Welcome back to Austen Promises!
I’m pretty sure everyone reading this blog is aware of my love for NASCAR racing (despite the sanctioning body’s efforts to turn it into Indy Car/F1 racing). This love led me to create a series of books where Darcy is a championship-winning race car driver. Before we get into the purple stuff, here’s the excerpt that inspired me. It’s from Darcy’s Race to Love, the first book in my Pride & Prejudice & Racecars series.
“Great!” Charles reached around to shake Liz’s hand in greeting. He opened his mouth to say more, when a deep baritone called out his name.
“Bingley, Coach is looking for you.”
“Right! I’ll be right there. Let me introduce you to a couple ladies I have just now met.” With that, Jane and Liz turned to meet the newcomer.
Immediately, Liz was struck speechless. Bingley’s voice became a buzzing in her ear as her eyes took in the tall, dark hunk of man-candy. Easily six foot three or four, with dark, wavy hair, he was dressed similarly to Charles, in a firesuit with the arms tied around his waist and his upper body encased in a tight-fitting black t-shirt. His arms bulged with finely-toned muscles, and his stomach was flat.
Taking a deep breath, Liz allowed her eyes to rise up to his. She was arrested by the deep blue orbs. Eyes that were staring right back at her. Suddenly, she was shoved forward, snapping her out of her trance. Glaring behind her at her smirking sister, Liz blushed beet red.
“Lizzy, Charles just introduced you to his friend. You should say hello.”
Liz narrowed her eyes at Jane, her look promising revenge at a later date. She turned back to the hunk, extending her hand. “I’m Liz Bennet.” Her heart stopped beating for just a second before restarting at a rapid rate when, instead of shaking her small hand as expected, he used his large one to lift it to his lips and bestow a kiss on her fingers.
“Will Darcy,” he said, his deep voice making her shiver in delight. He stepped beside her, tucking her hand under his arm and guiding her further out onto pit road. “Where have you been all my life?”
Long ago, back in the beginning days of NASCAR racing, drivers wore no safety gear at all. Eventually, they began to wear helmets, but that was it. As the sport has grown, safety innovations have increased. One of those innovations was the invention of the fireproof suit, or fire suit.
A fire suit is a one-piece outer garment worn by race drivers everywhere. It completely covers the driver, including his arms and legs. Gloves are worn over the hands that extend halfway up the driver’s forearm. The legs are cuffed, the same as the arms. On the legs, however, the suit extends below the bottom of the cuff. When a driver is standing, his pant legs cover the tops of his feet. In my research for Darcy’s Race to Love, I learned that pockets can be placed anywhere on the suit. Most NASCAR drivers seem to prefer pockets in the normal hip position. I gave Darcy a pocket at the thigh of his suit; he carried Liz’s engagement ring in that pocket an entire entire race, and proposed to her in Victory Lane. <3
My favorite driver for years was Matt Kenseth. In my book, Darcy has Matt’s final car number … 20. <3 For a long time, Crown Royal was Matt’s sponsor, and his fire suit was purple. At that point in his career, he was driving for Jack Roush in the 17 car. They made Crown Royal jackets in purple back then and I wanted one really badly, but for reasons, I did not feel comfortable basically advertising alcohol. I might wear it now, for other reasons, but Matt’s not racing and if he was, Crown Royal only sponsored him for a couple years.
I went looking for other purple fire suits. Google being my friend, I did a search, with these results.
The first link I chose to look at was the Race Day Safety site. They had this classy fire suit. It’s mostly black, but the purple stripes really pop! Sadly, my proportions are wrong, so I wouldn’t be able to get one to fit me properly. :’(
The next link that came up was this extra-small adult size suit. I couldn’t get any part of that up past my knee, but if they had one in my size, I’d love to have it.
Honestly, I found lots of links on my search page to generic fire suit pages, but only a couple purple ones. Still, I think I have given you a flavor of what’s out there. My favorite is Matt’s Crown Royal suit. <3
Which did you like best?