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Risk Taker

Mixed Messages, Book 3
Written by: Lily Morton
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Series: Mixed Messages, Book 3
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: LGBT
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Being in love with your best friend is hard.

Henry’s the odd man out. All his friends are settling down, and his reputation as the hook-up king of London seems more like a curse than a blessing, these days. Especially when it keeps photojournalist Ivo, his best friend and the brilliant man he’s loved since they were 15, at arm’s length. But that’s where Ivo wants him, right? Putting aside his feelings, Henry decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal.

After all, he has no chance with Ivo. Or, does he? 

Henry is everything to Ivo. Best friend, soul mate, the one person who has never let him down. The one person he is loyal to above everything and everyone. But Henry’s in a box marked best friend, and that’s where Ivo’s kept him for nearly 20 years, despite steadily falling in love with the gentle man. And besides, why would Henry want to date Ivo? Burned out and injured, he’s the walking embodiment of damaged. 

Distance has helped Henry and Ivo keep a lid on their attraction, but when they find themselves in the same city for a change -Ivo hurt and needing assistance and Henry more than willing to provide it - the two best friends grow closer than ever, forcing a realization and a decision. 

Risk their friendship for their hearts? Or can they have both? 

From the best-selling author of Rule Breaker and Deal Maker comes a tender love story about two best friends who are perfect for each other, and always have been...if only they knew it. This is the third book in the Mixed Messages series, but it can be listened to as a stand-alone. 

©2018 Lily Morton (P)2020 Lily Morton

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Superb Narration

This was a good book, a nice end to the series. I think that my issue with this one is that it was a bit melodramatic, and not enough angsty. The romance was sweet, but there were so many times that I wanted to shake some sense into them.

Overall, a good read. Not my favourite of the trilogy, though. 3.5*

The narration was spectacular. I absolutely adore Joel Leslie.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

I love Lily Morton and her ability to make you fall in love with her heroes. Henry and Ivo are one of my favourite couples who share an amazing love. Joel Leslie does an absolutely amazing job bringing these men to life.

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Absolutely Fantastic

5 Blue Roses
4 Blue Flames

Narrator Joel Leslie gave a boisterous, lively narration of this witty although steamy romance. Listeners will either sit grinning from ear to ear or panting secretly while listening to this in public. Joels’ extraordinary performance of this steamy, cheeky and entertaining romantic comedy was truly remarkable. This third installment of the Mixed Messages series was easily the best in the series.

The playful sarcasm appealed to me mostly. The mischievousness the men got themselves into, gave me multiple blowouts or explosive laughs, my tears and snot burned tracks down my cheeks.

Henry and Ivo was stupendously in love with one another, while the author managed brilliantly to portray the ” should I, should I not” so well, the inner turmoil was an enjoyment instead of an irritation. These two men are soul mates, I don’t think the author said it once, but it was certainly indicated in the time they met, and how they each tried their best to live apart, but still gravitated towards each other. It has deep rooted emotional turbulences, at times absurdly so. But, this is a comedy and the satire flows through the book with a steady stream of electric personalities.

I absolutely recommend this audiobook.

Happy Listening

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eugenia
  • 2020-02-09

The Queen of Snark Reigns Supreme!!

I read this book in one sitting, staying up until 3am to do so. Like Morton's previous books in this series, it was AWESOME! Unlike her other books, it was a bit angstier.

Joel Leslie was phenomenal in his performance of Ivo and Henry. He is my fave when doing British (or French) accents!!

There was great balance between the feels and the funny. These two MCs are ex stepbrothers and best friends. They love each other. Both are in love with the other, but will not put their friendship at risk by trying for more. Angst, angst, angst...they go for more. HEA.

Characters from the previous two books in the series make appearances and we meet Silas, brother of MC Henry, who stars in the next book , Oz (HILARIOUS!!!).

This one is a must for Lily Morton fans...and who wouldn't be? She's writing some of the BEST and FUNNIEST romance out there!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zizawah
  • 2020-02-09

Beautiful romantic comedy with lots of heart

Story
This can be listened to as a standalone but it’s the 3rd book in the series and best if you started from book 1 of mixed messages. This story is about Henry and Ivo who briefly grew up as stepbrothers when Henry’s father married Ivo’s mother. Henry is a successful family lawyer who’s been playing the field but had finally gotten tired and ready to settle down except his deepest desire is for his best friend Ivo. However, Ivo’s vocation as photojournalist takes him to dangerous locale and his stays with Henry only lasts for a short time between assignments.

Henry may look soft but he’s tough inside. Ivo may look tough but his insecurities hold him back from taking risks with his heart. The story starts out in a melancholy tone peppered with wry humor but gets lighter progressively in the story as our two main characters find each other and ease into each other’s lives again and found an added dimension to their relationship that they’ve both been craving for and finally got the courage to risk their future.

The string of attempted dates are hilarious as was the night Henry and Dylan enjoyed Dean’s gift. There’s pain, angst, and desire to knock the MCs’ heads together but I laughed out loud at all the humor that laced through the story and I broke down and cried when Ivo brought out Henry’s photo and shared his story with a fellow passenger.

Simply, this story is a beautiful ode to love — best friends to lover, between brothers, between best friends, and between work friends.

Narration
Joel’s narration is pitch perfect and fantastic. He lives and breathes the characters into vivid life with his performance. Each character voice is distinct.

