Monday, 6 March 2017


Title: Risk and Reward
Author: Rachael Duncan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 6, 2017
Grass isn't always greener...
I never dreamed this would become my reality. 
But it is.
After feeling neglected and alone for far too long, I end it,
Blindsiding my husband in the process. 
He's hurt, torn, and confused, 
Never expecting me to leave.
His pain tears at my heart, begs me to stay.
And I almost do.
Moving on isn't as easy as it seems.
The memories tap at my conscience,
Reminding me of what I'm missing,
What I used to have.
But, I walked away,
From the man I promised forever,
Possibly making the worst mistake of my life.
I've let go, given myself a promise of a new life, new hope.
But does the other side have more risk than reward?

It’s easy to recognize the bad when you’re in the moment. All the good is erased and you’re blinded by the negative. Each fight, every moment of hurt starts as a small scab. If taken care of, it’ll heal. But the more you pick, the worse it gets until it festers and infects everything. Is that what I let happen to my marriage? What if I had tried to fix my initial hurt instead of internalizing and letting it fester?

What a great read!  Risk and Reward by Rachael Duncan is one of those books that pulls me in hook, line, and sinker from the beginning and didn’t let me go until the end.  The story of Charlotte and Nate is an emotional experience that is so realistic and depicts what many couples go through in their marriage.  It isn’t a seven-year itch; it is more of an evaluation.  There is love hidden deep in their hearts, but so many changes happen day-to-day that the love is buried and sadness and regret are always in the way.

Risk and Reward is Charlotte’s story and told entirely from her point of view.  Charlotte is lost because Nate’s time is dedicated to his job.  Charlotte feels second to everything else.  She tries to talk to Nate about her feelings and needs but has a hard time getting his attention.  It is so frustrating, and she is at the point that she can’t take it anymore and asks for a divorce.  Charlotte is so unhappy and realizes that it is time for a change. 

I like the way this story is told.  For me, it is like sitting with your best friend as she spills out her heart and wonders what went wrong.  I could feel Charlotte’s pain as she talks about how unhappy and unwanted she is.  I could see myself encouraging my friend as she steps out on her own alone.  I could also see myself giving her a shoulder when needed.  She is making so so many changes, and self-examination is necessary to get her to her happy place.

Some of the self-examination is done through flashbacks.  The flashbacks are used to get a glimpse at Charlotte and Nate in the good times.  When a new man is introduced in the story flashbacks are used to compare what is with what was.  The flashback technique is nicely done, and it doesn’t get in the way of the overall story.  Like any relationship, everything isn’t always bad there is good hidden with the pain.

Risk and Reward is so captivating that I couldn’t put it down.  It is fast paced and held my attention from beginning to end.  The need to see what happens next made me consume the book in one day.  Some parts are a little predictable, but the predictability doesn’t take away for the reality and enjoyment of the story. Risk and Reward is a standalone novel. However some of the characters are in Rachael Duncan’s Calculated Risk.  I will be investigating this and her other books.  Ms. Duncan is an excellent storyteller.  I recommend Risk and Reward to anyone who enjoys getting lost in a good story. 

4 Stamps

Rachael Duncan is an Army wife and mother to two beautiful girls. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and went off to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor's degree in political science. With initial plans to work in politics, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked on Capitol Hill for a House Representative. After a short time, she realized it wasn't for her and began pursuing other careers until she started writing. She's the author of Tackled by Love, The Lies and Truth Series, and Hopeless Vows.