Is "Risking It All" Really Worth The Risk?

Title:  Risking It All
Series:  (Naked Men #1)
Author:  Christi Barth
Review Format:  eARC
Length:  271 pages
Publisher:  Loveswept
Rating:  3.5

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.  -Goodreads

“Can we not talk about, you know, my whole big sad incident anymore?”
“Sweetness, we don’t have to talk anymore at all.” Griffin moved in on her. Fast, so she wouldn’t have time to think about anything. Not the tour guide still lurking down the sidewalk about fifty paces. Not the endless Cherry Blossom Festival tourists in the paddleboats below them. And definitely no thinking about the past.
Griff considered it his duty, as a good date, to erase all those thoughts from her mind. So he slanted his mouth across her lips. They were cool from the twilight air. They wouldn’t be for long.
Right now, Chloe didn’t need sweetness. Probably wouldn’t appreciate cautious tenderness, either. She needed heat. Raging desire. Good thing Griff was packing that in spades. He didn’t even give her time to adjust, time to soften underneath him. No, Griff just poured his lust for her onto her lips. Slipped his tongue inside on her first gasp of surprise. And then he just took her.
The hand in her jeans pocket slid out to better curve around the entirety of her sweet, tight ass. To pull Chloe up to her tiptoes and notch her against the rock hardness tenting out the zipper of his jeans. Griff’s other hand fisted in her hair, tilting her head back to an angle that gave him the best access.
As their tongues entwined, battled, teased, the heat level went up, too. Now her lips melted onto his, soft as butter. Chloe’s whole body arched against him. Pushing. Rubbing. The woman all but climbed onto him. Her left leg wrapped around his right. One hand plucked at the back of his shirt repeatedly, until it was out of his waistband, which she then tunneled beneath to graze the top of his ass with her fingertips.
That skin on skin connection zapped through him like a lightning bolt. Guess she wanted him every bit as much as he wanted her. And he did want her. He wanted to lay her down on that stone bench, with nothing but a few stray cherry blossoms as a cushion, and drive into her. Something about the mix of her enthusiastic passion and her almost innocent beauty drove him wild.
So he deepened the kiss. Turned his head the other way for a fresh approach, to make sure he didn’t miss licking over a single nerve ending. Griff nipped at her wide bottom lip. Made another pass with his tongue around all of the steamy slickness inside her mouth. And swallowed every sexy little moan and pant that she gave up.
A loud splash just beneath them jerked him back to reality. It was a damn seagull, still skidding his landing on the water as Griff looked over. But it was enough to break their crazed moment. Chloe’s leg slowly drifted back down the length of his. She pulled her hand out of the back of his pants. Griff put both hands beneath her arms. Lifted her high into the gray velvet of dusk and spun her in circles until she squealed, blossoms coating her hair like a veil.
“All right.”
“All right, what?” he asked as he set her down and straightened her scarf.
“You’re forgiven for taking me out on a motorized death machine.”
“All it took was one kiss?”
“One long kiss,” she amended.
“Wonder what I can get you to do once we get to second base?”

My Thoughts
Griffin Montgomery is a character.
Bright, witty, funny, and the consummate "man's man".  It's no wonder that it is so easy to fall for him. Not only is he handsome and outgoing, but he saves lives for a living as a rescue pilot for the Coast Guard.  Oh, and he's just a litt-le bit rich too.

Placing our Superman even higher on the " why we should like him list." His back story. Once we find out about how he kept his best friends alive after their bus crashed in the Swiss Alps.  Oh...that's it!

But wait.  It seems that Superman has a few chinks in his steel armor.
One of which being his inability to avoid unnecessary risks.  Risks that could have gotten both him and his crew killed.  Risks that, though they did save lives, also got him grounded until further notice.
Which is how and when we get to the part of the story where Griffin meets Chloe and well...things get just a little weird
Chloe is a girl who likes routine and order and prefers a speed to life that would make your average turtle look like Speed Racer. She of course, is the complete opposite of Griffin, and predictably enough; just the chickadee whose feathers he'd like to ruffle.

The romance is very sweet and all is well in Inta-love Land until...
Chloe tells Griffin the sweetest secret ever and...
He becomes a total ass.
This is the point where all reading stops and reading devices start flying across the room at great velocity.
While it is true that into every romance a little conflict must fall.  It is also true that this particular conflict, and the way that our leading man initially responds to it, demotes both him and the book from a darling to a dud in very short order.

All is not lost however. "Come to Jesus moments" are soon had by all.  Griffin proceeds to remove foot from mouth, and the book ends with all of the stuff that happy endings are made of.
And one very confused reviewer.

Reviewer's Notes
Risking It All is the first title in a companion series.  As such, it may be read in any order.
This review is based on an advanced reader's copy of the above referenced work received from Loveswept for that sole purpose.

About Christi
Christi Barth
Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.
A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance.
Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.

Find Her:  Web / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

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