Rising, Freestyle
By Chrissy Dionne
Jul 1, 2011 - 2:57:16 PM

Melanie Dixon has never fully recovered from the horrifying climbing accident that stole her bravado and scarred her body.  It’s been three long years and she’s sick of being scared and worried that she’ll never be able to conquer her fears or return to the adventures she loves.   That’s why she’s taking baby steps and tackling the local climbing center’s wall but even that is terrifying.  The one perk in this whole confusing mess is the climbing center’s owner, Derrick, because when Melanie isn’t attempting to conquer that wall she’s considering climbing him instead

Derrick James admires Melanie’s courage and determination to push herself even though he knows why she’s afraid.  What he doesn’t know is how the accident and the resounding fear have affected every aspect of her life.  What he does know is she’s beautiful, brave and smart.  The simple fact that she’s Kane’s sister and per buddy rules should be off limits is only a minor inconvenience because she’s all grown up and capable of making her own decisions.


For several weeks, Derrick and Melanie concentrate solely on rebuilding her stamina and confidence in her climbing abilities but when her fears and frustration with herself get the better of her she opens up and tells Derrick exactly why she’s so annoyed – including the fact that she hasn’t had sex in over 3 years.  One thing leads to another and soon, Derrick and Melanie are exploring all the possibilities – on and off the ropes. 


Their relationship is put to the test when a blast from Melanie’s past suddenly shows up with an agenda of his own.  Nathan King is a photographer working on a ‘where are they now’ series and one of the subjects is Melanie.  However, his interest goes far beyond professional.  He wants Melanie for himself but can clearly see that she is happy with Derrick. What he doesn’t expect is for Derrick to devise a proposal that will test all of their limits, but might just help Melanie to view herself as a whole woman rather than a mass of scar tissue.


RISING, FREESTYLE is the second title in Vivian Arend’s XTREME ADVENTURES series.  Through these stories readers can imagine the strength, drive and determination that are involved with any extreme sport and how those traits carry over to every aspect of your life.  Melanie’s faith in herself has been sorely tested and I have to commend her for finding the courage to attempt to conquer her fears.  Derrick is perfect. He provides exactly the sort of encouragement Melanie needs and isn’t afraid to do whatever is necessary in order to see that she sees herself in the same light that he does – even if that means risking losing her to Nathan.  RISING, FREESTYLE is fast paced, sexy, inspiring and heart wrenching – all at the same time.  I’m really hoping there will be more stories in this series but don’t see any on the upcoming page of Ms. Arend’s website.


If you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of the first book in the XTREME ADVENTURES series, FALLING, FREESTYLE.  It’s connected to this book through Melanie’s brother Kane.


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