July 5, 2011

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.

Author: Vivian Arend
Series: Xtreme Adventures, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2011, July 5
Format: eBook
Source: Received an e-ARC from author for review

First line: “Go on, you can do it.”

Memorable Scenes:
- Derrick tripping while kissing Melanie and still secured to her with the climbing ropes > the idea of Melanie suspended in the air above Derrick made me LOL.
- the photoshoots at the climbing gym > had to go in search of a fan...so freaking HOT
- Nathan wearing a sports bra > you have to read it to understand why I LOLed so loud I startled the hubby .
- the camping trip > amazing combination of emotions and heat! The picnic table scene immediately comes to mind...*fans self*
-the bondage/suspending scene at the climbing gym > I have no words to describe this scene's blazing hotness

The heroine of RISING, FREESTYLE is Melanie Dixon and I loved her! She’s saucy, vivacious, tomboy-ish and headstrong. She’s also trying to overcome her fear of heights (acrophobia) and climbing, after a major fall, head on by learning to free climb again. Melanie is Kane’s sister and Kane was one of the heroes of book 1 in this series (FALLING, FREESTYLE)

The hero is Derrick James, who is the owner of the climbing center where Melanie is reacquainting herself with climbing again and a friend of Kane’s.
Derrick is patient, thoughtful, considering and calm but still as intense as any alpha male.

The chemistry between Melanie and Derrick is sizzling but there was also a sense of ease and trust between them. Then a blast from the past, Nathan King, sails in and brings emotional turmoil on more than just a sexual level. Nate is Melanie’s best friend’s brother and she used to have a huge crush on him. Nathan is stubborn and compassionate and I’ve already told Vivian what I want for him (can’t tell you guys as it would spoil this story a little). The chemistry between Melanie and Nate was on a different level yet equally fiery as between Derrick and Melanie and was made even steamier by Derrick's reaction to it.

Though I hardly mention secondary characters by name in my reviews unless they play a very important role in the story, I must mention that the main characters of the first book (Dara, Kane and Jack) form a minor secondary cast for this one and when Jack appeared on the page I loved it. Brief as it was it made my heart go pitter-patter like crazy! I loved seeing Kane and Dara too and reading how their story had progressed after their book.

With every book from her I read Vivian Arend gets better and better. The way she builds up the sexual attraction and tension is explicit, powerful and unique without getting crass or rude. Her writing style is so easy and agreeable and at the same time it's sizzling hot. Once I start reading I just want to keep on going and before I know it, I'm done and craving her next book. I really loved the twist Vivian Arend gave to the ménage and voyeurism themes in this book. It was refreshing and smokin' hot to read and fit the characters and their stories so well.

I think (I’m still on the fence because I REALLY loved the first book too) I loved this book in the Xtreme Adventures Series even more than the first book, though it's a tad more complicated emotionally. My heart broke for Nathan every time Melanie would express her physical desire for him but turn to Derrick for the emotional connection. I know it's more realistic but my erotic romance reading, permanent threesome trope loving heart was left just as unsatisfied as Nathan was, despite having hot flashes from the steaminess of it all. And yet my romantic side was totally on board with Derrick and Melanie's bond and them not wanting to engage in a full-fledged ménage.

If you can a write book that makes me ponder doing stuff like rock climbing (even the explanation of rockclimbing terms at the beginning of every chapter had me interested!), touch me emotionally and still be as steamy as this, I have to take a deep, deep bow and declare this book an awesome read and Vivian Arend an amazing author!

Favorite Quotes:

Oh man. There were many things she wanted. She wanted to drag her fingers through his long hair and pull his head to hers for a kiss that would make her toes curl. If he happened to use his strong fingers on her back for a massage that somehow turned into a more erotic playtime, that would be fine as well. Maybe letting her crawl over him as they writhed together in wild, passionate lovemaking that would leave her gasping for breath and sexually sated. All of those were on the instant “hell, yeah” list.

She’d sworn to be honest in her relationships, and she wasn’t the type to let a situation start that could cause them trouble down the road. “I need to tell you about Nathan and me.”
One brow snuck upward, his expression highly amused. “You mean the fact he wants to get in your pants, or the fact he turns you on?”

Every time Nathan helped position her on the wall, his hands firm and confident on her body, Derrick’s dick got harder.
Melanie’s breathing accelerated, that telltale flush covering her chest. Derrick took another long swig of his water bottle and wondered if the two of them would notice if he pulled out his c#ck and jacked off right here and now.
F#cked in the head, that’s what he was. Watching his girlfriend get as good as fondled in front of him, seeing her get turned on, and all he could think was how happy he was for her and how much he needed to ease his balls.

(Nathan) Love them—thoroughly—then leave them happy had become his motto.

“Level with me—do you find her attractive?”
Nathan reeled back. -Just the type of question I want to answer to a seemingly jealous boyfriend with enough muscles to beat me silly.- Fine, Derrick was going to ask the tough ones? Nathan went for broke. Maybe he was about to get a fist to the face, but screw it. “Hell yeah. I’ve been thinking about her ever since I got the bloody assignment.”

Sunlight wavered around them, the tall trees swaying in the breeze making the shadows dance around the clearing. It was the most peaceful of settings, and she closed her eyes and soaked in the serenity around her to force out the fears rocking her world.
Sexually aroused, emotionally anxious—and stunned by what she grew more certain was love shining in Derrick’s eyes.

(Nathan) “I want to kiss you, Mel.”
He waited for her response, his long dark lashes that she’d envied as a teen lazily fluttering as he stared at her mouth.
A kiss would be good. If she remembered how to talk, she would tell him that. Instead, she managed a nod, and his smile arrived right on cue.

(Nathan) He was surrounded by the freaking animal kingdom, and he’d just shot his brains out the end of his dick.

Derrick was a rock, her rock. Solid, and completely there for her. Not to take over her life, but to provide a firm place to stand while she took back control.

He touched her, inside and out. Her body, her mind. Her soul.
And there were no more scars there.
Time blurred, sensations shot to a tantalizing edge before rocketing her off the cliffs and setting her into freefall. Her climax tore her apart and rebuilt her as her body squeezed tight around his shaft.

He laughed, and the lightness of the sound broke into sparkling pieces and bounced off the walls of the room to fill her ears with joy and her heart with hope. “Damn it, Mel, you missed your cue. It’s like climbing. You ask ‘On belay?’ and I respond ‘Belay on.’ So when I say ‘I love you’, you’re supposed to say it back.


ClaudiaGC said...

I can see already on the amount of your favourite quotes how much you loved that book! :) I loved the first one, too, and had similar thoughts like you at first about the setting. I'm not interested in winter sports of any kind but it really worked for me.
Thanks for the review!

Christi Snow said...

Pearl, I purchase more books based on your recs...Just purchased this one and book #1. Thanks for the great review... smiles!

Tracy said...

I really have loved her wolf shifter books. I need to start this series - especially after reading your thoughts. Thanks!

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GR Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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