Series: Extreme Risk #1
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Sports
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Twenty-one-year-old professional snowboarder Z Michaels is the bad boy of Park City, Utah. He’s always had his pick of any girl in town—and on the competition circuit. But underneath his cool exterior is a young man in turmoil, trying to take the edge off tragedy by overindulging in sex and shredding the slopes. In fact, Z’s reckless behavior is a thinly veiled attempt to blunt his emotional suffering with physical pain.
Ophelia Richardson isn’t like any girl Z has ever met. Though she’s from New Orleans high society, she’s no Southern belle—and she’s not shy about being miserable in frozen, godforsaken Park City. But laying low is her only option after her ex, a rich boy who couldn’t take no for an answer, nearly killed her in a jealous rage. Following that terrifying encounter, the last thing Ophelia needs is a boyfriend—especially one as rich and arrogant as Z. But Ophelia soon discovers that he isn’t what he seems. If anything, Z may be even more damaged than she is.
Tormented by their pasts and feeling alone in the world, Z and Ophelia find a connection unlike any they’ve ever known. But with Ophelia hiding the details of her life in Louisiana and Z’s death wish reaching terrifying new heights, their relationship seems to be going downhill before it even begins—unless they can find the strength in each other to trust, grow, and love again.
It’s no real secret to anyone that I am a crazy big fan of Tracy Wolff, especially her new adult books. I love her writings and the characters she creates. I read the second book in the series long before I got around to reading this one, so I have to admit I had some foreknowledge going into the book, which I think may have made it a little bit less suspenseful for me as a reader, but it was still a really enjoyable book to read.
I don’t know if snowboarders are really athletes that I gravitate towards, maybe it’s because I have never really been around snow, or because I haven’t really known any snowboarders in my life, but I tend to gravitate towards baseball players and like boxers, so this was definitely a new thing for me, and I am so not up on the lingo, which actually worked out okay because Ophelia so wasn’t up on the lingo either, so we got to learn together.
I don’t think either of the two characters really stood out above the other, normally for me as a reader, I end up loving one character a little bit more than the others, what can I say, I play favorites. But in this book neither Ophelia or Z stood out above the other. I liked them both, but I don’t know if I fell head over heels with either. I honestly thing that the two of them work as well as they do because they are a pair, if you were to take Ophelia out of Z’s life I don’t think I would like him as much and vice versa.
Ophelia is recovering from losing her boyfriend in a terrible accident that she herself was in. He was a drag racer, adrenaline junkie, and definitely had some kind of death wish. Ophelia definitely is not looking to get involved, and certainly not with another man who has the same kind of traits that her last boyfriend does. But then she meets Z. As a character I thought her backstory was interesting, I thought she was a really down to earth girl, I was surprised at how well she was able to take some things in stride whereas other people might have been offended. In general she seems like a cool girl I would be friends with.
Z I thought was a lot more complex. Yes Ophelia also had tragedy in her past, and she definitely carries it with her, and I think maybe feels like she could have stopped things, but Z, oh man Z, he carried the kind of guilt that crushes your soul. His family is marred with all kinds of tragedy and poor Z, he feels responsible for all of it. He has a good group of friends that they and keep him together, but man sometimes he just kind of spirals. I think if he hadn’t met Ophelia, if he hadn’t taken that chance on them, who knows what would have happened to Z, boy had a death wish for sure. He’s just one of those characters you can’t help but feel for, your heart breaks a little bit for him with every page, but it never comes across as annoying or like he’s wallowing, it’s legitimate pain, you can’t help but want his life to get better and for him to find happiness.
Overall, I would say this is another solid book by Tracy Wolff, not one of my absolute favorites, but still a great book to read. I think anyone who enjoys books with an underlying sports theme or characters overcoming tragedy will totally enjoy this book. But then again I think just about anyone can enjoy a Tracy Wolff book, she’s one of those authors who you know is not going to let you down. Check it out.