Who doesn’t love Naked Men? In Christi Barth’s irresistible series, a group of close-knit friends talk out their problems with naked honesty on a popular blog. Bonded by a high-school tragedy, they’re moving on from the past—and fighting for the future with strong and sassy women.
Griffin Montgomery helps people. As a teenager, he kept his best friends alive after their soccer team’s bus crashed in the Alps. Now, as a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot, he saves lives with reckless abandon—until he goes too far and earns a lengthy suspension. Working on the Naked Men projects keeps his mind busy, but Griff’s itching to get back in the action. That’s when he finds his latest rescue mission: a pretty wallflower who’s stuck in her comfort zone.
Chloe Widmore doesn’t take risks. As a professional letter writer, she gets enough excitement out of expressing other people’s emotions. So when the hottest man she’s ever seen invades her coffee shop, Chloe surprises herself with how much she wants to be with him. Routines make her feel safe. Griff makes her deliciously unsafe, in so many ways. But falling for him is one risk she might just have to take . . . whether she’s ready or not.
When the WTF?! (and not in a good way) moments out do the sweet, funny ones and the only characters who hold your interest at the end of the book are the female lead's bestie and a character that was mentioned, but never made an appearance in the book, you know it wasn’t meant to be.
This book had the components to make it a good read: Hot alpha male with a saviour complex collides with a woman who has a sassy streak and yet won’t step outside of the very restrictive box she’s constructed for herself. Both have tragic, life altering experiences in their pasts that have made them who they are today, but find that if they want a future together they’ll have to face those demons and let the past go. Add in the fact that there is a group of guys who run a blog and it promised to be at least a fun read, but unfortunately this book just didn’t work for me in the end.
Griffin and I started off on a good foot. I understood why he had a saviour complex and found him to be pretty charming and easy going and then the incident at about 30% happened and I blinked. I understood why it was a thing and I can say that if it were me on the receiving end of it I’d definitely have a “Whoa. Hold up” moment, but his reaction to it was just way too over the top for me. I mean holy mantrum, Batman. Unfortunately, from that point on I saw him in a different light and though it wasn’t a bad one, it kept him from getting out of the realm of “I just liked him”.
As for Chloe, she and I didn’t start off on a good foot, I found her a bit too quick to judge and critical of people that it rubbed me the wrong way, and that unfortunately colored my view of her throughout the book. This isn’t to say that she didn’t have me wanting to high five her at various moments in the book, the way she dealt incident at 30% was awesome, or admiring her for how she stepped up during the incident in her past, but whole first impression thing never left me.
So with my pretty tepid feelings toward Griff and Chloe it’s not that hard for anyone to surmise that their relationship didn’t get me going all that much. There were some sweet moments and I liked that they did their best to communicate with each other, but it just was okay for me.
Now about the secondary cast of characters especially The Naked Men. See I’m not sure if I really like them or not. I’m all for the bros before hos way of thinking and backing your boys to the bitter end, I really am, because I’m all for the flip side where I have my girls backs, and that saying fits them to a T. There were some fun moments with them, but there were also moments when I wanted to find a 2x4 and smack them upside the heads because even though I could understand their reasoning, I just couldn’t help but go WTF? I don’t expect male characters to be all emo’d out and warm and fuzzy, but even I was thrown for a loop at some of their comments (90%) The only one saved from any thoughts of bodily harm was Logan and that’s only because he never made an appearance in the book, he was just talked about, which ended up making him a hell of a lot more interesting than the rest because he is an unknown. And last but not least there is Summer, Chloe’s best friend. I liked her spunk and sass and finding out about her past has me wanting to know more about her.
The Bottom Line: Risking It All and I didn’t get on well, but I will be keeping an eye on the series to see if Logan or Summer get their own books.
~ ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.
A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance.
Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.