Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Z.A. Martin
Length: 7 hours, 15 minutes
After Landon came into some money, he and his best friend, Verity, opened a BDSM club. Now Landon is in his 30s, the business is thriving, and he and Verity are as close as ever. But their relationship isn’t romantic, and Landon hasn’t found a partner who can compare to his high school boyfriend, Gregory.
In high school, Gregory and Landon experienced a lot of firsts together where Landon learned he liked being submissive to Gregory’s dominance. The men intended to spend their lives together, but when college and parents and plans got in between them, Landon and Gregory went their separate ways.
But one night, Gregory is standing in Landon’s club and Landon wants to be happy to see him, but those old wounds are still raw. Gregory, however, knows what he wants and that is Landon back and on his knees. But the men have to work through the resentment built up over the years and when Landon gets called away again while the men are arguing, Gregory is all in to make sure that he isn’t losing Landon all over again.
When Worth the Risk opens, Landon is called to California after his grandfather dies. He wasn’t particularly close with the man, but he is left a large inheritance. His best friend, Verity, accompanies him and the two then move to California to open a club. The opening of the book spends time setting up the relationship between Landon and Verity, but they do not have a romantic connection. Verity is an interesting gender-fluid character that hooked me right away and they have a book later in the series that I am already looking forward to.
We aren’t told about Gregory in the beginning of the book and we aren’t told that Landon still has unresolved feelings for someone. So, when the two men meet again, some of that chemistry and longing that should come from their reunion was missing for me. They both feel resentful toward the other while still wanting one another, but the impact of them finding each other again wasn’t as strong as it could have been. We also aren’t introduced to any BDSM background for Landon and Verity, so then the two of them deciding to open a club in the first few pages didn’t have an anchor to it.
Landon and Gregory have a lot to work through. They know they should talk, and they do, but there is a lot of physical energy between them and they also just want to be together. There are many intimate scenes between the two of them as they rediscover each other as adults and establish what a BDSM relationship could now look like between them. The bottom line here is that because of how their relationship was initially introduced and a true connection wasn’t established for them before they meet again, much of it came off as flat to me because I didn’t feel their bond was well established for a second chance romance book. There is then also a conflict near the end due to miscommunication and it was more frustrating then helpful to the story for me.
There is an interesting ensemble cast that has been built here and all of their stories will intertwine and are already released and I am looking forward to checking out the rest of the Giving Consent series.
The narration by Z.A Martin was a highlight here. He does an excellent job bringing voice to all of the characters and his delivery is natural and all of the conversations flowed well together. Each character has a consistent voice and he offered all of them a full range of emotion. It’s one of those audios where you can fully fall into the story. I would definitely recommend the audio versions of this series and the narration makes me extra interested to continue on.