Wednesday, July 9, 2014

REVIEW - SHREDDED (Extreme Risk #1) by Tracy Wolff:

TITLE: Shredded
SERIES: Extreme Risk
AUTHOR: Tracy Wolff
AGE GROUP: New Adult
GENRE: Sports Romance
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 4, 2014
PUBLISHER: Random House
PAGES: Approx. 279

RATING: 4 Stars!
CLIFFHANGER: Yes (Cliffy is lead in for second book with different main characters)

In this intense and exhilarating New Adult series debut, a hotshot snowboarder and a vulnerable rebel with a cause try to let go of the past—and find a future in each other.

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.

REVIEWERS NOTE: Shredded is book one in the Extreme Risk series and is a New Adult, Sports Romance written by Tracy Wolff. In exchange for an honest review, I was gifted a copy from the Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept through NetGalley.

4 “Turns and Stuff” Stars!
Great Read That I Devoured In One Sitting! 

The Review: 
This was a different kind of read for me. I don’t usually read sports related reads, not because I don’t like them, they’ve just never been a priority on my list. But when I read the blurb for this one and the hero was a snowboarder, I just couldn’t resist. And I wasn’t disappointed. This was a fast, sweet read with a bit of angsts thrown in to make it an all-around fun read. I loved the mountain scenery, I enjoyed the characters and I really liked the story.

Ophelia has moved from New Orleans to Utah after a heartbreaking past that’s left her shaken. She needs to regroup and find herself once again and try to leave the events from a year ago, behind her. Working for her aunt and uncle at their ski resort, hooking up is the last thing on her mind, especially when notorious playboy with a streak of bad, walks in and starts hitting on her.

Z is known for his risk taking “turns and stuff” on the slopes as he snowboards his way through competitions and has the potential to be selected for the Olympics. He’s also known for his playboy ways and one night stands. He and his friends are at the mountain lodge for the snow and the training but that doesn’t stop him from grazing the vast fields of snow-bunnies, taking a different girl to his bed every night and partying hard every chance he gets. He’s running from a tragic past, one he feels guilt for and numbing the pain and living it up are his exits. What he doesn’t expect is to find the beauty behind the bar so captivating and when she flat out rejects him, going so far as to pour coffee all over him, he’s intrigued and amused.

Ophelia and Z rocked their scenes together. These two were smokin’ hot from the start with their heated looks and verbal foreplay. There wasn’t much in the way of sex scenes but there was enough sexual tension to captivate me and pull me right in. Ophelia and Z were fun and wild in their slow build towards a romance and I enjoyed every minute of it. The writing was smart, the scenes were sweet and fun and there was just enough angst thrown in with their pasts that it kept me glued to the pages, wondering where it was all going to lead. 

Ophelia was a delight to read. She was strong and snarky and she was smart. She had standards and her character was challenging. I loved her interactions with Z and his friends. 

Z was a hot mess. His past ate at him on a daily basis and he used partying and hook ups to numb the pain but what he really liked most of all was the adrenaline fueled risks he took on the slopes. This guy had absolutely no care for his safety at all and though the risks he took made him seem more alive and adventurous than most characters we read, it was also sad because you knew there was something dark lurking behind all that disregard for his life. He was testing fate and there was a deep part of him that didn’t care if he came out the loser.

I loved how these two changed each other and found a solace in one another. Ophelia needed that connection again and Z needed someone to pull him from the dark corners of his heart and mind.

I also loved the side characters. Z’s group of snowboarding friends rounded the story out and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Wish List...
There were only two things that I really had a problem with in this book. I loved that the author tried to include the name of the book, shredded, in the verbiage the characters used, but wow was there a LOT of times it was used. To many, in my opinion. And though I enjoyed the snowboarding terms, learning what tricks were called, I had to look them up so I understood what was being said. This didn’t annoy me so much as pull me from the story a little so I could properly imagine what was being played out. 

The Wrap Up: 
All in all this was a great read. It was never slow and it kept me interested all the way through and I even got the butterflies a couple of times so that instantly gives it a higher rating. I’m excited to go on to the next book and see what happens after that heartbreaking ending. Ash’s story is next and I’m sure it’s going to be a doozie!

Buy the Book!

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