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Spotlighting the Romance Novel Series “Wheels of Steel” by Pepper Pace

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Wheels of Steel cover

As an avid reader, I have been on the journey to find incredible books that discuss the disability experience in a positive, empowering manner.  Finding such books is why I am starting the “Disability in Literature” series on Ramp Your Voice!  This week, I want to share with you an amazing romance novel series by an incredible author of color who made it her duty to create books that featured disabled characters, and in effect, shatter stereotypes about the disability experience.

The book that I will spotlight is the Wheels of Steel (WOS) series by Pepper Pace.  I first learned about the series from my best friend, who is a romance novel fanatic.  I am not the romance novel reading kind of woman (even though I am a hopeless romantic), but when she loaned me Book 1 of the WOS series, I decided to give it the old college try.  I was instantly hooked from the first chapter.  The character development, depth of emotions that is evoked from the reader as each layer of the characters are revealed in the story, and the way Pepper described Jason’s (also known as Top) disability, which is Cerebral Palsy, was phenomenal.  Though I do not have CP, I definitely could relate to Jason’s experiences as a person with a disability.  What also appealed to me was the great explanations of various music genres, especially since I am a diehard music lover.  (In the series, Jason is a member of a DJing group, and his musical knowledge is one to be envied.)

The Wheels of Steel series does not read like the typical romance novel; you really are drawn into the storyline and you find yourself on Team Jason and Robin instantly.  Wheels of Steel is unique in two ways:  the fact that it is a romance novel that features a disabled character, and that it is an interracial love story – Jason is Irish with tons of freckles and unruly, curly red hair, and Robin is an African American girl with mystifying green and gray eyes who have a severe case of nervousness.  Their interaction started off rough (and that is putting it lightly), but as their emotional barriers begin to crumble, and they view each other as they truly are, their love story is beautiful.  And as with any romance novel that is worth its salt, the intimacy details are FIRE!!!  Pepper knows how to give the reader what they are looking for with the sex scenes without being too raunchy or distracting (but the scenes are indeed memorable).

If you are into romance novels, please check out this series where books are sold.  I am eager for Book 4 to be released (hopefully this year).  This series captivated my attention, which has not happened in a long time when it comes to reading.  So yes, I am a proud Wheels of Steel series fan!  Romance novel series like Wheels of Steel “validates” the experiences and need for love and companionship of those with disabilities, young and old, and allows us to read our stories because our stories matter!

Fanatic about any books and/or authors that should be featured in the “Disability in Literature” series?  Send your responses my way, and I may write a summary on RYV!

(Featured headline image:  Courtesy of It’s Andrea.)

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

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