Book Review: Risking It All by Christi Barth

Based on the number of emails I received from NetGalley telling me I’d like this because I read -insert title of book here-, I figured I should probably request it. Plus I liked the idea of a man blog. I don’t read any, and I’m sure they’re out there, but in the context of this book’s synopsis, it sounded fun.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A man who spends most of his time taking risks meets and falls for a woman who takes as few risks as possible. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Dealing With Trauma
Griffin and Chloe both have traumatic events in their past, but they’ve handled it on opposite ends of the spectrum. Griffin and his fellow soccer players were in a bad bus accident in the middle of nowhere when they were young, and his take charge actions led him to a job with the coast guard, sometimes taking risks to save people. Chloe was the victim of a mass shooting, and though she dreams of traveling, she chooses to stay safe at home in a career as a professional letter writer.

Differences of Opinion
When Griffin is grounded after breaking the rules on a rescue mission, he’s not the happiest of campers. When they first meet, Griffin isn’t much of a Casanova, basically telling Chloe he was bored and she looked interesting (a cure for boredom is something every woman hopes to be, I’m sure). But as they get to know each other, they both seem to develop as characters, something that’s only emphasized by the fact that they continue to experience conflict in their difference in opinions at how their trauma should be handled. Griffin wants Chloe to get out and live her life (something she’s heard way too much from her best friend) and Chloe thinks Griffin should stop taking unnecessary risks.

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Let’s Get Real
The interactions between Griffin and Chloe were relatable, and while there was angst, it was believable, normal angst. Not only did I like most of their interactions, I liked being able to see their separate lives, especially Griffin’s friendship with the other guys who were part of the bus accident and their different personalities.

Weird Hang-Ups
I enjoyed the opposites attract aspect of these two characters, and I liked that most of their interactions felt real. However, there was one aspect that drove me nuts, and that was the way Griffin reacted to Chloe being a virgin.  Maybe I just haven’t been around people who thought it was a big deal, but Griffin was kind of a douche about the whole thing, basically insulting Chloe for having not had sex already because it made him uncomfortable.

eyeroll

The Romance Factor
Once we got past Griffin’s weird virgin freak out, the romance fell into place. It wasn’t as heart rending as some romances, but is nice and sweet, and as I mentioned before, it felt real. 3/5

The Steam Factor
There’s a lot of buildup and very little sex, but when Griffin and Chloe do finally rock out, it’s on the high side of hot. 3/5

Final Thoughts
Once I got past Griffin being a jerk about the virginity issue, I was able to enjoy this for the cute romance it was. I feel that based on the glimpses of the other characters in this one, I’m probably going to like the other guys more, so I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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