19 August 2014

Review: Melissa Cutler's Risky Business is a must-read!

Confession time from this reviewer. I was so blown away by Melissa Cutler's Risky Business, the first book in her new Bomb Squad series, that I read her backlist. Yes, this book wowed me to the extent that Melissa Cutler is now on my must-read list. Why? Because she writes about people that we all can relate to. They're not uber wealthy, but they're our neighbors and friends who are trying the best they can to hold things together.

In the first scene of Risky Business, Allison Whitely is about to deliver her child while her soon-to-be-ex-husband is taken in handcuffs from a strip joint. To complicate things even further, she was there to warn him about picketers led by her sister's church. What's a girl to do? Particularly when there doesn't seem to be any property or income after his sentence.

Well, if she's Allison, she'll pack up and move to Destiny Falls where her husband had a tour boat operation. But all is not as she expected as her husband was actually visiting a mistress there and the person who ran the business, alpha hunk Theo Lacroix, expected that the business would be his.


If this sounds like a familiar set-up, single mom and a slightly irascible alpha hero, it is to some extent. But what makes this book so special is how Melissa Cutler fleshes them out. Allison's phobia about water; Theo's sense of isolation and being let down; Theo's teammates from The Bomb Squad, a local hockey team made up of war veterans; the small town setting in Western New York State and the women business owners - all combine to make this a unique read.

In addition, The Bomb Squad is being considered to represent the US in a Wounded Warrior Foundation match-up against the Russian Hockey team. Who's the team's star? Self-effacing Theo, of course. There are plenty of subplots and if I've already taken a slight boo hiss stance against one of the players (in hockey and in revolving-door women), well that's just understandable. Why? Because these characters are quite real for me as page after page flips by.

Cutler explores quite a few hot button issues - family, faith, fidelity, trust, self-worth - in a generous and thoughtful manner. She's a writer to watch closely and I'm marking my calendar for the release of Undefeated (Book 2 on 18 Nov 2014) and Game Changer (Book 3 on 19 May 2015).

Melissa Cutler's Risky Business is a must-read for anyone who loves alpha heroes and heroines who never give up.

From the Publisher
A Bomb Squad Novel, Book 1 
Risky Business by Melissa Cutler 
Penguin Group (USA) LLC ⎜ 9780698151888 ⎜ $4.99 ⎜ Aug 19, 2014
Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad--an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. But the season's biggest match-up isn't on the ice as one of their own prepares to go head to head with his new boss... 
Allison Whitely's ex left her with a mountain of debt and Cloud Nine, a struggling boat rental business. With zero job skills, her only hope of getting back in the black lies in a brooding ex-soldier who has her seeing red... 
Theo Lacroix's teammates are counting on their star player to help them win an upcoming high profile hockey game. But when a sexy tornado of a woman sweeps into Destiny Falls and expects him to help her with Cloud Nine, Theo is tempted to skate away from it all. 
Theo vowed never again to be someone's knight in shining armor, but his feelings--and desire--for Allison are becoming harder to ignore. He longs to save her, but to win Allison's love, he'll have to throw out his old playbook and take the ultimate risk...playing from the heart.