“I brought you here because you make me happy.”…”I brought you because when you look at me, I feel like I’m as strong as you think I am.”

Marnee Blake, Risk the Burn, p 62

When I had read the description for this book I thought it to be a perfect fit for what I tend to read, however, I was quite disappointed with it. I haven’t read the first two books (I didn’t realize there were two that came before until after I started this one) so I can’t say if they are any worse or better, but I do know that with this book, it definitely had the potential of being better but fell drastically short.

I mainly finished reading this book as I feel it’s wrong to not finish something that I’ve started, at least when it comes to books. I also never know if a book may get better the more I read so I want to continue to the end to see if I was right (with the risk of being very wrong). With Risk the Burn it felt as if it was trying too hard to bring suspense into the story. It all felt forced and choppy. One thing that really annoyed me most with this book was the constant use of the word something. For the first half of the book, almost every other sentence seemed to have the word something included. There was also way too much filler to the story. This isn’t a high school paper! If you need filler to make it longer then you need to get a better storyline. However, if more feeling was added in regards to the characters towards each other and their situation, it would have made for a very good book.

Then there is Joshua or at least the thought of him. He was mentioned pretty much every time Charlie was thinking about what was happening to her when it came to being attacked, or even when she was with Hunter. I understand that it was supposed to be part of the suspense factor of the story as for a while she would just mention Joshua’s name and not what he had actually done to Charlie, but it was too much and became irritating. Further, instead of straight out mentioning that Charlie was thinking about Joshua and what he had done to her like it was, things should have been worded in a way to show how Charlie felt instead of her just saying Joshua’s name…again. There was a huge lack of feelings within the story. It was put as Charlie felt that she loved Hunter, Hunter feels that he needs Charlie in his life….(something in that nature), it was too blunt for my liking. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters within the storyline which makes me enjoying the book pretty much impossible. There were plenty of details as to regards to facial and body expressions but even that didn’t fit the story well half the time. However, for how the reactions of the characters came across they were both weak minded. Both of them were constantly freaking out about one thing or another and wanting to run away from the situation instead of facing it head-on. Hunter has panic attacks because of the situation he experienced with his parachute not deploying correctly, that would make any human freak out about doing so again, but I felt that there could have been more effort from him, a better fighter inside him than he was portrayed to be. Then there was Charlie, running away from things every chance that she had instead of trying to figure out how to overcome the situation she was in.

I also understand that she was trying to get it across that Hunter and Charlie had a strong affection for each other from the get-go, however, I couldn’t really get that connection between the two of them even though it was mentioned how hot Hunter was, constantly. I need more connection in the books I read! Then there were the love scenes or the lack thereof. If there are going to be love scenes added to a story then they need to make it so their readers can feel the passion between those that are involved. There was no passion. I felt no goosebumps. I felt no heart beating in anticipation. It was BOOM and done every time. I don’t expect the scene to be drawn out in this crazy, passionate love fest, but there has to be some sort of connection felt between the couple, which there didn’t seem to be. Made me think of some of my past relationships. Not a good thing!

Will I give the other books in the series a shot? Probably. Will I give this author a chance at redemption? Definitely, as I believe (almost) everyone deserves a second chance as this may have just a fluke of bad writing.

About Risk the Burn

Hunter Buchanan came close to losing his smokejumper career, and his life, as when he went to deploy his parachute it was tangled within itself. If it wasn’t for the help of his friend Lance, and getting his reserve to deploy in time, he would have ended up with more than a few broken bones. As a result, he had to go through a tough bought of physical training in order to recover in time to complete smokejumper training that was coming up. However, his panic attacks weren’t helping the situation. Every time he came close to doing something that resulted in him flying through the air or what had happened that day panic attacks would hit him like a brick wall making it near impossible for him to get fully back on his feet.

That is until Charlie Jones. Due to her boss getting sick the last day of Hunter’s physical therapy session it was up to Charlie to take over and complete his session so he could be discharged. However, it seems that the local newspaper was also doing a report on Hunter and him working to go back to becoming a smokejumper. That was not something Charlie wanted to deal with as she didn’t want to chance to have her face splashed across the web.

However, after four years of hiding from a violent man from her past, Charlie is ready to get her life back. She believes that she can do so with the help of Hunter, and all the while she doesn’t realize that she is also helping him as she tames the panic attacks that he has been experiencing. But when danger finds her once again, it makes her realize that the worst of things are yet to be behind her. She’ll need to decide if she’s strong enough to fight through or if she will turn and run again, even if that meant losing Hunter.


A list of Marnee Blake’s books can be found on her site here – Book List


Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

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