BookLife Review: Risky Restoration

BookLife Reviews

Editor’s Pick for “outstanding quality”

Dodd’s debut novel, a contemporary romance that glows with heat, heart, and heroes readers will fall in love with, introduces Kesler, a lawyer with great friends, her own practice, and one not-so-tiny flaw: she can’t quite get over her ex, Miller. It’s not cyber-stalking if the stalkee doesn’t know about it, right? When Kesler—“Kez” to her friends—stumbles across the earth-shattering news that he’s now engaged and his high school reunion is coming up, she throws a half-plan together to go up to Rochester, New York, his hometown, to see if she can get closure. With her two best friends at her side, nothing can go wrong—other than meeting Jackson, Miller’s former classmate/rival, the man who will set her alight.

With characters who are larger than life yet imminently relatable, Risky Restoration blends the best of escapist reading with heart and substance. Kez’s life seems to be great, except for her singular inability to find the right partner. Not only is her lack of a love life driving her around the bend, figuring out why has become her obsession. Then Jackson appears, tripping all of her triggers. Thus begins the slightly madcap adventure which, at times, edges toward over-the-top, yet always just this side of plausible.

One of the novel’s greatest strengths is its nuanced female characters. From driven yet well-rounded Kez to the sweet, accomplished Vivian, to the dynamic powerhouse that is Rae, each woman has her own distinct voice and beautifully detailed personality as she faces challenges and triumphs. This balances nicely with their interpersonal dynamics with the men, particularly Kez and Jackson. While Jackson has a dominant personality, he’s quick to allow Kez the space and freedom to handle her own affairs. If she needs him, he’s there, but otherwise their relationship models healthy boundaries—despite being fast and furious. Readers will delight in this fast-paced romance, and will almost certainly clamor for Vivian and Rae’s installments.

Takeaway: A stunning happily-for-now contemporary romance featuring strong female characters readers will fall for.

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