and keep your motor running! I loved their story and was so glad they got another shot at a HEA. This book offers tension, emotional turmoil, drama, angst, steam and lots of heart. I am posting a voluntary, honest review.
Profile Image for Beyond The Covers Blog.
2,386 reviews86 followers
May 25, 2019
Pop the Clutch is a heartbreaking second chance love story that will touch your heart and soul.

Violet had always been a popular girl in school. Sweet, caring and so energetic. Until one night she made a terrible mistake in high school that shattered her world. Vee Cowgirl's mistake was plastered all over the internet for the world to see. She ran but still fought her demons daily. Ten years later she returned to her small hometown since her grandmother was dying. Terrified that her past would slap her in the face once more.

Easton has had a big crush on Violet since middle school. He remembers what happened to Violet but at the same time his world was crashing. Now that she's back he wants to be with her but she's like a scared rabbit.

There is a strong chemistry between Violet and Easton. She has a heavy burden on her shoulders. Easton hopes that with his love for her he can help her heal.

No one should have had to endure the things that Violet went through especially as a teen. Harassed, bullied and assaulted by the boys. The internet is a dangerous weapon that can destroy anyone in the blink of an eye.
Profile Image for Ga Books LoverX.
2,320 reviews23 followers
June 11, 2019
Whoa this book had some crazy twists and turns!

Poor Violet had not been back to her hometown in years. Due to some unsavory circumstances, she became an overnight porn star after a private (she thought) video not only got out to the entire town, but the entire internet as well. Even escaping did not save her from going through that pain, but it made it easier for people to automatically know it was her.

Easton was the guy from the wrong side of the tracks in HS, but I swear he is the most loyal, sweet and sexy alpha man that I have read in a while. He has one weakness, he has always crushed on Violet and he is a fixer and likes to make things better. Problem is what happens when his past crush and obsession and her crumbling life calls to him like a bee to honey? Is he even ready for the runner that is Violet?

The book has some major bombs dropped and I am impressed with the amount of planning and set up that the author did. These two characters have major chemistry and also years of sexual tension between the two of them-- you need to check this out to see what goes down between them!

PS: I Received this book as an ARC but am voluntarily and honestly reviewing it!
Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
9,540 reviews64 followers
June 11, 2019
It’s been ten years since Violet made a misjudgment as a teenager that had the whole town talking and making sure that they knew their opinion of her. After she graduated high school, she couldn’t leave town fast enough but now that her grandmother is ill she must return to the town that caused her so much pain.

When he was a teenager Easton was viewed as the bad boy from the trailer park who would never accomplish anything in his life. He has turned his life around and is close to his family and owns an auto repair shop. He has always had feelings for Violet but didn’t think he was worthy, but now that she is back in town he isn’t about to let this opportunity slip through his fingers. There is no denying the heat and feelings between them however will Violet’s past destroy what they could have in the future?

I really enjoyed Violet and Easton together. They are both influenced by their pasts and learning to leave it there is the biggest challenge of all. This is the first book I have read by this author and the beginning of a new series that has me looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
Profile Image for Jodi Bird (Ruby Red Romance Review).
1,168 reviews91 followers
June 14, 2019
5 STAR Review by Jodi for Ruby Red Romance Review

It's funny how the mistakes we make in our youth have a way of catching up with us. For Violet, it didn't take long. In the day and age where social media and the internet are so popular one mistake and lead to a lifetime of regret. This mistake has kept Violet away from home for ten years. Now she needs to come home to help take care of her ill grandmother. What she didn't count on was Easton. Easton is the perfect gentelman. I loved that he only saw Violet and not the mistakes of her past. But something still kept Violet at arm's length. She knows at some point the other shoe will drop.

I loved this story. I loved the man Easton was. I loved how he was open and honest with Violet. I loved that he saw her for more. I loved that he didn't allow the past to get in the way of the future they could have. I loved falling in love with this story. I loved getting to know Kristin Harte's writing as well. I'm new to her, but I loved every second of this book.
Profile Image for Ree.
2,449 reviews45 followers
June 11, 2019
Sometimes, mistakes we make in our youth will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Violet Foster knows this all too well, and has spent the last decade trying to forget what was the worst night of her life. But familial duty calls her back home - to the scene of the crime - where people's memories are just as long. She doesn't count on falling hard and fast for Easton Cole. He doesn't seem to care about the past, but can she give up running from it?

I liked the solid, realistic nature of the plot. It's relateable on so many levels. The small town vibe, the mistake that can follow you forever, the immortality of the Internet, the way people never forget - it has a reality that draws you in as you read.

This is a romance that I wholeheartedly recommend. It's a good start to the series and I look forward to reading more of the characters from Downriver, MI.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.
Profile Image for 2OCC Reviews.
3,454 reviews241 followers
June 11, 2019
I really enjoyed this story and I found the storyline to be really engaging creating a great start to this authors new series.Pop the clutch had everything i enjoyed within a romance read, drama, angst, romance, heartbreak and family.

Violet made a mistake when she was teenager and is till paying for it today. I felt for her because it was a small mistake but it had big repercussions for her. I loved seeing the way that she finally stood up for herself and got her life back.

Easton i loved loved loved from the first moment we met him in the story. He was incredible sweet while also being an alpha male character. I really enjoyed the way we saw the vulnerable side of him and how caring he was towards Violet.

