Title: The Risk
Author: Skye Jordan
Series: Xtreme Heroes #1
Release Date: March 16, 2015
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!
From New York Times bestselling author Skye Jordan, Xtreme Heroes is a brand new series starring super-hot extreme athletes and their adventures.
Former Olympian turned physical therapist to the elite Julia Bailey knows all about pushing the limits. But when a sexual harassment suit costs her a dream job—not to mention her reputation—she takes on the biggest risk of her life. Rehabilitating the X Games’ most notorious bad boy might be just what she needs to secure the funds for her own treatment center. Problem is, the only kind of recovery her new client is interested in is under-the-covers freestyle—gear optional.
Daredevil snowboarder Noah Hunt is a rock star—on and off the slopes. A recent accident might have him down, but he’s far from out. He doesn’t care what the sexy therapist with the sweet curves says. He’s got sponsors to impress and trophies to collect, and taking things slow and steady just ain’t his style. A little dirty talk and a sizzling night later, Julia learns just how fast and hard he likes to play. Too bad for him, his heart goes all in, and one wrong move could cost him more than just his career.
“Dude,” Jake said from his seat in the opposite corner of the sofa, his voice quiet. “What’s up with the cooking and serving? How’d you get her collar on so tight?”
The insinuation that he had Julia under his controlling thumb hit Noah wrong. He was just about to set Jake straight—probably in an inappropriate way—when Mercer said, “It’s not about control, dumbshit, it’s about treating them right. If you’d date a decent girl for a change, you’d figure it out. I keep telling you, do them right in bed, they’ll do you right out of bed. You’re too damn dense to catch on.”
Noah closed his eyes, rubbed his lids, and sighed. Normally, he would not only have laughed with the guys but spurred the lousy innuendo along. Now, he didn’t know how to deal with this protective sensation toward Julia. And he couldn’t exactly come out with she’s mine, back off, because while they’d all assumed he and Julia were sleeping together, he hadn’t even hinted at the reality.
And even in reality, she wasn’t his. Not indefinitely.
“Nix the gutter, guys,” Noah said. “She’s treating us like kings.”
Julia chose that moment to enter the room again with two more trays of food. Jake popped off the couch and took one from her, like he was suddenly Prince-fucking-Charming. She thanked him, then bent to set the other tray on the table. Her shirt fell open, exposing the soft cleavage between her perfect breasts. And while she was fidgeting with the tray, she lifted her gaze to Noah’s without moving her head. There was heat there, like she knew what she was doing to him. A secret, or at least a semisecret, between them among all the other guys.
Lust speared through him, as hard and fast as a crack of lightning. He dug his fingers into the leather sofa cushion. Without breaking his gaze, Julia lifted something from the tray and brought it to him.
She glanced over her shoulder at the guys where they swarmed around the food like ants on a sugar cube, then sat on the arm of the sofa. “I have a treat especially for you. Open.”
Noah parted his lips. He didn’t know or care what she put in his mouth. He’d take anything she gave him. With her own tongue sliding slowly over her lower lip, she slid something inside his mouth, purposely grazing his teeth with her finger, dragging it across his lip on the way out.
Noah couldn’t drag his gaze from hers—not until flavor burst in his mouth. The cinnamon hit him first—spicy and warm—then the apple, tangy and familiar, then the sugar. So damn good he wanted to roll his eyes back in his head and groan.
“Oh my God,” he murmured instead, glancing past Julia to look at the tray. It was covered in little squares topped with whipped cream. He chewed, and the familiar flavor of pastry, fruit, and sugar hammered his taste buds. “Did you find my Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts?”
“Not the boxed kind,” she said, tilting her head, her gaze stroking his lips as if she could barely resist licking them. “My own, healthier, version.”
When he met her gaze again, his mind whirling with the sweet gesture, Julia looked hot and hungry. She reached out and wiped something from his lip with her thumb. She lifted her dark eyes to his, and a dirty little grin played at the edge of her mouth. “I’d wear a collar for you,” she said quietly. “If, I mean, that turned you on.”
Noah had barely registered the comment when she pushed off the sofa and returned to the kitchen, leaving him there to burn a hole in the cushion.
For the next hour, Noah couldn’t think about anything but Julia in a collar. A collar and heels. A collar and heels and nothing else. Red leather. Diamond studs. High on her throat. One with a metal ring to attach a chain or a rope…
A collective gasp yanked Noah out of the fantasy—one that didn’t really get any further because he’d never been into the sexual-control gig. Didn’t even know what BDSM stood for, just that it involved whips and chains and all sorts of things that didn’t interest him.
Unless it involved Julia wearing a collar. Then he might be interested. Right now he was a lot restless. Too restless to care what had happened on the television that had everyone in the room muttering curses. Someone had taken a bad fall. Noah could calculate just how bad by the collective reaction in the room, and he didn’t want to look. Didn’t want to know. It gave him flashbacks of his own crash.
Julia came around the corner of the living room, her gaze on the screen. “What happened?”
“Braunhauf ate it—bad,” Jake told her.
Noah glanced at the screen, where a medical team wearing red-and-yellow jumpsuits were contrasted against the crisp white mountainside. His stomach squeezed like a fist. Sweat broke out on his upper lip. Then the replay of the fall began, and Noah looked away and tried to shake the memories of his own fall from his head.
Julia hissed through her teeth. “Torn ligaments in her ankle and her knee for sure. Probably a fractured tibia too. She’s out for the season, but she’ll be back next year.”
“You get that from a short clip?” Finn asked, shocked.
