REVIEW: “Riled Up” by Anie Michaels

“Riled Up” is the delightfully sexy follow-up to “Kiss Cam” with a “After the Happily Ever After” storyline.  Anie Michaels uses this book to cement Cam and Riley’s relationship and her insecurities while introducing future romantic couples.  You MUST ABSOLUTELY read BEFORE “Riled UP” after “Kiss Cam”.  No if, ands or buts.  Happily Anie Michaels doesn’t throw any wrenches into Cam and Riley’s relationship.  All conflicts are regarding how Riley comes to grips with her insecurities and dealing with the stresses of “Adulting”.  Cam and Riley’re adorable and sexy as ever.  In this installment of the With a Kiss series we’re introduced to Riley’s mother, brother, and a few new friends.  Riley’s boss plays a big role in this book and she’s witty and surprisingly fun.  This novel’s really enjoyable but it’s more of a re-visit and setting up-coming characters into place.  I wanted a bit more substance.

Cam and Riley have been engaged for several months and Cam’s making moves toward his dreams.  House, kids, dogs; the whole vision.  But Cam doesn’t have the issues with money and security that Riley does so this is overwhelming for her.  Even though they’re a couple, and a team, Riley still insists on paying her “fair share”.  For Riley, the past year has already been filled with big changes a promotion, a serious boyfriend, and an engagement.  However, these things take lots of Riley’s time; time she normally spent with her best friend, Hadley, making her feel guilty.  Riley’s boss, Rose, requests her help for a personal out of state wedding planning event.  Also adding more stress.  The wedding’s for Rose’s best friend which happens to take place where Riley went to high school.  The origin of all her insecurities.  Coincidentally the wedding party involves Riley’s high school arch-nemesis.

Riley’s trip back to Arizona illuminates her insecurities and her complex relationship with her mother.  While in Arizona Riley touches base with her mother and get to learn more about their past.  We meet her brother Tripp back in Oregon.  We’re reunited with Riley’s refreshingly amusing coworkers Rachel and Jasper.  Cam’s friend Justin is in attendance.  He and Hadley’s “relationship” is still very much mysterious and definitely up-in-the-air.  There’s at least one fun new love-matches in the making.  Cam’s mother and step-father crop up and she makes it a tear-jerker.

“Riled Up” is light and a lovely opportunity to re-enter Riley and Cam’s lives.  The story is mostly sexy and romantic and most definitely a ton of fun.  However it gets a hefty dose of tear-jerking sentimentality.  We learn the details which formed Riley’s intense issues of monetary self-worth and why they hit her insecurities so hard.  I really enjoyed revisiting Anie Michael’s With a Kiss series once again and hope to do so again very soon.  “Riled Up” is definitely very entertaining and charming.  It needs more intense conflict, to give it much needed zing.  That would to ramp up the rating for me.  I really do love these characters and their witty, sexy, and super romantic world!

I’m giving “Riled Up” 3 Lightning Bolts and a Gale Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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