Review: Beyond the Risk by Connie Mann

Posted January 30, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Beyond the Risk by Connie Mann
Beyond the Risk

One StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Florida Wildlife Warriors #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on January 29, 2019
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Wildlife!  Big family!  A mystery!  Romance!  New to me author and series!  Oh my, yes!  I thought I had found the perfect match as soon as I latched eyes onto this book.  I ended up finding it moderately engaging. Book Recommendations: Darkest Night by Tara Thomas X-Ops Exposed by Paige Tyler Seconds to Live by Melinda Leigh


Beyond Risk opens with Charlee, a former Fish & Wildlife Officer, getting ready to start over at the family-owned river rafting business.  She had a shake up when she lost a client out on the water the year before and the guilt is still troubling her, but family support and a family friend who is becoming something more have her ready to start again.  Only, a new misadventure on the water has everyone realizing that the first drowning was no accident and Charlee is the intended target.
Hunter is determined to do well at his new job as Lt. in the Fish & Wildlife after the last one tarnished his name by taking bribes, but he is more concerned about who is after Charlee and why because he wants to be more than the family friend.

So, Beyond Risk, by all early indications should have been a fabulous read for me, but, it was more along the lines of moderately engaging.  I didn’t hate it, but found myself out of sync with this book from the beginning and never finding a good connection.  It dove right in to the middle of the story and had me checking more than once that I didn’t grab a book in the middle of an existing series or checking to see if I accidentally picked up the first in a spin-off series that needed the first series to feel cohesive.  But, that wasn’t the case, at least that I could find.  It jumped in to the middle of an existing problem and an existing developing relationship.

A passel of people were thrown at me in the opening pages as well as some conflicts.  I sorted them out soon enough, but it was distracting for a while there.  Later on, the author goes back and gets into the past situations to make sense of the earlier confusion, but I never did feel connected.

The mystery was decent though it wasn’t difficult.  It did make a nice element in the overall story and added spikes of excitement.

The romance was so-so for me, too.  I liked both characters and liked them for a couple with their shared interests and experiences, but it was a case of not buying into what was holding them back.  Charlee was wary of a relationship and her reasons weren’t good enough to hold Hunter at a distance the way she did.  Hunter’s issue was more solid and fortunately he only used his concern about her family reaction and his work conflict once or twice before really going for it.  The wildlife euphemisms for lovemaking were not weird per se, but a little quirky for me.

What I thoroughly liked was the setting and backdrop of the life along the Florida river systems and focus on the wildlife.  Charlee’s big family and the business were also great fun and a good nucleus for the series.

So, I ended up liking it, but not loving it.  I might give the next book a go to see if I do better now that I might not have that sense of being off beat with the book and the romance.  I think others who enjoy romantic suspense might not experience that and would enjoy the book.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


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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.

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Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Great set up for the novel and series Sophia Rose I find sometimes the first book in a series sometimes loses something because of the whole series set up stuff. Great review I hope book two gets a 4 or 5!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

That is a good point, Debbie. I did like the setting so maybe another book in the series that isn’t the first book will be easier.

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

When I read a romance I want it to be hot and there the whole time. I hate the back and forth of will they won’t they or that they can’t tell each other the truth right away. Sounds like this could go either way for me. Thanks for the great review!


Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yep, the conflict and trouble has to be worth it or otherwise it’s just annoying back and forth. Thanks, Mary!

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Yeah, I didn’t buy into the reasons for them keeping arm’s length either. It just made me frustrated because it was stupid, IMO. Sorry to hear this wasn’t a complete win for you either. Excellent honest review! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It’s so hard when the hero’s motives and actions line up with his words and still she dithers. Frustrating. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

That is two in a row that weren’t winners for you. This sounds like it was enjoyable and frustrating! Great review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

LOL, it seems that way, but actually I read them about a month apart. Lots of others that were a better match for me. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Well liking it is better than hating it. Sounds like an interesting story though.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Very true, Mary! I do want to read more hoping a new pair and not the first book issues will make me love it. The wildlife area was great.

2 years ago

I’m with you, when books feel like they start in the middle of the story I find it hard to connect.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lily

It’s one thing when I know I’m diving into the middle of a series and am ready for that feeling of being a little lost, but this one gave that and was the first book. LOL

Anne - Books of My Heart

Well it sounds great but sometimes you just don’t connect with a particular story or characters.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Very true, Anne. After a few days, I realized that what the underlying disappointment was that none of the elements- character, romance, or mystery felt more than surface-level development. Either, I didn’t understand the whys or, like the mystery, it was more filler than anything. I’m going to try book two and see if that is a better fit with a different sibling.

Carole rae
2 years ago

Interesting find! Yea – I’m not sure if I would love it either.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

I just couldn’t figure out what her major deal was and the mystery wasn’t that captivating.

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

oh I really struggle with books that I can’t get into, sorry to hear that is didn’t meet up expectations for you.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I hate that feeling of being off-balance in a book when its not meant to be quite that severe. And, her pushing him away so much because she wasn’t sure got old. He wasn’t a new acquaintance that she didn’t know.
So yeah…

herding cats
2 years ago

A middle of the road. I’d heard that from someone else as well. It’s rough when you just feel out of sync with it and things are just…okay. Strange option starting it in the middle like that, too. That does through you off balance.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  herding cats

It was odd. It just starts talking about her coming back to work after a drowning and her family all around her and worried and then with him, it starts talking about him being in a backlash for breaking a scandal in his department. Add in their existing friendship-edge of relationship, and I was confused if I was at the beginning of a story or not. Then, she kept dithering like she just didn’t know if she knew him well enough, if he could be trusted, etc (they grew up together and he’s been right at her side for over… Read more »

2 years ago

It is an especially challenging read when there is no connection with the characters. Glad it ended up alright.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  vvb

It sure is, Velvet. I liked enough to keep reading and hoping things started to make sense.