High Risk - Vivian Arend Title: High Risk

Series: Adrenaline bk 1

Author: Vivian Arend

Genre: Contemporary

LIFELINE: an elite search-and-rescue squad based out of Banff, Alberta. Specializing in high-risk rescue missions, this team goes wherever the job takes them…

Rebecca James was once revered for her devil-may-care attitude and backcountry survival skills. But ever since she lost her partner in a fatal accident, patches of her memory have been missing. And until she can recall those final, tragic moments before the accident, she can’t move on.

Since Marcus Landers was permanently injured during a mission, all his energies have been focused on his Lifeline team. When Becki—whom he had an intense affair with seven years ago—arrives in Banff, he’s inspired to reignite the spark they once had. Their mutual ardor slowly awakens Becki’s dormant, haunting memories.

New truths surface until Becki must at last confront her greatest fear. Remembering the past might mean a future without the man she loves…

Vivian Arend is an author who manages to suck me into her stories each and every time and leave me wanting more. With her latest book High Risk I felt like I was a member of Lifeline and living in Banff.

When I started this book I knew I was going to be very critical of Marcus's character because I live with someone who was born with the same handicap Marcus has. And while Marcus's handicap is a result of something happening to him, my son was born that way. Because of this I know what a person with one hand can and can't do. And there is nothing they can't do. My son is a rock climber like Marcus and he climbed his first wall at five, without any arm attachments.

Marcus is an male who knows who he is and what he wants. And he wants Becki. The weekend they'd shared years ago wasn't enough to sate the hunger he felt for her. At the same time Becki comes into this life he realizes he needs to get back in the game when it comes to his climbing and his rescue company, and training with Becki will help him get back what he lost when he lost his arm.

Becki is in Banff to regain her life. After the tragedy of losing her partner in Yellowstone she needs a change and to take control of her life and her climbing. It doesn't hurt that Marcus is there and the memories of their weekend are hot enough to get her blood flowing...and some other things as well :)

Marcus and Becki together are explosive and the sex scenes are OMG HAWT!! You will need a fan when you read these parts :)

The conflict these two face is more of an internal conflict than an external conflict and it's one that helps to bring Marcus and Becki closer together, and is one I can imagine anyone who has gone through what these two have gone through feeling.

There were two parts of the book I really loved and showed who Marcus and Becki were.

This one where they talk about perception in regards to Marcus missing limb...

Marcus spoke quietly. "I think it freaks people out."

"Your arm?"

He paused. "You know, it's more like they can't understand why I'm not making a bigger deal of it. Like I'm supposed to be all emo and pissed that I lost a limb. Fuck it - I'd take my life over my hand any day, and that's about what it came down to. People don't know the big picture, though. They see what they see, and expectations and assumptions creep in."

"If you're handicapped you're supposed to be a victim, you know."

"Right," he drawled, "or admired for doing what simply isn't a big deal. People need to get real. If we're honest, everyone deals with physical limitations of some sort, whether they're too short to reach into high cupboards, or too out of shape to run for the bus. It's the mental stuff that takes more effort. Takes incredible bravery."

and this one where Becki is looking at him...

She stopped beside the bed, her vision caught by Marcus. The blankets in disarray around him, his naked chest exposed, his head tilted to the side with his right hand near his temple. His left arm, the one that had held her to him, lay across his chest, the shortened section of his forearm ending abrubtly. Maybe it should have shocked her how seldom she noticed his missing hand.

He wasn't lacking, though. In any way. Strong and determined. Giving and powerful. Since the moment she'd met him so many years ago to now, the only word she had for him was extraordinary.

When I read these parts I yelled YES!! She gets it. She gets the reality of these two characters and what it's like to live with a physical handicap and the person who loves them.

I have read all of Vivian's books and I can honestly say this book is her best book to date. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, which she sets up for beautifully in High Risk.

If you've never read one of Vivian's books this is an excellent place to start.

Grade A+

Review by: Heather