This story had a good styrene that really kept me entertained throughout the story. The writing style was really well written and flowing all the way through. I enjoyed the change in pov of the main characters and the friendship development in the story.
Profile Image for Amy Stephens.
Author 128 books504 followers
June 13, 2019
Pop The Clutch is an angst-filled read that will leave you begging for more.

Kristin Harte is a new author for me, and she's one that knows how to deliver a very powerful story, one that's going to hit you right in the gut. Sometimes it's hard to shake the past, especially when it's negatively impacted your life. Such was the case for Violet Harte. Pop the Clutch is about moving on from mistakes made a long time ago, regardless of how painful and devastating it was. It's about finding that strength again, with the help of Easton Cole.

Harte made this Pop the Clutch very realistic and I could honestly see it happening anywhere, not just in a small town, USA. The heartache is what got to me because Violet sincerely needed to let go.

Regardless of the past, Easton and Violet make for a great second-chance romance and I think you'll find yourself emotionally attached to the story line. It's one of those stories you just can't seem to put down.

Profile Image for Jackie Ziegler.
1,387 reviews5 followers
May 28, 2019
Wow my first read by Kristin and I absolutely loved this story. Kind of a second chance sweet down home romance with some trying moments.

Violet and Easton have known each other since high school. She thought he was cute back then and he had a crush on her. Violet got herself into a predicament senior year and as soon as she graduated she hightailed it out of Downriver to Chicago never looking to return.. When her grandma falls ill she needs to come home to help take care of her. Running into Easton was the last thing she wanted to do but grandma made it happen.. He was cute in high school but now he was all man and hot as hell. . When feelings come back for Easton he vows to make this work but Violet's past will never go away.. Can the love a good hometown man make her see running is not the option anymore?

Profile Image for Becky Wise.
2,410 reviews42 followers
June 7, 2019
Pop The Clutch is a wonderful read. You have a little drama, love, figuring out how to get past your past and of course family. Violet has been avoiding her small home town until she couldn't anymore. Sometimes the past is the past but when it still rears its ugly head you wonder if she is strong enough. Violet is strong in many ways and you will learn this along the way. I love her. And once Violet is pushed into the path of an old crush Easton hang onto your seat. Easton has long overcome his past of being bullied about living in a trailer park. He is has a sucessful business and has loved Violet from a far for years. I love the bond they form while she is back in town. You feel the passion and the healing power of love in this one. This was my first book by Kristin Harte and all I can say is I plan on reading more. I loved the story line.
4 reviews1 follower
April 22, 2019
I much prefer romantic action books so this was a change of pace!

I found this story to have a good solid plot and it's very well written. The character development is strong and there's lots of hints about future books.

Violet seemed a little young and whiney but then I could see myself doing the same things. Easton is a strong, caring man. I love the family and friends development. Good and bad, loving and kind, others idiotic just like all family groups.

On the con side, these 20 something characters seemed to be a bit young for this 60 something woman.

I would recommend this book to romance booklovers and will be buying the next one myself.

I volunteered to read this book and write a review.
Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,990 reviews472 followers
June 11, 2019
If you like ... small town with a side of redemption AND second time to go for it romances ... THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU #TRUST

*sigh* THIS STORY ... it was just so incredibly heartwarming and easy and relatable and lovable and all the #feels ... EVERY SINGLE ONE!

One of the many great things about this book is its setting. Kristin Harte created a true small town. This was a town of people that everyone knew everything and no one ever forgot! Like population 20 kinda town ... and it was glorious and easy and honestly did not even feel like fiction! Violet's dilemma from high school was incredibly spot on for this type of town. From the actual dilemma to the aftermath and beyond. Every single aspect was spot on! And I don't even know how to not love Easton. That man was just incredible, as a boy and as a man!

I cannot say this enough .... WELL DONE! I look forward to reading more of Downriver. I know Gracie is next and it's gonna rock, but I wouldn't mind reading a Dahlia journey soon! LOL
Profile Image for JKAF.
566 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2019
This was an interesting story of a woman's horrible past that won't go away not matter how long it's been but maybe with the right guy......


Violet is hiding by living in Chicago away from the only family she knows because of one stupid childish mistake from high school that will NEVER go away...unfortunately Violet has to go back to Downriver Michigan but she wouldn't miss time with her sick grandmother for anything!
Easton has liked Violet since the 8th grade but in high school one night he finally gets a chance to spend a little time with her but after graduation she leaves town. Lucky Easton..Violet has arrived at his autoshop and he figures it's the best time to get to know her..again....hopefully
Profile Image for Pamela Lunder.
1,485 reviews
June 11, 2019
This is the first book I have read by Kristin Harte. It will not be the last. My heart broke for Violet and that she had gone through her last few months of high school and then to have that mistake follow you your whole life, wow just something really hard to deal with. I understand why she ran away. Then there is sexy Easton, who is strong, selfless, always wanting to help! The way he tried to take care of Violet was so sweet and loving. I really enjoyed this book. The only thing that would have made it better was it Violet got The Chance to get even or at least show Lacey how the past didn't matter anymore! Great read!
Profile Image for Tina.
824 reviews21 followers
June 11, 2019
Wow. What an amazing read. This story was so unique because both characters were flawed and very much like ordinary people, where as most books contain billionaires and everything they could ever want and need. Both of these characters have a past that they are desperately trying to escape, but it's hard to do when you live in a small town and everyone knows you're business and forever hold it against then.

I loved that these 2 got a second chance at love. There will he so many trials and tribulations that they constantly face, making it hard for them to give love a second chance. I'm definitely looking forward to more from this author.
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