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Saturday, 02 July 2011 10:44

Book Thoughts - Rising, Freestyle

Written by Jennifer Porter
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RisingFreestyle300“Rising, Freestyle” by Vivian Arend (contemporary, erotic, Samhain, July 2011, $4.50, 298kb, ebook): I’ve been curious about Vivian Arend’s work for a while. I don’t have a good reason for why I haven’t bought one of her books. I think that there is a process that I go through with new-to-me authors. I put them on my radar, check out their websites, read about their books, move on, go back and then make a decision to buy or not. Online chatter, recommendations from people I follow on Twitter and reviews also play a part in the process. In this case, Vivian Arend was on my book radar and when she offered a copy of her upcoming release “Rising, Freestyle” for review, I jumped at the chance to read and review this title.




“Rising, Freestyle” is a the story of Melanie Dixon, a woman who is on a mission to regain control over her life after a climbing accident that left her scarred and close to broken. To conquer her fears, she asks Derrick James, a climber who owns a gym with a climbing wall, to help. While her attempts to climb are slow going, she finds herself lusting after Derrick. Pretty quickly, Melanie learns that Derrick returns her feelings. But Derrick is after more, he is determined to show Melanie that she is beautiful despite her scars.


Nathan King, a professional photographer on whom Melanie once had a crush, strolls into town not that long after Melanie and Derrick began their intimate relationship. He wants to photograph Melanie for a story on overcoming tragedy. Melanie is hesitant, but eventually agrees to try. But, Melanie has a hard time hiding her attraction to Nathan – who obviously feels the same way. Derrick, thus, hatches a plan to invite Nathan to help Melanie overcome her fears about her body and her scars.


Now, I have to admit that after reading the book’s description, I wasn’t quite sure what Nathan’s role would be – a passing fling, a one-time third, or a permanent part of Melanie and Derrick’s relationship? And, I wasn’t quite sure for much of the book. Arend puts a great deal of Nathan into the story, and as such, I figured he would ultimately play a greater role in Melanie and Derrick’s relationship than he did. I actually felt that Derrick’s request that Nathan participate, in a very limited capacity, in an intimate encounter with Melanie seemed a bit out of place. I much preferred when Nathan used his camera to help build Melanie’s confidence, and the voyeuristic angle added an extra punch to the steamy scenes between Derrick and Melanie.


Ultimately, I think one of the reasons that I felt this way is because I actually like Nathan – a lot. I really hope that Arend painted such a thorough picture of him because she plans to give him his own HEA one day.


While I did find Nathan’s role a bit confusing, I loved the emotional intensity of “Rising, Freestyle.” Melanie is a wonderfully real heroine who has serious problems, but is determined to face them head on. Derrick is an incredibly supportive hero who helps Melanie learn to accept her scars and to embrace her sexuality. I also found the story to be intensely erotic; Nathan’s role as a voyeuristic photographer helped to ramp up the heat and to give Melanie something that she desperately needed to see herself as beautiful and to overcome her fears and her doubts.


“Rising, Freestyle” is a great read, and it provides an excellent blend of emotional angst and sexual heat. This story has made me a fan of Vivian Arend, and I definitely plan to read more of her work.


Buy this ebook from Amazon now!
Author Link: http//:vivianarend.com
Like Vivian Arend on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vivian-Arend/139102739487444
Follow Vivian Arend on Twitter: http://twitter.com/VivianArend

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 20:14
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

Romance Novel News

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