Risking It All #2
What an engrossing and fast-paced read Ms. Lacey has penned in this book, which hooked me from the very beginning with the dare Emma's friends challenge her to follow through on. Will Ryan respond to her attempts at flirting? Will she be able to convince the hero into doing what she needs to do for the dare? However, I loved the moment the hero and heroine came face-to-face for the first time, as neither are expecting to see each other in that moment. Yet, it's palpable both are happy to see each other.
Both the main characters were entertaining due to their past history, as Emma was the annoying little sister type growing up and now she's not; their growing relationship, which is filled with plenty of heat; their back stories, which were emotional because they've lost so much and need each other to remind them that they still have someone they consider family; and the fact that this story encompasses the brother's best friend trope and Ryan does his best to honor the promise he made to his friend. Will Ryan be able to keep his promise?
Emma is strong, brave, and has done well for herself after everything she's been through in having lost her mom and brother at a young age. She's also hard-working, and I liked her plans for her future. She has so many decisions to make when it comes to her career, and I liked the ones she did make. As it meant she could still have the dream for her career she always wanted, stay where she's always felt she belonged and hopefully have the happy ever after she desperately deserves after suffering so much loss in her life. Moreover, I like how enthusiastic she is about her career and how she makes everyone in her small town proud of her by what she does with honoring those that never came home from fighting for their country.
While Ryan, he was a fantastic hero that I could not get enough of. He does his best to resist Emma, but there's no use. Not when she's so determined to annoy him with the way she teases him with talk about other guys and her plans to be a little bad. They have plenty of fun, which had me smiling throughout this book, and definitely get a little wild in and out of the bedroom. The hero's past wasn't an easy one either, because he was a bit of a troublemaker, but he's lucky to have found such great friends in the male secondary characters, as he, Ethan and Mark have managed to make a success of themselves with their business.
Overall, Ms. Lacey has penned a really good read in this book, which made me smile plenty of times because of the teasing dialogue between Ryan and Emma as well as between the main and secondary characters. Yet, it also made me want to cry at times due to the main characters back stories, especially with Ryan torn between honoring his promise to Emma's brother and wanting to be with Emma. Can he find a way to do both? The way this story ended was delightful, as Ryan had to find a way to make things right with the heroine after what he did to make her mad at him. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, because of Emma's surprise. I would recommend Crazy for You by Rachel Lacey, if you enjoy the brother's best friend trope or books by authors Lori Wilde, Jules Bennett, Jessica Lemmon or Shannon Stacey.