Mixed Messages Series, Book 3
Release Date: 07.22.18
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
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 fifteen, 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 twenty 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 bestselling 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 read as a standalone.
Man, I love this series. I love this author. I loved Ivo and Henry. Lily Morton's Risk Taker is the third book in her Mixed Messages series and to say I've been looking forward to this book is an understatement if there ever was one. I discovered Lily's books one weekend and devoured books 1 and 2 in two days and have been dying for Henry and Ivo's book, and boy, it did NOT disappoint. Lily Morton is the master of witty banter and it's alive and well and as awesome as always in Risk Taker. It was also so great to see Gabe, Dylan, Asa, and Jude from the first two books.
Risk Taker is a best friends to lover story (my jam!) mixed in with a bit of hurt/comfort. Henry and Ivo have been best friends since they were teenagers and briefly step-brothers. They've been the rock the other leans on and have always been there for one another. Of course, Henry has been madly in love with Ivo for all this time, not realizing the same is true for Ivo. They've been apart for some time as Ivo has been traveling the world as a photojournalist, but when Ivo is injured on his latest assignment, there's no place he wants to go but to Henry. Sure they share a house, but Henry is and always has been Ivo's home. Of course seeing Ivo hurt and in pain brings out all his protective instincts and he takes care of Ivo until he's on the mend. During all of this, there's the fact that while Henry is still and probably always will be in love with Ivo, he doesn't want to risk their friendship or really see a future for them so he decides to start dating.
Thus begins the parade of dates for Henry. While hilarious at times, this part started to annoy me in that Henry is still secretly pining for Ivo and Ivo is just as in love with Henry but neither do anything about it! I'm all for the slow burn and while it was glorious when these two FINALLY got together (and even then there was still a feeling of not all in for both because of Ivo's job) the book seemed to drag on and on while these two figured things out. Sure there was lots of banter and funny moments, this is a Lily Morton book after all, but yeah, I growled a few times at Henry and Ivo for being so dumb.
There's a lot to love in Risk Taker. The banter is fabulous, the characters likable (even if they deserve a kick in the butt), and the romance is hot and swoony. Unrequited love at it's finest, for sure. And as I mentioned, cameos by our faves from books one and two. Technically this book can be a stand alone, but why would you do that and miss all the fun and romance from the first two books? Really, y'all, this series as a whole is fantastic and you'll love Henry and Ivo just as much as the others. I hope there's more to come *cough-Silas-cough* and Lily Morton is definitely an author who should be on everyone's auto-buy list. Check this one out, people, it'll leave you with the biggest smile on your face. Promise.
The bell in the shop rings as the door opens, and I smile as I feel his presence behind me.
“Is there a particular reason, Henry, why I am standing in an art supply shop rather than sitting in a perfectly good restaurant eating lunch?”
I shift the basket over my arm and turn to face one of my best friends. “Gabe, you really should be a bit more highbrow. Otherwise, you’ll never keep that pretty totty you’ve got.”
His perfect-looking face scrunches up in disgust. “Totty. What an utterly disgusting word.”
“I know,” I say cheerfully, turning back to the shelf I was perusing and chucking in another tube of Rose Gold oil paint.
“Makes you sound like your father,” he says snippily, and I nudge him.
“Now that’s petty. Anyway, I’m nothing like him. I have all my own teeth, and my complexion is milky-white perfection, if I do say so myself.”
He snorts. “Apart from those freckles.”
I shake my head and touch a finger to my face and my bête noire, the multitude of freckles that span my nose. “I wish that cream I got off the internet at uni had worked,” I say forlornly, and he laughs loudly, making it echo around the shop.
“I did so enjoy the way your face turned that shade of green. Made you look like Grotbags from The Rod Hull and Emu Show.” He reaches over and grabs a tube of paint. “It was this shade precisely. Hmm, Pistachio Green.” He chucks it into my basket, and I patiently remove it and put it back on the shelf.
I toss a couple of tubes of Prussian Blue into the basket while he leans casually against the shelf looking like the perfect picture of a lawyer in his dark grey, hand-tailored suit.
“Why are we here, Henry? Because if you’re thinking of giving up the law and becoming an artist, I really will have to stage an intervention.”
I laugh. “I think I’d make a very good artist.”
“Piss artist, more likely,” he says, poking my arm with one long finger. “So, if we’re not shopping for what would be the shortest career in art history, who are we shopping for?” His gaze sharpens, and I mentally groan because aside from Ivo there is no one who knows me better. “Hmm. Would we be shopping for a six foot four blond photographer who a certain red-headed lawyer has had the hots for, for years?”
“That’s such a non-Gabe expression,” I sneer. “Has Dylan been influencing you?”
He looks startled and shakes his head. “Those fucking phrases of his and Jude’s. They’re messing up my vocabulary. Yesterday one of the senior partners asked me if I was okay and I said I was cool. He went out and asked his assistant to tell maintenance that the building heating needed to be turned up.”
I laugh helplessly, and he gives me a rueful grin. “Don’t distract me, Henry. Is Ivo back?” I nod slowly and his expression darkens. “Is he okay?”
I shrug, picking up a brush and studying it intently so I don’t have to look at him. “Not really. He’s got a hole from a fucking bullet in his side, and broken ribs and bruises all over him from being near a car bomb when it went off.”
“What?” he says instantly. “Is he okay?” Gabe has always had a complicated relationship with Ivo. He loves being with him, and they can talk for hours, but he hates the effect that he unknowingly has on my life.
“He’s fine. Silas checked him over.”
He checks with his hand out to grab the brush from me. “Henry, isn’t Silas a vet?”
I shrug. “He was very good at biology at school.”
“I was good at it too. You don’t see me turning up at St Bart’s Hospital and performing a few appendectomies during my lunch hour though, do you?”
“The only biology you were any good at was the male anatomy kind,” I say tartly, and chuck the brush in the basket.
He smiles. “That I was. I’m a very learned man in that area.”I snort. “You’re practically PhD material.”
About The Author
Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.
Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.
She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!
She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.