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cover82729-mediumRisking It All

A Naked Men Novel

by Christi Barth

Who doesn’t love Naked Men? In Christi Barth’s irresistible series, a group of close-knit friends talk out their problems with naked honesty on a popular blog. Bonded by a high-school tragedy, they’re moving on from the past—and fighting for the future with strong and sassy women.

Griffin Montgomery helps people. As a teenager, he kept his best friends alive after their soccer team’s bus crashed in the Alps. Now, as a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot, he saves lives with reckless abandon—until he goes too far and earns a lengthy suspension. Working on the Naked Men projects keeps his mind busy, but Griff’s itching to get back in the action. That’s when he finds his latest rescue mission: a pretty wallflower who’s stuck in her comfort zone.

Chloe Widmore doesn’t take risks. As a professional letter writer, she gets enough excitement out of expressing other people’s emotions. So when the hottest man she’s ever seen invades her coffee shop, Chloe surprises herself with how much she wants to be with him. Routines make her feel safe. Griff makes her deliciously unsafe, in so many ways. But falling for him is one risk she might just have to take . . . whether she’s ready or not.

 

We’ve seen Barth’s books before (here) and I’m super excited to start her new series.  I’m going to say now that this review has a kinda spoiler in it so if you don’t want to know anything more stop now 🙂

I’m usually curious about what others are saying about a book I’m reviewing (just to see what they liked, didn’t like or noticed that I didn’t).  And I was super surprised at how many people didn’t like Griffin.  To me he was a pretty typical guy’s guy – take charge, physical, testosterone fueled, that kinda thing 🙂  But quite a few people flipped at how he reacts when he finds out that Chloe is a virgin.  I’m not sure what it says about me but I’m not surprised or offended that a guy who isn’t thinking long-term commitment with a woman at that point would have a problem with being her first.  He’s concerned that she’d have a more emotional connection to sex than maybe what their relationship is ready for and it isn’t a new idea that most women have trouble keeping their heart out of the bedroom without that.  It doesn’t take him very long to get over it but I can definitely understand why he has a knee-jerk “oh-hell-no” reaction.  I think this is just going to be something that each reader has to decide whether it works for them.

I found the two of them to be quite realistic in their actions and reactions.  They aren’t perfect and both have hang-ups from horrible things that happened in their past.  But it also gives them a special understanding of each other that helps create the basis of a great relationship.  And, one of my favorite things, they have great communication – that’s the one thing that will drive me nuts, when the characters don’t talk to each other and therefore do stupid things.  There is drama – over her virginity, his need to save everyone and her aversion to taking any kind of risk.  While they may not have typical issues, they handle them without a whole lot of melodrama – any time I thought that something was going to come back and bite them, they actually worked through it in a way that was very believable.

My only complaint is that we don’t get enough of the relationship between the guys.  The interactions that we do get are so entertaining and show the closeness that has developed between such different guys that I really wanted more … and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series for that alone.  Plus, Barth does such a good job of giving us tidbits and little glimpses of the other guys that I really want to get to know them better.  So I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on these guys – I’m seriously looking forward to them meeting their matches (especially Knox 🙂 ).

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