• Real Risk

  • West Coast Forensics, Book 3
  • By: Elle Keaton
  • Narrated by: Michael Dean
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's possible they're a match, but first the two men will have to survive trial by fire.

Chief Flynn is fighting smoke and flames, tirelessly protecting the lives and property of his fellow islanders from yet another spate of fires.

Arson or accident?

When injury puts him on the sidelines, West Coast Forensics Arson Investigator Kimball Frye offers his assistance. Frye is the most irritating man in the world, a condescending know-it-all who rubs Devon the wrong way.

Or does he?

Decades ago, an arsonist stole his family from him; since then, Frye has devoted his life to putting them behind bars. At 49, he doesn't believe in permanent relationships, instead preferring the company of interchangeable younger men.

Is the arsonist trying to shift the blame onto Devon or trying to kill him? If it's the latter, it just might work.

Feeling the pull of attraction to Devon as the firebug grows bolder is inconvenient. Will Kimball listen to his heart or his head? The younger men he's always preferred are nothing like the solid, stalwart fire chief.

#SlowBurn #OppositesAttract #LoveLaterInLife #ProtectiveHeros #Bickering #SlowSlowSlowBurn

Real Risk is the third in the West Coast Forensics series and can be listened to as a stand-alone but may be enjoyed more if you hear Real Trouble and Real Danger first. It is dual POV following Devon Flynn and Kimball Frye as they bicker and fumble their way to their happily ever after.

©2022 Dirty Dog Press LLC (P)2022 Dirty Dog Press

What listeners say about Real Risk

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Real Risk

Not my favorite of the series which is too bad since I’ve looked forward to it. The relationship was fine, a nice build up. The mystery was disappointing because it wasn’t a mystery. It was obvious from the beginning and it being so obvious but the “experts” failing to see the obvious made it look like a bunch of amateurs playing professional.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story, okay performance

I’d already read the book so knew it was a great story. I love the series this is spun off from and some of those characters appear here.

The performance is okay but the voices get confusing at times as they sometimes sound too alike and you wonder who is speaking. The voice for Kimball doesn’t match my idea of him at all so that was hard to listen to. In fact, too often Kimball sounded like Birdy. I generally find that this narrator is not as good with female voices.

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Entertaining!

This is the story of Kimbal and Devon. I loved how this story was narrated by Michael Dean, and how every character's voice was so distinctive. He gave the story that something extra that will have you listening to it again and again. The plot is well thought out. I loved the mystery that kept you at the edge. The characters were wonderful. Definitely recommended.

I received this book as an audio Arc and I am voluntarily reviewing it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great Suspense

I enjoyed listening to Real Risk. It's a slow burn filled with suspense as the MCs Devon and Kimball are on the trail of an arsonist. Initially, Devon doesn't like Kimball, thinking Kimball is arrogant and overconfident; however, Kimball is one of the top arson investigators on the west coast. Kimball sees Devon as always calm, cool, and collected; he can't resist poking the bear. While Kimball is staying with Devon as they investigate a string of arson fires, they begin to view one another differently and recognize the attraction between them.

This is the first time I've listened to Michael Dean. He did a good job narrating and differentiating between characters by providing a unique voice for each; however, my only struggle was in the first few chapters, as his narration had a lot of pauses between words.

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A Really Good Listen

The story was nice, the MCs were interesting and fun, enjoyed it. Michael Dean is one of my favorite narrators, because he always brings life to the story.

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a suspenseful slow-burn romance

This suspenseful slow-burn romance with older main characters was so enjoyable. I love the world Elle Keaton has created in the Pacific North West and the people inhabiting that world. Devon and Kimball’s relationship was full of clashing personalities at first that turned into a true connection. Michael Dean’s narration is always done well and so easy to listen to

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This slow burn romance was scorching hot!

