Monday, December 12, 2016

One Life to Lose by Kris Ripper

What’s a loner to do when he’s fallen for not one man, but two?

Cameron Rheingold is the kind of guy who takes a book to a bar. He’s a loner by nature, but he has to engage with the community to keep his movie theater business afloat. When two young men stay after a Cary Grant film showing to chat, Cameron thinks he might have made some new friends—but their interest is more than friendly.

Josh is charismatic, and every smile is a little bit seductive. Keith is sweet and kind, with a core of steel Cameron can sense even when Keith’s on his knees. Cameron is willing to be the couple’s kinky third, but that’s it. He refuses to risk complicating things with his growing devotion, even if being with Josh and Keith feels more right than anything else ever has.

When the three of them are attacked by the killer roaming La Vista, Cameron must decide what’s more important: pretending the assault never happened and he’s the same loner he used to be, or coming clean to Josh and Keith about how much he loves them, even if they can never return his feelings.

Add to Goodreads

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed One Life to Lose. I found myself quite taken with Cameron while reading The Queer and the Restless, so I was excited to get his story so quickly, especially when I saw that he was entering into a ménage relationship with two men. With that said, the story felt incomplete, unfinished. That’s not to say that the story was chopped off, but more that I wasn’t ready for it to end when it did because I felt like it was just getting to the good part – the actual relationship. Logically, I get what the author was doing. Emotionally, when I got to the final page and saw the Riptide logo that indicated I’d reached the end of the book, I wasn’t prepared for it. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the guys. I wanted to see them get up the next day and watch their relationship continue to develop and solidify. However, that was not the message the author seemed be trying to send. I think that Ripper wanted to focus on the message that Josh summed up rather nicely when talking to Cameron, that “you work at it [life] every day on the strength of your hope” – that you have to hope that your efforts and hard work will pay off, whether it be in your professional life or your personal life and relationships. And Ripper certainly made the boys work for their relationship.

I am beyond pleased to share that the La Vista killer is caught in One Life to Lose, and that I was correct in my suspicion as to who the killer was. However, his motive and rationalization for why he was killing blew my mind. It’s scary to think that the LGBTQA community could have to fear that mindset coming from someone within their own community, from someone they should feel safe around, even if the character was BSC (bat excrement crazy). Unfortunately, the La Vista crew lost another person they knew and nearly lost Cameron as well. The PTSD Cameron experiences as a result of the attack is frighteningly realistic and I commend Ripper on how well Cameron’s fears and anxieties broadcast off the page. I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve never been in a similar situation, yet I had no problem understanding and empathizing with Cameron’s anxieties and “unreasonable” fears (his characterization of his fears). I’m also glad that Ripper didn’t “force” Cameron’s friends to help him deal with his feelings after the attack and stayed true to Cameron’s introverted personality. Finally, the author’s choice to reveal the killer’s identity well before the end of the book worked well because it enabled me to shift my focus from the mystery and to the men, their relationship, and Cameron’s healing.

While I’ve only read book three, I enjoyed the transformation that Cameron underwent as he opened himself up more to those around him. Josh and Keith were not only the catalyst Cameron needed to socialize more, but they “forced” him to see himself through their eyes, thus making him more open to others. Because of it, Cameron finally began to feel comfortable in his own skin and as if he really had a chance of returning the Rhein to its former glory – that being the theater as a business central to the community and one that fostered socializing. Although this is a ménage relationship between Cameron and an established couple, Josh and Keith, the author does a wonderful job of making their intimate moments sensual. Rather than writing graphic sex scenes solely to titillate the reader, the sex scenes focus on the trust and communication needed between the three of them, making them far more intimate than a steamy sex scene would. The BDSM is written the same way, the scenes, while intense, are not graphic – I felt the trust and power exchange first between Josh and Keith, and then later when all three men are playing together. While it’s clear what is going on, Ripper writes the scenes in such a way that it leaves much to the reader’s imagination, thus making them sensual and seductive… and very, very hot. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed One Life to Lose, both getting to read Cameron’s story and catching up with the characters from book three. I look forward to the next book in the series and I absolutely must find time to read the first two books.

Also Available in the Queers of La Vista Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide  Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Gays of Our Lives post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our The Butch and the Beautiful post.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our The Queer and the Restless post.

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Connect with Kris

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of One Life to Lose (Queers of La Vista #4) by Kris Ripper to read and review.

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