A Hearts On Fire Review
3.75 HEARTS--Snark, sexual tension and a second chance at romance.
Bruce Rose's "Risky" is a novella that takes a fun trope - second chance romance and makes it sexy and funny. My favorite ingredients this type of novella. I loved reading author's notes and author bios especially when the author makes the effort. Bruce Rose made the effort. Beer and condoms are a great platform.
I was charmed from the warning throughout until the last period.
"Risky" stars geeky club owner Shane. He's broker than broke, in danger of losing his business and in dire straits. In walks in his ex Jake Lang on one of his worst days. Jake comes in with bravado, smooth talking and demanding flair. In short, me and Shane couldn't pant fast enough. There is something about the cocky men with swagger. It's a fine line between cocky and jerk. Bruce Rose did a good job not making Jake a villain.
With a very erotic acquaintance in a semi public place (*wink*), the novella focuses on the men trying to fight their obvious attraction and chemistry while saving Bow, Shane's club. Jake was a selfish trust fund kid the last time Shane saw him. But people change especially when they want to.
With a risky bet, the two become tentative business partners for a month where sex isn't exactly on the table. The story could've easily went into the PWP territory but it really didn't. There's a plot and more than that, a wonderful cast of characters. I enjoyed the entire ensemble - Brandon and Taylor, the twunk and twink bar staff who are loyal to Shane. And Terry, the lumbersexual, gentle giant pastry chef. PLEASE tell me there will be a story starring Terry and his beard. He's a big guy who I picture as a redhead in my head, wearing flannel and suspenders. *fingers crossed* He deserves to find a partner too. All of the characters do.
But I digress (*puppy eyes to the author*)
Another plus in this story's favor is it shows how Jake redeems himself to be a worthy partner. Not just for his personal gains but for himself. The story doesn't go out on a major limb into innovative, but it didn't need to. A great comfort read that can pass away the time with fun.
There are quibbles, however. The story has typos, at one point Jake's last name changed due to a typo (just once). There was a little mush once the HEA happened. There were a few parts where certain characteristics or actions weren't delved into as deep as it could have such as the (light) cyberstalking - how exactly did Jake know all of Shane's business? Also, a scene with Jake discussing his new life now that his wealthy lifestyle is at an end would have been nice to read instead of a secondary character discussing it.
Overall, enjoyable. Definitely my kind of humor. The sex (when it happened) was hot with a capital T! And the sexual tension was a great touch.
I will definitely be reading more from this author and diving into his backlist. ;)