Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?
Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.
Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.
*I received an ARC of this book from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in return of an honest review*
When I first saw this book on the coming soon page on the publishers website I wanted to read it immediately. So of course I requested it on netgalley and was over the moon when I got it!
I found the premise of this book really interesting and unique. A hemophiliac who is also a masochist? It sounded impossible and too good to be true. I was curious on how Ms. Gormley would manage to write that, given that one would think being a masochist and a hemophiliac don’t go together.
But the author shows that it is possible! Yes it does limit the possibilities, but Geoff can still have his needs satisfied without being fatally injured.
I fell in love with Robin right from the start because of the way he reacts and handles Geoffs medical condition. For him it’s just something he had to be aware of and take into account when planning their scenes, and not an impossibility. He was intrigued and determined to show Geoff that he could have pain and a life with BDSM and still be safe.
Geoff on the other hand was wary and didn’t completely trust Robin. Which is understandable given his condition and that one seemingly small injury can be life-threatening, but at the same time he was sometimes a bit stubborn because he thinks he’ll only get the pain he so desperately wants by being reckless. He’s new to BDSM and doesn’t understand what is possible for him but also kind of stands in his own way because he’s so set on canes and floggers, when there’s so much more Robin can show him if he only lets him.
I’m impressed by the way Ms. Gormley handled this difficult topic. And I love how she didn’t make the hemophilia a defect but presented it just as another piece of the puzzle that is Geoff Gilchrest; it’s part of him but doesn’t define him.
The way she wrote it was insightful, informative and I absolutely enjoyed it.
The course of their relationship flowed very realistically. There was no instant love. There was an attraction right from the start, but because of past experiences of Robin he wasn’t sure about starting a relationship and he had to learn to trust himself more.
Both characters grow in so many ways from when they first meet to where they are at the end of the story. I don’t want to give anything away, but both Geoff and Robin are so relatable and human in the way they react during different instances of the story.
Risk Aware is told in both Geoffs and Robins point of view, which I loved because it gave the reader more insight on both characters and made it easier to understand each of them.
This is a definite GO AND READ IT-kind of book. I loved it and look forward to read more of this author. There’s a few backlist books I haven’t read yet but I think it’s about time I read them. Highly recommended!