Series: Extreme Risk #1
Publisher: Flirt on February 4, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge
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In this intense and exhilarating New Adult series debut, a hotshot snowboarder and a vulnerable rebel with a cause try to let go of the past—and find a future in each other.
Twenty-one-year-old professional snowboarder Z Michaels is the bad boy of Park City, Utah. He’s always had his pick of any girl in town—and on the competition circuit. But underneath his cool exterior is a young man in turmoil, trying to take the edge off tragedy by overindulging in sex and shredding the slopes. In fact, Z’s reckless behavior is a thinly veiled attempt to blunt his emotional suffering with physical pain.
Ophelia Richardson isn’t like any girl Z has ever met. Though she’s from New Orleans high society, she’s no Southern belle—and she’s not shy about being miserable in frozen, godforsaken Park City. But laying low is her only option after her ex, a rich boy who couldn’t take no for an answer, nearly killed her in a jealous rage. Following that terrifying encounter, the last thing Ophelia needs is a boyfriend—especially one as rich and arrogant as Z. But Ophelia soon discovers that he isn’t what he seems. If anything, Z may be even more damaged than she is.
Tormented by their pasts and feeling alone in the world, Z and Ophelia find a connection unlike any they’ve ever known. But with Ophelia hiding the details of her life in Louisiana and Z’s death wish reaching terrifying new heights, their relationship seems to be going downhill before it even begins—unless they can find the strength in each other to trust, grow, and love again.
“He’s got his snakebites in this afternoon, and suddenly I want to know what the little silver balls will feel like against my lips when I kiss him. If I kiss him. Which I won’t. I’m done with adrenaline junkies just asking to get killed. And even if I wasn’t, the glimpses I’ve seen of him—of the scars on his body and the ones that lurk beneath his pretty-boy façade—scare the hell out of me. So that’s it. I’m grateful for what he did, but I’m done. Finished. I’ll dry his clothes, but then he has to go.”
“‘Just because something bad happened to him doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to me, too,’ I tell her, because I have to make her understand. ‘Just because you think you’re invincible doesn’t mean you really are,’ she counters.”
“Hell, she deserves so much more than me—a selfish prick who spends too much time playing around with his own fucking death wish. But that’s just too damn bad because I’m not going to give her up. It’s obvious she has ridiculously fucked-up taste in guys—present company totally included—so it’s not like I can turn her loose on the world and hope she ends up okay.”
“I can’t help wondering if there’s something pathologically wrong with me that the only two guys I’ve ever been interested in have been like that. Remi always felt like he had something to prove, and very often went to crazy lengths to do so. And though I didn’t know him nearly as well, yet, it seems to me like Z is exactly the same.”
Snowboarders…and the cover…and I had seen an article about it: I just had to pick it up! I mean…snowboarders?
Shredded follows Ophelia and Z as they open up and let each other in. That was really the majority of the novel, even though there were some fantastic, unexpected twists and turns thrown in. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there wasn’t many boring points in the novel, regardless of the fact that it didn’t really have a fast-paced, focused plot line. But this is normal, as it is a contemporary, and I really enjoyed it because of all it’s unexpected events. And the ending…wow the ending I wasn’t expecting at all! Talk about cliffhanger…But it was a great transition into the next novel. But now I want that novel and it’s not out yet! Boohoo!
“That this meeting probably won’t end well between us. At least not for me. Still, what was I supposed to do? Stand here with my heart pounding and my knees knocking together like some kind of ripe-for-the-picking damsel in distress? Throw myself at him like every other girl in a hundred-mile radius does? Let him think I’m going to be just another notch on his snowboard? I don’t think so.”
“He grins at me. ‘Yeah, but you’re new to Park City. You can consider it a welcome-to-Utah present.’ More like an I-want-to-fuck-you present. As if. I haven’t slept with anyone since Remi and I’m sure as hell not about to start with some punk-ass snowboarder who thinks he’s God’s gift. I eye him up and down. ‘Funny, you don’t look like the Welcome Wagon.’”
Ophelia was the leading lady. I liked her. She was tough and snarky and guarded. She didn’t fall for Z’s charm quite like the other girls, and she didn’t put up with his crap. She was emotional and overly girly sometimes, which was a bit out of character for her, but it wasn’t too bad. For the most part, she was sarcastic and witty, and that always made for some interesting commentary. And my favorite part was that she had a story. As story for why she acted the way that she did, and I loved trying to come to a conclusion about the mystery of her story as bits and pieces were revealed along the way.
