High Risk Love by S.J. Mayer #Review

High Risk Love by S.J. Mayer #ReviewHigh Risk Love by S.J. Mayer

Series: #1 The Risk
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by Small Publisher on July 1, 2013
Pages: 302
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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four-stars      three-half-flames

A stunt man who enjoys pushing things to the limits and a photographer who prefers to live the world through what she sees in her lens find out that though love has its risks, it might be just what they need.

The blurb caught my attention, but I confess that it wasn’t in a good way.  I saw a lot of angst in those first person point of view blurb thoughts and I wanted to back away.  But obviously I didn’t and I’m glad.  This was an emotional read, no doubt, but it was a triumphant read, too.  I was glad to have seen these two hurting, broken people find each other and heal.

The story opens with a prologue that had me swallowing back tears.  Jet as a boy being abused by his step-dad while trying to protect his younger brother from the monster and then Jasmin who watches her brother die of cancer and that is just the latest in the line of personal losses.

Then the story moves forward into the present where Jet is a successful stuntman and won’t come near a relationship.  Jasmin needs a job to get on with her life and pay the bills so she takes on a photography job with a magazine that features extreme jobs and sports people.  Jasmin isn’t impressed with Jet’s cockiness, but there is something about him that draws her in from their first fateful encounter while Jet is knocked off his game by the woman who doesn’t respond to his player charm.  Jasmin puts professionalism first and Jet agrees to respect that.  But then things get real.  They open up and share, but it becomes too much.  Fear drives them both apart, but their hearts tug them back.  Dare they give it one more chance?

Alright, my fears from the blurb were actually not far off base.  This was one emotional, angsty piece.  And honestly, this pair had more than the average of life’s ills tossed at them.  It could have felt too much for plausibility and it did to a certain extent, but it never quite crossed the line into too much for me.  I felt the author balanced their situations and feelings along with the growing friendship and relationship well.

I connected with the characters even if my life has been nothing like theirs.  Jet is a mess, but he knows a good thing when he sees it.  He almost breaks it beyond repair, but he does treasure Jasmin.  He carries so much guilt and shame on his shoulders for stuff out of his control that it had me really wanting him to get his happily ever after.  And Jasmin, she oh so wants to hide and protect herself from more pain, but Jet and the ghostly thoughts from her brother’s last conversation won’t let her.  Even when Jet does something monumentally stupid, she uses it to help herself grow stronger even while it breaks off another piece of her heart.  Really wanted her to get past the fear and find some joy.

The plot is character-driven.  The stuntwork is there and Jasmin’s interests, too.  But the story revolves around this pair healing from their past and coming together.  They share the narration and the story is very much New Adult in flavor, but it didn’t go over the top.  Mistakes are made, but I thought the results were well within the possibility of them being handled.

It says something that when I finished I looked about for Jasper’s or even Hugh’s story and was disappointed that it isn’t out yet.

All in all, I enjoyed this deeply emotional New Adult Contemporary Romance story and would easily recommend it to those who want some strong angst, lots of character growth, and the world of stuntwork.

I received this story as part of the Red Hot Lovers box set from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #183 NA
Books N Tunes #20 Lee Majors’ Unknown Stuntman
Bad Boys #23
Mt. TBR #78
Blogger Shame #21
New to Me #72 author/series

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Emotional and triumphant? That sounds very nice, indeed, Sophia Rose! And I quite enjoy books where the main characters really, truly think they’re not looking for love… there is just something so sweet about unexpected romance in my opinion. Great review 🙂

    • Yes, unexpected romance can be fun when it takes people that determined to avoid it by surprise. Thanks, Lexxie!

  • Occasionally, I like an angsty and emotional read, so I’m adding this one to the list. I’ve also always enjoyed reading about photographers, I think because I grew up surrounded by them and realize how most of them do live their lives behind their camera.

    • Oh, now that is interesting. I think that’s cool that you were close to many photographers. I enjoyed that part about the heroine in this one. She actually wants to sing, but stopped when her brother died b/c they were music partners, but she had photography to fall back on and as you noticed, it matched how she perceived the world now.

  • Angsty is so not for me, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangst

    • Yeah, that was the gamble for me. Read it b/c the other part sounded interesting or skip b/c I shy away from strong emotions.

  • Not in that angst mood, but I like the sound of the characters and their professions. I am curious about the next book in the series.

    • Oh, me, too. It’s about his brother and her best friend and his brother and this girl both have some serious issues to get over from their pasts.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Sophia Rose this looks really good, I’m getting it!!! 🙂

  • oh this sounds pretty intense but satisfying too!! I do like angsty reads, but I have to be in the mood for them but I like the idea of a stuntman as the hero—you don’t see that very often.

    • No, the stuntman angle was a great surprise. The angst in this one was caused by their terrible pasts so it made sense to me. I think that is what I need when I read angst- that it make sense to the story.

  • Despite it feeling like they just had too much dumped on them..this does sound like it caught you emotionally.

    • Yes, it did. I’ve always got a soft spot for an abused kid or a kid who loses their family early.

  • Sounds very emotional; which I’m not sure I can take at the moment. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

    • It really was. I almost couldn’t take it and I don’t have as much stressers going on in my life as you and other folks. Definitely one that has to wait until the right moment. 🙂

  • I kinda like the first person blurb style, it gives a very different feel than the third person blurbs. Although i do agree this one sounds a bit angsty. That cover caught my attention when I was scrolling through your post to look for one to comment on. I like the soft colours.
    The first sentence of your review makes me curious with how one character is a stunt man and the other a photographer and how they are both a bit broken. It sounds like an interesting set-up for a book.
    Those emotional starts of the book can really hit you, especially as most books build towards that first. It sure sounds like they got hit with a lot, but I am glad to hear it didn’t cross the line into too much territory. And it sounds like these two very much deserve some happiness. Great review!

    • The first person POV really worked for this story and I was glad that it switched between both of them so I got to know them equally.

      The cover is nice and soothing colors. I felt like it represented how they helped heal each other when they started to connect.

      Oh yes, it was fun to have him a stunt man and her a photographer. Made it interesting that they met while on location for a movie.

      Yes, this one hit the emotions hard right away, but it made sense so that later I understood why the pair of them were messed up and the way they are. I want to read about his brother and her best friend now.

  • Yay for it surprising you in a good way, Sophia! Always fun. Definitely sounds like they had a lot in their paths to get through. How neat on the stunt work. I don’t believe I’ve read a stuntman before. Huh!

    • This was one that I couldn’t have read if I’d had my quota of angst for the month. It was full of the stuff. But I ended up really rooting for this pair who never had a decent break at happiness.

      I confess the stuntman aspect was a big hit. I loved that the author did a few scenes with him at work.