Grand Central Publishing, $5.99, ISBN 978-1-4555-9027-8
Romantic Suspense, 2016
At the time of writing, I have six big boxes from The Book Depository, all unopened because I’m in a reading slump and the idea of wading through recent releases doesn’t appeal to me. Will older releases do the trick, though? Given that romantic suspense is one of my least read genres, maybe something from that genre will hit the right spot, if only for the novelty value. Because Tara Wyatt’s Necessary Risk has a strikingly colored cover that stands out in my pile of unread books, I may as well give it a go.
It’s the first book, of course, in a series called The Bodyguard, which revolves around an agency filled with hot hunks who will guard your body with their big, protruding members and what not. In this one, Sean Owens co-manages Virtus with his father, who disapproves of everything he does and thinks of him as an incompetent doofus despite his track record. So, daddy issues, yay. Sierra Blake is a former child star making a comeback, only her comeback also comes with her being a spokesperson for a family planning agency, so here comes the stalkers and haters. This is weird, considering that these days, you’d get more haters – at least online – and at least three hit pieces a week from Vice, Vox, The Guardian, et cetera if you didn’t support a family planning agency and actively call for free abortions for all woman in the US. Anyway, Sean and Sierra get together because Virtus is hired to take care of her, oh no they can’t and shouldn’t, but oh well, they can and should.
Sigh, see the problem here? Necessary Risk is exactly like every entry in every other bodyguard agency with at least three hot super-capable action heroes out there. There is nothing new here. Fine, we can’t always be pioneers and groundbreaking visionaries, but at the same time, there is nothing here that feels inventive or fresh either. It’s like being forced to eat the same meal for the ninetieth consecutive day; my first instinct is to recoil and ask for something else even if the meal in question is actually pretty tasty.
This one is pretty tasty, I suppose, in some ways. Until they turn into whiny wimps determined to show the other person how much they’d play the hero and exasperate the other person in the name of showing the other person that their love is bigger than the other person’s, Sean and Sierra are pretty decent characters. She has a sharp head on her shoulders most of the time and a sense of humor that doesn’t degenerate into a sarcastic quip-a-thon, he is a pleasant guy who is all about trust and communication – that is, until they decide to pull the stunt I’ve mentioned earlier. They have sex on a conference table, too, which is kind of cool as most conferences these days aren’t good for much else.
Only, for the most part, the plot is as dull as can be, as everyone will rather gaze at their navels and talk about their feelings, and when things finally happen, they are all packed later in the story. At that point, everyone goes all ham in an over the top manner, and our hero and heroine start to act as if every emotion had to be either zero or OVER 9,000!!! with no in-between. The whole thing is quite ridiculous, and it also gives me tonal whiplash as the story is pretty grounded up to that point.
Still, I probably shouldn’t be complaining too much about the over the top ham and cheese in the later parts of the story, as at least I’m somewhat entertained by the hot mess that results. The earlier parts are more sensible, I suppose, but these parts are also devoid of suspense or tension due to them being so, so, so familiar and predictable.
On the whole, this one is an alright read, although readers far newer to romantic suspense may roll with it better and have a greater time compared to some old dog like me who’d read way too many similar stories of this type. It doesn’t offer anything new at all, not even an interesting take on a same old premise. All it is is just another first book into another series about another agency featuring more action heroes who go through more motions to… you know what, who cares. Let’s just move on. I’m going to see what else I can find in my pile of unread books.