Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Risk Aware by Amelia C. Gormley

Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

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Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 Stars.

Amelia C. Gormley is a new-to-me author, and I enjoyed her writing style and the fluidity of the scenes. I will be checking out her other titles, even if this one wasn't my cup of tea.

Intriguing and well-researched, I give mad props to the author for creating a highly realistic book featuring a real life issue many people don't understand. The information brought to light about hemophilia was done in a way that was not only educational and informative, but also entertaining. The BDSM aspects, I was pleased to note were done with respect instead of sensationalism or romanticism, and highly accurate without coming across as preachy and instructional.

Risk Aware is the story of a hemophiliac tattoo artist who happens to have a masochistic bent. Geoff has the little dog syndrome, where he's defensive, instead of sensitive, about his medical issues, finding insult where none was given, seeing himself as weak when no one else does. I could empathize with Geoff, but this attitude is not attractive, nor conducive when trying to build a solid relationship built on truth. Hemophilia was a struggle for Geoff and those who love him, but Geoff's attitude exacerbated the issue.

In a nutshell, it was Geoff who turned me off from entirely enjoying Risk Aware. I can appreciate what the author was trying to convey, but as a serious person, I couldn't handle the irresponsibility.

Robin is patient with Geoff, even when he angered me about not taking care of himself. Geoff's parents struggled to provide him with a better future without debts, his sister contributed to the situation – everyone who knew Geoff loved him- yet he was careless with his own health as a way to prove he wasn't fragile. Every page I read, I was waiting for Geoff to have a major injury because of his own lax judgments. If anyone put Geoff's health first, he got defensive, as if they were insulting him instead of showing how much they cared and no, it wasn't the first and only thing they asked.

Geoff meets Robin during a week-long vacation, and Robin tries to meet Geoff's needs without hurting him. Once vacation ended, they find a way to continue their relationship.

It took me the better part of three days to read the entirety of this short novel – maybe it was my mood, but it didn't hook me and keep me engaged. I was entertained until the 50% mark, but after that it felt finished to me, with more similar between-the-sheets scenes being featured, which I had a hard time not skimming, being as how this was 70% lusty scenes and 30% story.

I felt the chemistry between the pair was palpable yet too insta for me, when I need a buildup – tension. The inventive ways Robin came up with to meet Geoff's needs was entertaining to read. Lastly, I respect the way hemophilia was written into the story.

Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the 4th grade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice issues, and pretty men.

When her husband and son aren’t interacting with the back of her head as she stares at the computer, they rely on her to feed them, maintain their domicile, and keep some semblance of order in their lives (all very, very bad ideas—they really should know better by now.) She can also be found playing video games and ranting on Tumblr, seeing as how she’s one of those horrid social justice warriors out to destroy free speech, gaming, geek culture, and everything else that’s fun everywhere.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Risk Aware by Amelia C. Gormley to read and review.

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