Title: Risk Everything on It (Ready or Knot #2)
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Pres
Release Date: January 8, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 234
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Former child star and deeply closeted adult actor Jax Conlon needs a boost to his flagging career. He promised his mom, just before she died. He hopes he’s found it in a guest spot with the latest directorial prodigy, but his research for the role gets derailed by an encounter with a handsome stranger with more… hands-on experience.
Oz Parsons is a devoted dad to two amazing little girls. Maybe a little too devoted—he hasn’t had anything resembling a personal life since his ex left, leaving Oz and the girls with broken hearts and abandonment issues. So a hookup with a hot guy is just what he needs to let off some pent-up steam without any complications. There’s something about Jax, though, that’s got him finding reasons to draw things out.
With their goals and families pulling them in two different directions, Oz and Jax have to figure if white-hot chemistry and desire that won’t quit is enough to roll the dice and risk now on forever.
All good things right here. I absolutely adored this book start to finish. It felt like KA Mitchell found her groove, because the first book of the series was a little all over the place, but not this one! And I am happy to say that it is one of the few times that a sequel is soooooo much better than the first book!
Jax, who we met in Put a ring on it, is an aspiring actor from LA. It seems as though his entire life he was pushed to be in the spotlight. You know, one of those celebrity kids that were herded from commercial to movie set to talk show? That’s him. And as an adult actor, he struggles. On a random trip to a store to research all things “baby” for a new role, he meets Oz, and hooks up with him in the parking lot. This hook-up was the shit! No one tried to make it more than it is. The sex was almost clinical in its practicality –two well grown men crammed in the back seat of an SUV. But it was so raw and honest that it completely blew me away. Dirty talk lovers, unite!
”Sweet cake, boy. If we were someplace else, I’d eat it nice and slow.”
Meet Oz, everyone. A successful engineer, divorced, and father of two little girls. Oh, and he’s black, as you’ll notice on the cover. Can I congratulate the author on writing an interracial couple and making it NOT a big deal? I think it’s about freaking time in romance. Well done, Ms Mitchell. I am sick and tired of race always being an issue with. I read and appreciate stories where interracial couples have it hard, because it still happens, but it’s also an issue when it’s not supposed to be the main part of the plot a lot of the times. It’s so refreshing to see side-characters not even batting an eye lash and generally not even commenting on it. At. All. Or anyone really.This is the way it should be and I loved that about this book.
Also, I personally love stories where children are super involved in the plot and not just props to fill in pieces of a character’s identity. If you are the same, you’ll love this. The author did an amazing job portraying how difficult and complicated a parent’s life can be when young children are involved. I grew up with a single parent and I understood a lot about Oz’ struggles, how he prioritised, his anxiety, and his time restrictions. And that damn ex. What a loser. I felt for Oz having to share his kids with that guy and bear their heartbreak because of the ex’s inconsistency and shitty parenting. I also have to give Kudos to Jax’ character who knew nothing about being around kids, and I mean literally, nothing at all, but his feelings for Oz didn’t deter him or freak him out in the slightest.
Jax and Oz’s relationship developed beautifully. Amazing pace. They dated, they had phone sex (super hawt), and they slowly arranged sleep overs. The scene when Jax first meets the kids? Without a shirt on even? Priceless! I killed myself laughing! Balancing their relationship with Jax’s acting career which took him different places at a drop of a hat, plus the uncertainty for the future was no small feat. And yet, they both dealt with it maturely and properly.
This stories in book 1 and 2 are concurrent but thankfully this was handled really well too. We got a brief summary of events and the scenes that we “relived” were very short and given from a different angle. So, no repetition. It was fresh, quick, and just enough to remind me of major plot points from book 1.
The one thing that bothered me a bit, is that the ex situation was left a bit in the air. That’s the only thing I can say was left unresolved. Other than that, the glorious, Disney-like HEA was more than enough to make up for it.
I honestly recommend this to all fans of mm, especially those with a soft spot for family stories. The sex is uber hot and the characters very nicely developed. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!