“But that’s how I handle everything. Act first, think later. Because nothing’s ever mattered enough for me to worry about what comes after. About what comes next. And though I’ve only known Ophelia a few days, and even though they were strange and rocky days, there’s a part of me that thinks—that knows—that she might be important enough. This might be important enough, for me to take my time and think things through.”
“I’ve told myself a million times that if I could just curl up and die, I would. I’ve held my father’s gun to my head, boarded down the most dangerous slopes I could find, driven way too fast down deserted roads on the ice in my SUV or on my bike. I’ve spent years playing Russian roulette with my life, doing the stupidest shit imaginable in an effort just to wipe myself out without actually committing suicide. Without taking the selfish way out.”
Like Ophelia, Z had a story. Maybe even more so. Z was a complex character. He was jerk, to put it lightly–a womanizer who lost his virginity at the age of 13 and an adrenaline junkie who flirted with death on a regular basis. For some reason unbeknownst to me, this was attractive in his character. My favorite part of this novel was trying to dig down and see the real Z, and to see why he was the way that he was. Otherwise, he was a smart alec just like Ophelia. He was protective of those he loved. He was very damaged. Like, Travis Maddox damaged. It was nice to see that he wasn’t perfect and to get a glimpse into his head in the chapters that he narrated. It was great seeing the evolution of his personality once he met Ophelia. He had a rough past to contend with and had pretty valid excuses for behaving the way he did, but I enjoyed seeing him get better. It was the highlight of the story. And he snowboards so…
I enjoyed the side characters: Ash, Lucas, and Cam. Cam was my least favorite of Z’s friends. She was just the jealous girl for all of the novel, even though her feelings weren’t returned (obviously) and the despite the fact that Luc was basically in love with her. I just wanted to slap her so many times over the course of the novel. Regardless, she was a good friend to Z, I suppose…
“‘Is he planning a new career as a motivational speaker?’ I ask with a snort as we watch him go. ‘He’s just excited. All his plans are coming together.’ ‘Don’t you mean machinations? The two of you are like mad scientists, rubbing you hands together and cackling with glee as you put together your next evil plot.’ ‘Hey, someone’s got to dominate the world,’ Ash says with a grin. ‘Why shouldn’t it be us?’”
I enjoyed Ash and Luc’s characters much more. They were cool and funny and I really enjoyed reading their characters. Luc was the bubbly one. The thrill seeker. Ash was the more focused one. I just really enjoyed them, and I can’t wait to see more of them in the other novels.
“Part of me wants to just fuck her and get it over with, but another part is growing a little more interested in her, in who she really is, each time we meet. Ophelia never says much about herself, but I can see that there’s more to her than the tough-girl attitude and the snappy comebacks. I just wish I knew what it was—and whether or not finding out will fuck me up more than I already am.”
“I don’t want to feel…anything. I sure as hell don’t want to feel something for the most charming manwhore in Park City, Utah, who obviously has more than a few issues of his own.”
“‘You’re a pain in the ass, is what you are,’ she tells me in between pressing kisses down my neck. ‘Too arrogant. Too talented. Too used to getting your own way. Too impulsive. Too handsome. Too protective.’ She shakes her head, then kisses me right behind the ear. ‘Too kind. Who the hell knows what I see in you.’”
I liked Ophelia and Z together. They definitely had the chemistry. They had the sparks. They had the emotional connection. But it all happened a bit too fast for me. It wasn’t insta-love, per-say. They resisted, or well, Ophelia resisted, for about a week maybe. But that wasn’t long enough for me. In all honesty, I had built her up in my head to not give in, and she gave in so seemingly easy. And the emotional connecting really came after the sex, which I don’t necessarily enjoy. Regardless, once that connection as firmly established, I couldn’t get enough of them. They were sizzling!
The thing that stood out to me in this category was the weaving of the pasts of both Ophelia and Z. They both had complex paths that were written almost perfectly. The stories of both of these characters were wholly complete, leaving nothing to be wondered about either of them. And there was also the snowboarding setting in the hills of Utah…always romantic. You know, snow…kisses…snowboarding…
I really liked the snowboarding aspect in this novel. It pretty much revolved around snowboarding, and I found reading about it more interesting than I would have expected. Obviously, Wolff either has experience or did some major research! The information about the snowboarding was so well put and rehearsed you’d think she was a pro herself! But I really loved it–I’d never read a novel about a snowboarder before and it made me go want to meet one…
The other thing that stood out in this novel was the witty narration and dialogue. It had me constantly giggling, and I just couldn’t get enough. Half of the book was highlighted by the time I was reading it, so sorry for the quote overload!
I really adored this novel! It was unlike anything that I’ve ever read before, and I can’t wait to be whisked away back into the world of the Extreme Risks series with the next installation, Shattered!