4.5 shamelessly grinning Stars
Sometimes you read a book and a character steps out of the pages, smiles at you and walks right next to you as you read their story. Whispering their lines in your ear. Winking at you when you laugh out loud, holding your hand when you tear up, trying to calm you when you’re screaming. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s a real gift to the reader to be able to have such an incredible character right there in front of them.
Mike Ripton is one of those characters.
He is larger than life. He is so utterly and completely comfortable in his own skin that he owns every single room and conversation he enters. He is wicked smart, wickedly funny and one of the most authentic characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. It’s been a long time since a character made me so shamelessly grin like Ripp does. And how do you not love a man who coins such terms as “lickle” and “Chuck Fuckin’”? Yeah. I’m smitten.
Vivian Simon is Ripp’s perfect match. She too owns every single thing she walks into. She too makes me bark with laughter. She too is incredibly intelligent. Vee meets Ripp move for move and challenges him to keep on going. While he grounds her in ways she may have been missing, she inspires Ripp to continue being a better man every single day.
This book is mostly about watching Ripp and Vee come together and figure out how they want to walk through life together. It’s sweet and funny and hot as hell. It’s endearing and just flat fun to read. There are moments of sheer electricity between Ripp and Vee that are gorgeous. And there are many other scenes peppered throughout this book that would make it all worth it all on their own just because of how rich the characters and storytelling are.
Scott Hildreth has continued to knock my socks off with this book. The level of honesty and subtlety in his writing absolutely mesmerizes me. And the way he is able to so effortlessly weave deep philosophical questions into what appears to be every day dialogue or character interaction just lights me up in the very best ways. Hildreth questions and pushes his readers to consider more than just the base story he’s telling; he paves the way to greater understanding of some of life’s bigger questions in beautiful and creative ways.
Read this book not only because you’ve read Undefeated and want to know more. Read this book not only because it’s Ripp’s book and you’re nursing a crush on the big guy. Read this book not only because it’s a great story and really fun to read. But because your life will be better having done so.