Risk Factors by Calisa Rhose

Is there anything sexier than an EMT? Seriously! They usually wear a sexy man uniform, and save lives for a living. I mean, sure, the EMT in this novel comes with a rather extreme amount of baggage, including a daughter, and keeps terrible hours, but still. Gotta love the uniform.

risk factorsVivian is the new veterinarian in town, and she’s having some trouble fitting in. The locals question if she’ll ever be as good as her predecessor, and the fact that her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets makes it seem like she took the easy road as far as animal care is concerned. Pause. Cheese and crackers the people in this town are judgmental! Who knew the field of veterinary science could be such a cutthroat gossip circle? Unpause. Viv hasn’t been around very long when a gorgeous male of EMT named Connor comes into her shop with his daughter’s pet, and starts sniffing around if you know what I mean. Hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge. Ok, you want me to spell it out for you, he thinks she’s hot! The only problem is, Connor is extremely protective of his daughter’s feelings. After his wife walked out on the both of them without looking back, he’s wary to ever bring another woman into their lives who might abandon them once again. See what I mean? Baggage.

First off, this book is an extremely quick read at only 153 pages. Normally, I love quick reads. You’re in, you’re out, boom, you’re done. However, with this book I think the shortened length was actually a hindrance. I feel like we never really experienced any depth to the main characters. For example, Vivian references her best friend Patsy multiple times, yet we never see Patsy, and she never has one conversation with her throughout the entire novel. It may seem silly, but trust me on this one. Viv was dealing with so much hot and cold from Connor, as well as demeaning comments from her douche-hole excuses for parents, that she would have had to dish things out with her best friend over a margarita…or maybe five. Hell, if I were facing the same problems as Viv in regards to crappy parents, pretentious townsfolk, and a sexy man who didn’t trust me enough to meet his daughter, I’d probably bypass the margaritas and go straight for the tequila shots.

Another issue with the shorter length of the book was that it really only allowed us to delve deep into Vivian’s character, but not really Connor’s. Vivian is very open with Connor regarding her strained relationship with her parents, but Connor is sort of a closed book, and we are only offered a brief glimpse into the demons he keeps hidden from those around him. At the beginning of the novel Connor references a roadside accident he responded to years beforehand in which a woman died. It obviously left a big impression on him, and yet he never talks about it again for the rest of the book. Another example in which we don’t really get to delve deep into the issue at hand is during a conversation between Vivian and Connor’s daughter, who admits that she sometimes catches her father crying by himself. Is this because of the fact that he’s a single father? Because his mother abandoned him when he was little? Because they actually made a Fifty Shades of Grey movie? I don’t know, we never find out why.

In spite of this surface level glimpse of Connor, there are two things which are indisputably true about his character: he’s a highly skilled EMT, and he’s an amazing father. I mean, the guy let his daughter keep a skunk as a house pet. The only problem is that when it comes to his interactions with Vivian, he tends to act like…well, a dick. Don’t get me wrong, he really likes her, she really likes him, and they have a shared love of seafood. However, at one point they are having a conversation about Connor’s parenting techniques, and Connor comes right out and says that Vivian doesn’t understand because she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Even more shocking than that is the fact that she didn’t immediately kick him in the ball sac. Common courtesy isn’t something you should have to teach the man! Believe it or not, he actually does something way worse than this. Towards the end of the book, Viv and Connor’s daughter are involved in a near-fatal car crash. His daughter sustains minor injuries, but Viv spends several nights in the hospital recovering. After checking on her once, Connor leaves the hospital, and never…comes…back! Dude! Major WTF moment man! You don’t just leave the woman you love alone in a hospital, without ever calling to see if she’s ok, because you mistakenly thought she put your daughter in harm’s way. Not cool man. Not cool!

In the end, Connor is able to redeem himself, and come through for Vivian while remaining a loving father. I’ll admit, it was difficult at times to completely follow Connor’s line of thinking, or to even like him as a person. That being said, you can tell that he struggled with the many responsibilities related to being a single parent, and in the end he just needed a partner who could help shoulder some of those burdens. Yeah, he may have only known Vivian for about a month and a half before determining she would be the future mother of his child, but that’s life I guess. It was definitely interesting to read about a character as conflicted as Connor, who appears so strong and confident on the outside, but refuses to let anyone new into his life because of his continual fear of abandonment. He says how he doesn’t want to introduce Vivian to his daughter, as he is concerned that she’ll eventually leave them both behind just like his ex-wife did. However, I think he was also afraid that if someone as wonderful and caring as Vivian came into their lives, his daughter might focus more attention on Vivian, thereby abandoning the close relationship she once had with her father. Damn, that’s some Dr. Phil sh*t right there.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nada

Should you read it? The guy is an EMT, therefore the answer is always yes. It’s short and sweet, but also kind of frustrating. There are some issues which aren’t really resolved, such as whether or not Viv was accepted by the judgy judgy townspeople, and she basically breaks off all ties with her parents, but in the end you also have a few awwww moments.

Smut Level: There was some pretty intense foreplay, and the two get interrupted during their sexy alone time a LOT, but overall it was good.

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