Title: Risk Aware
Author: Amelia C. Gormley
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 310 Pages
At a Glance: The writing is excellent, the characters intriguing and well defined, and the sex is erotic. What more could you want?
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?
Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.
Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.
Review: This book really intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to read it—and I was not disappointed! Risk Aware is a new and fresh perspective on the BDSM storyline. I know, I know… As far as BDSM books go, yeah, been there and read that, but Amelia C. Gormley has proven that if we use our imagination, or just realize that we are all created differently, we can come up with new storylines. Bravo!
Geoff Gilchrist is a hemophiliac. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. It means if he starts to bleed he won’t stop, and that includes internally, not just from the outside. So, how do you reconcile keeping yourself alive with your mental thirst for pain or being controlled? You find the right Dom. Personality-wise, Geoff is a bit of a control freak. He has to be since he has to live in a controlled environment and constantly watch his body for signs of trouble. This is real for him; his reality is not where a “normal” person hangs out. He is a bit immature, rather self-absorbed and has a chip on his shoulder about his condition, so finding a Dom to handle all that hasn’t been easy.
Robin Brady takes one look at Geoff and knows that he can handle whatever issues the boy has. Now, you think you know the ending to this story but no. No, you don’t. Robin has his own issues, very real issues that force Geoff out of his self-absorbed world for the first time. Robin is an excellent Dom and takes Geoff places he never knew he could go with his submission, all the while working within the parameters of what Geoff’s body can take.
“I nipped at his lips firmly enough to toe that line, teasing him with danger, with the possibility that I could bite. I could feel the struggle in his body as he debated with himself whether to slow me down and remind me of the limits, or to throw caution to the wind and accept whatever consequences or injuries might arise if I overstepped the bounds. He didn’t realize there was a third option, something between overcautiousness and willful recklessness. He didn’t realize he could trust me to safely take him right up to the limit and then bring him back. But he would. I’d show him.”
This book is really about two slightly broken men who need each other to be whole. Robin needs Geoff as much as, if not more than, Geoff needs Robin. They have to TRUST each other, not just with the little stuff. For this to work they have to trust each other implicitly, and that is hard for both men to do. Oh, and the scenes are off the charts, the chemistry between these two—whew! And the way the author takes us out of our regular BDSM rut to look at things with a new paradigm is amazing. The dirty talk, uhm yeah, the dirty talk. Geoff is a masochist; that means he not only does he love pain, but he loves the threat of pain. He can get just as high from thinking what may happen as from the actual physicality of it.
“We could do this. Robin truly was willing to do this with me, regardless of the concerns my hemophilia might raise. And I was capable of doing it. Yeah, maybe we’d have to refine the approach. We’d never be able to do the whips-and-chains thing most people would think of. I’d never be able to take the brutal beatings I loved to watch in porn. Ours would need to be precision play—a scalpel approach, rather than a hatchet. But we could get what we needed out of this. He could make me feel like I was anything but delicate. He could make me fly.”
As this book progresses, you get very invested in these characters. The writing is excellent, the characters intriguing and well defined, and the sex is erotic. What more could you want? I highly recommend this book.
You can buy Risk Aware here: