BOOK REVIEW: Risking It All by Jennifer Schmidt

My first blog tour!!!! *HAPPY DANCE* I would like to thank Jennifer Schmidt for inviting me to be part of her Risking It All Virtual Tour – she is one cool chick and I was honoured to be asked. You might think that my review is overly critical but believe me when I say that I wouldn’t have taken the time to review this book in such detail had I not liked the book or had I not liked her writing.

Risking It All, the new erotic novel by Jennifer Schmidt, will be released on September 13, 2012.

Buy book: Amazon
The Story

riskingitallKennedy Monroe barely got her foot in her college dorm her freshman year before she was being warned about a certain dark-haired, blue-eyed self-proclaimed Casanova. There were only so many tales of heartache – and incredibly steamy nights – she could listen to before she started to believe them. But after a run in with the most sought after college womanizer, her ill feelings toward him change and soon a friendship forms that surprises everyone.

Twelve years later Kennedy and Memphis Adams are closer than ever – and only friends despite what those around them think, including Kennedy’s boyfriend Ian Brooks. When Kennedy accepts an invitation to vacation in Alaska from Memphis, her relationship with Brooks is tested as is her restraint when it comes to the desire she has always had for her best friend.

Alone with Memphis in Alaska, Kennedy finds it increasingly harder to ignore temptation and wants nothing more than to give into her secret desires with the one man that has always been off limits. But is one night of passion worth the possible risk of losing their friendship over?

Feeling torn between doing the right thing and doing what she wants, Kennedy fears losing her best friend. She knows she needs to sort out her feelings for the two men in her life and deal with the consequences of her actions, but how can she when everything seems to be falling apart so fast? And how much can Memphis take before he’s pushed too far and can no longer take Kennedy’s inability to make a decision about what and who she wants?

Kennedy discovers the harsh reality of how one night can change everything and leave her risking it all.

The Review

This is one of those books that will appeal to the friends-first-lovers-later romantics of the world. Kennedy and Memphis (such rockstar names!) have been best friends since college. They agreed early on that their friendship was simply too precious to both of them to ruin it by sleeping together. They are always there for each other, open and honest, keeping no secrets from one another, except … that they actually would like nothing more than reconsider the no-sex policy. While Kennedy is in a committed relationship with a self-involved workaholic who is never there for her when it counts, Memphis is still the incorrigible two-week-relationship-record womaniser.

Memphis asks Kennedy to accompany him to Alaska on a business trip where he is meant to take photos of a new couples resort. Even before they reach their romantic destination, one night after her boyfriend didn’t show up at another important milestone in her life, Kennedy and Memphis kiss. They both want to dismiss the kiss as a drunken mistake but secretly they are overwhelmed by how right it felt to kiss one another. So they leave for Alaska. Beautiful sceneries, romantic activities, open fires, you would think they would be at ‘it’ like bunnies, but instead all they do is fight. Yes, they do end up having steaming-hot sex and all but they just can’t stop fighting, on and on… It felt like a game of push and pull – I want you, you don’t want me, I don’t want you, you want me, …. Argh!!! I was pulling my own hair. The chemistry between them was sizzling and undeniable but it got so annoying listening to them bickering about their relationship, doubting each other, never finishing a damn thought, that half way through I was already spent.

I understand that when two people have been best friends for so long as Kennedy and Memphis have, the scariest thing is to lose that friendship by taking it to the next level. They were a perfect match in every possible way. They made each other better and stronger people and a deeper connection between them could have made it all even better, but bringing sex into the equation also had the potential of destroying everything. I understood why they were both so reluctant and spooked by it but their ups and downs were making me dizzy. Kennedy also had the added complication of the boyfriend back home, Brooks. He was not the man she hoped he would be, he was neglectful and he didn’t make her feel the way Memphis did, but he offered her stability, something that Memphis up to that point didn’t even have in his DNA. She is torn – I am with Brooks, I shouldn’t be doing this, I don’t want to be with Brooks anymore, I should be doing this… So she runs back home to ‘think things through’.  Personally, I would have suggested a lobotomy at this point…

We do get a nice little HEA in the end and all is right in the world, but I was left unsure about the ‘journey’ to that HEA. I know that I sound overly critical of this story and all this might appear to be in conflict with the high number of stars I am giving this book, but I actually enjoyed reading it and never, not even once, wanted to give up and not finish it. It fed the masochistic romance glutton in me and I enjoyed it for the same reasons I occasionally sneak a peek at Bold and the Beautiful to see who is sleeping with whom and who is pulling whose hair. No judging please. It was well written, it was engaging even though the engagement on my part included pulling my own hair at times, and I am glad I read it.