She shrugged like it was no big deal.
Noah pushed from the sofa and turned into the kitchen. He pulled the handle on the sink and splashed icy water on his face until the soft touch of Julia’s hand lay on his back. He hit the tap but stared into the sink.
“Flashback?” she asked softly.
“Little bit.” He straightened, hands clasped on the edge of the sink, water dripping off his chin. “But I was knocked off-balance before that. Something about a collar…”
“Oh.” A tentative smile turned her mouth. “So you like the idea?”
He grabbed her wrist and yanked it against his crotch. She gasped a soft, “Oh.” Then registered the thick hard-on beneath her hand with widened eyes and a more realized, “Oh.” Then began stroking him with a knowing, “Oh.”
He pulled her hand away and stepped back. “Yeah, oh.”
That wicked little smile remained. “Just the thought of a collar does this, huh?”
“Just the mention of the word…” God, he couldn’t even say it.
“What part of the collar turns you on? The control? The look?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never done collars.”
Her brows shot up. “There’s something you haven’t done?”
Fucking tease. “You have?”
“No. It would take a very special man to get me into a collar. I wouldn’t let just anyone take control.”
His gut did that windmill thing again. “And I’m that man?”
“You tell me. What do you envision when you think of me in a collar?”
He glanced toward the living room, where the guys were chatting about the next race. “Can’t do this now.”
“Red?” she asked. “Black? Leather? Satin? Spikes? Studs?”
“Julia…” he warned.
“With lingerie? Lace teddy? Thigh-highs? Or naked? Nothing but skin? Skin, spiked heels, and a collar?”
He swore under his breath, one hand squeezing the sink so hard his fingers tingled from the lack of blood flow.
“On my knees? On all fours? Restrained on my back?”
Sweat re-accumulated across his brow. “Jesus Christ.”
She moved closer, lowered her voice to that husky whisper she knew turned him on. “If I had to guess, I’d say your preference would be…” She leaned even closer, her scent infiltrating his head and making him dizzy. “Red leather collar, studs, no spikes. Tight. Matching spiked heels. On my back, legs spread wide.”
He closed his eyes and groaned. “Fuck.”
“Oh yes. That will be happening the second these guys are out the door. You can count on it.”
“Why wait? I could fuck you in three minutes flat right now.”
“The king of orgasms-until-I-scream wants a three-minute fuck?”
“No. That’s not what I want. It’s what I need.”
“Do you have any idea how much you wanting me so badly turns me on?”
He opened his eyes but couldn’t find his voice.
She licked her bottom lip, then scraped it between her teeth as she darted a look toward the living room. Everyone was cheering at something on the television. Julia covered his hand with hers and pressed it to the flat of her stomach underneath her shirt. She sucked in her belly, and with her gaze hot and deliberate on his, she pushed their joined hands into her jeans, over her mound, and deep between her legs.
Noah closed his eyes and clenched his teeth.
“Feel how wet I am?” she whispered, her forehead pressing his. “Touch me.”
He stroked her lips, slick and hot and warm. Lust washed his body. “Jesus Christ.”
You could make me come in ten seconds.” Her feathery voice skipped with desire. “But then I’d scream…and you’d…have a lot of explaining…”
“Noah,” Finn yelled. Both he and Julia froze, their eyes opening and holding. “Bring me another brew, would you?”
“Fucking Finn,” he rasped, making Julia bubble out a laugh. “Sure,” he called, wincing with regret as he drew his hand back. “Anything for you, buddy.”
Noah had just turned away from Julia when Mercer and Jake came in, each holding an empty tray. They slid them onto the counter, and Noah met Julia’s eyes, their gazes communicating shit that was close. Then her mouth turned with a secret smile just for him, and his heart folded. He was so gone over this woman.
This book is a wild ride! I truly enjoy every book that Skye Jordan pens, and to successfully follow up on her AMAZING Renegades series, is a tough task, but she's done it! The Risk kicks off an equally TREMENDOUS, and thrilling, series. Noah and Julia head up a cast of funny, sweet, and sinful thrill-seeking individuals. Noah, having recently suffered from a could-be life altering injury if met with Julia. A woman whose life has never gone as planned and is now handed the most sexy and impossible patient. How is she supposed to help rehab Noah, if he doesn't want the help?
Over the course of six weeks these two fight their passion (which is EXPLOSIVE), and work together to heal not only Noah's injury, but maybe Julia's tortured heart as well. Let's put the sexy time aside, because we all know Ms. Jordan gives good steam with her couples, but the really captivating part of this books was the friendly chemistry and banter between Noah and Julia. They slide in and out of fun times to serious time and end up flirting in a matter of one scene. Yet it's effortless. And along with the light-hearted feel to the book is an underlying depth that grabs you and sucks you into the world.
I'm really dying for the next book. I have absolutely fallen head over heels for the cast of characters that we were introduced to with Noah's snowboarding buddies. I can't wait to experience each of their falls into love as well! A definite must read, if you ask me. It's got the perfect balance of funny and serious, sexy and sweet. A true gem!
*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
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Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye’s novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance.
And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better.
Skye (aka Joan) lives on the central coast of California in the heart of wine country with her husband and two daughters. As often as possible, she retreats to a hotel with critique partners for a power-writing week where much drinking, laughing, and yes, even working, ensues. When she’s not writing, Skye goes to breakfast with her hubby, attends her daughters’ barrel races, and spends a lot of time with her own horse, Riddle…while her two dogs, Paxton and Indie, tag along. She also loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.
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