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Review – Rising, Freestyle by Vivian Arend

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: eARC from author

Melanie Dixon’s body may have recovered from a horrific climbing accident, but her nerve is long gone. So is the natural enthusiasm for life she took for granted. Tired of being scared, beyond ready to conquer her fears, she pulls up stakes and moves to her brother’s new hometown to start over. Her first step is the most terrifying—to tackle the wall at the local climbing center.

Derrick James is mesmerized by Melanie’s dark beauty, and equally impressed with her climbing abilities and determination. Watching her retune rusty skills spurs a desire to partner with her—on and off the ropes. Melanie’s a compelling mix of wit, sensuality and vulnerability, and it’s his delicious task to convince her the scars on her body are no match for the heat rising between them.

Then a man from Melanie’s past shows up, pushing their relationship to the edge. Nathan King wants photographs for a “where are they now” series, but his side agenda is more personal in nature. A proposal that brings her out of her sensual shell and onto a precarious sexual ledge. Where trust is crucial…and too easily shattered.

Warning: This book may cause heart-pounding, body-shaking adrenaline attacks—and that’s before they leave the climbing gym. Contains blindfolds, ropes and a healthy dose of voyeurism. Go on—you know you like to watch.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

 

Arend is one of my favorite authors, but with the trend of menage books popping up all over, there are a few of her works that don’t always sit well with me. I was excited to read this one, then halfway through I got a little leery, but I should have known that Arend wouldn’t disappoint

Melanie was once a fearless rock climber, but an accident left her scarred and petrified to attempting climbing again. But she wants to face her fears and goes to the local rock climbing center to try and face her fears once again. At the hands of Derrick she starts to come more and more out of her shell, more willing to push further and further along.

As the two get closer and closer to each other and Melanie gets closer to overcoming her fears, things are suddenly disrupted as someone from Melanie’s past comes back into her life. But, Nathan might just be able to provide the little nudge that Melanie needs to not only overcome the mountains, but also learn to accept the scars that have taken her self esteem.

From the moment Derrick stepped out onto the page, I was in love. He was strong willed, handsome, and the kind of guy who wanted to stand behind Melanie; he was supportive and loving in everything he did for her. He was the perfect kind of sexy romance hero. I absolutely loved the two of them together. They had instant chemistry, both emotionally and physically.

When Arend introduced Nathan to the story, I instantly didn’t like him. He wanted his chance with Melanie, and while he was willing to take a step back because of her involvement with Derrick, I wasn’t too sure I would like the dynamic with their little mountain experiment. But, I have to admit that I didn’t hate him forever. I did appreciate the way that he was able to help Melanie get over her insecurities with being scarred from her accident. That and the fact that he was so willing to play second fiddle to Derrick made him redeemable in my eyes. This wasn’t the typical menage interlude, and for that I was so happy!

One of the other things I really liked was the different sport that Arend introduces in her Xtreme Adventures series. The rock climbing moments were intense and exciting. If I wasn’t so afraid of heights and falling, I would be tempted to try it out! Plus, if I got a sexy instructor like Derrick who was willing to do some of the same sexy things to me… *fans self* Well, I might be willing to take a chance!

All in all, I was really happy with the second installment of the Xtreme Adventures Series. The romance between Derrick and Melanie was sweet and the characters had me falling in love with them. The sexy times were (as always for Arend) totally hot. For any sports or adventure lovers, this book is a must read.

I give Rising, Freestyle a B

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By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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