Summary
Wonderful story and narration. For anyone who’s looking for a romantic comedy that’s wonderfully written and performed, this is it. Strongly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jill K.
  • 2020-02-08

Moorreee

I want more. More books by Lily Martin please!!!! Joel Leslie’s accents are AMAZING. I love his voice.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Bauer
  • 2020-03-20

Sweet friends to lovers

I enjoyed this book a lot. While the second book, Deal Maker is my favorite of the 3, this is still well worth the read.

I was so happy to finally hear Henry's story since he has been such a lovely character in the other two books.

Ivo was such an interesting character, with so many faults and baggage, and I really enjoyed how Henry loved him, warts and all. The blindness of Henry to Ivo's love was hilarious to listen to, he was just so sure that Ivo would never see him as anything other than a friend, it was charming to see his little bouts of confusion.

Gabe was so funny here, and I really enjoyed the inclusion of Gabe/Dylan and Jude/Asa. But Gabe was especially funny with his knowing glances and that hug.

They both so deserved their happily ever after, and while yes, there wasn't a huge dramatic issue that came in the book, the drama was in them realizing that they were in love and the bathroom scene was hilarious and hot all at once. I agree with Henry on the standing ovation.


Lily's writing is absolutely sensory, you can feel and see the scenes, she is so descriptive with her writing that you're absolutely immersed in what ever is happening in the book. I liked that Ivo had a few more chapters than the other books had with the other half of the love interest. That is the one thing I wished about the other books is more knowledge about the other MC.

Joel did another fantastic narration, I think he does far better with English accents than American. I have heard him narrate both, and far more enjoy him with accents other than American. His voice seems to quaver more in American than any other, but that is really my only issue I have ever had with his narrations. His quivering voice, but in the 3 Lily Morton books he barely does it at all. He has load of voice inflections to support all the characters so you aren't confused, including female voices, although he has a tendency of making them all sound like an old lady. He is absolutely able to show off the characters feelings beautifully, which is the thing so many narrators can't do.


I highly recommend all three of the Mixed Messages books, especially on audio as that brings them to life. I do hope she write more, although it seems like her characters that make multiple appearances are all matched up. Perhaps she can add in more, and Dean would be funny to be matched up, but he is so ditzy I don't know if I could believe he would ever not be a bachelor.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ana Nimity
  • 2020-03-03

Perfection

I'd just recently re-read Risk Taker when the audio came out, so I was thrilled to listen to Joel Leslie's performances of Ivo and Henry. Joel does varying English dialects well, and I've heard him do Russian and Irish, but French was a first and it added to the story more than I thought it would. I didn't "hear" Ivo's accent when I read the book but listening to the audio and Joel's interpretation made Ivo that much sexier.

There are not enough superlatives to describe both the book and the narration. The book's on my re-read list and the audio is now squarely on my re-listen list.

HIGHLY recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Clau
  • 2020-02-09

I liked it, but...

Argh! I think this is a case of too high expectations. I read the first two books in this series and loved them. And there was a lot to love here, too, don't get me wrong. But as much as I liked Henry and Ivo, I spent 80% of the book wanting to strangle them :(

Yes, I get why they were acting the way they did, but it went for too long. And when they finally have sex... it felt cheap. I know it was supposed to be hot, but for me, it wasn't. And the way they used sex to avoid talking annoyed me to no end.

It was lovely to revisit the characters from the previous books, and the banter and humour was as funny as always, and the end was really great, so, all in all, I really liked it, even with the amounts of frustration that made me feel :P

Now, Joel Leslie's narration... I still have the same problem with his narration that I always have: he has only a couple of voices, and in this book, with the characters from the other books having such a big presence, it was even more evident. You can only say who was talking by the context :( It's a real shame, because I like his voice and style.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 2020-02-08

Another 5 Star Read for Lily

This series couldn’t possibly get better, Henry and Ivo are perfection incarnate. Lost souls that stuck together and never separated. I just couldn’t have wished for a better best friends to lovers book.
Definitely a MUST read; not only that but you get to know more about the couple that stole our heart initially. Gabe is amazing as always and Asa is EVERYTHING! Plus, this makes you appreciate Silas’ HEA even more.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacey Oliver
  • 2020-02-06

Fantastic!!

I can't begin to explain how wonderful this story was! There were highs, there were lows and it was so HOT! Joel Leslie Froomkin can't top this work. (or can he?) But first and foremost, it takes excellent content to make it happen. great job. I wish I could start it again for the first time.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria
  • 2020-03-28

Lol

Audio...5
Story....4

Joel’s narration is perfect and for this series and dare I say, for Lily's books. He lives and breathes these characters into life with his narration.

Wonderful romantic comedy that had me laughing out loud over the barbs, snark, and all the funny exchanges. Without a doubt, Lily is the queen of snark and can write down to earth romantic comedies like nobodies business.

If you are in the mood for some laughs, a whopping case of UST, and a sweet story of long time best friends to lovers romance, Risk Taker is well worth the listen!

This series was enjoyable, funny, sexy, had lots of snarky banter and predictable. Same formula for all three books, but it was just what my current state of mind needed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miareadsbooks
  • 2020-03-16

The perfect friends to lovers romance

I loved Henry from the moment he popped into Dylan and Gabe's book and it was such a delight to finally read his HEA when Risk Taker came out.
I'm equally delighted in this splendid narration of he and Ivo's romance, Joel adds so much to this story with his performance and has nailed the pacing, the humour and the big personalities of both the MCs.
An easy 5-star rating from me