Elle Keaton has done it again with the latest West Coast Forensics book! I love the world she has created in the PNW and each books adds another layer to the rich community of Piedras Island. Devon has been around for so many books but always in the background so it was fantastic to finally get his story and see him find his happiness. As such a strong pillar in the community, it was hard to see him struggle with his place and reputation among some of the island residents. Kimball was a fantastic counter-point to Devon's personality and I loved seeing these two clash in the beginning and finally find their rhythm as they got to know each other better. Kimball's reasons for becoming an arson investigator were truly horrific but the drive it gave him to find the truth for arson victims was heartwarming to see. I loved that both Devon and Kimball were a little bit older than your typical main character in a romance book. Representation of older couples falling in love is so important and honestly is so much more satisfying to me because these are characters who already know themselves for the most part but are willing to take a chance on love. The suspense plot was wonderful in this book and the ending is not what I expected at all! Michael Dean is an absolute top narrator and someone I always look forward to listening to. No matter the story or character, he always brings such life to the story without overwhelming the listener and pulling focus from the story. I love everything he has narrated and always know his work will be top-notch! I can't wait to see what is next in this series and what other amazing characters and towns Elle has waiting for us!

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A simmering suspense.

When I first started this book, I thought I’d need to read the other two in the series first to understand it and enjoy it. I wished I would’ve, cause I’m anal like that, but it isn’t necessary. Man, these two liked to push each other’s buttons! It wasn’t so much an enemies to lovers deal, it was more like foreplay. The suspense was set at a simmer throughout the book. I kind of wish the climax could have been more suspenseful, but it was still very good. I look forward to reading the first two of the series now.

Michael Dean is one of my most favorite narrators. He is so talented and I just love his voice.

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A good mystery to listen to

I liked that the MCs (Kimball and Devon) are older, set in their ways and neither looking for a relationship. Add in an unknown arsonist that needs to be caught and this makes for an interesting story.
Michael Dean is makes this a great listen (as usual). He made the story stronger, more plausible with his range of voices and emotions. He delivered the banter between the 2 MCs with great dry humour, that alone is worth listening to! 🙂
Definitely best way to enjoy the story!

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Real Risk

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Review Copy of this book.

This part of the review is specific to the audiobook version (see below for the story review):
I thought Michael Dean did a really good job with this story. There was enough variation to the characters to make it easy to follow. The pacing was good and and the narrator has a nice even flow.

Below is my review for the book:
Devon and Kimball were great together. The banter between them was great and we get a chance to see them build a connection in this book. The arson plot was okay, but the romance is really the highlight of this book. I could understand why both of them had some issues with relationships, but I think it made the connection between them even better. It was the little moments between them that really showed the bond (really want to try those pineapple waffles!).

Devon's sister, Birdy, is amazing. Not only is she a great deputy (more based on the other books, but I still stand by it), but she manages to wrangle he overly stubborn big brother. I also really liked Foster (looking forward to his book!). I also getting to see some of the characters from previous stories, a great chance to catch up (even just a bit) with some favorites.

*I think this book is better if you've read the previous books and the Veiled Intentions series for the background and secondary characters, but it isn't required.

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  • Lesetiger
  • 08-14-22

Entertaining story

I really like the "West Coast Forensics" series by Elle Keaton, so I was looking forward to this audiobook.
This time it's about Kimball Frye, a senior fire investigator and Devon Flynn, the Piedras Fire Chief. There is an arsonist on Piedras who is striking more and more often. The situation threatens to escalate, so Kimball Frye offers his services as an arson investigator.

You can read Real Risk well as a standalone, but I think it's more fun if you already know the previous volumes.
I liked the chemistry between Kimball and Devon. They're both not the youngest and actually the tension between them is pretty explosive. So far, Kimbell has been avoiding relationships. But he seems to have more in common with Devon than friendship. Both Kimbell and Devon are very opinionated and neither can admit to having a crush on the other.
I found Kimball and Devon to be very likable. The story was exciting and entertaining. Can the arsonist be stopped in time? It's fast-paced, there's some action and drama, but there's also suspense and great emotions and likable secondary protagonists as well. Basically, it was fun to get on the trail of the arsonist, even if I had my suspicions pretty quickly.

Michael Dean did a great job, as always. He portrayed the protagonists and their emotions well and he has a pleasant voice that I can listen to easily. He gives each character a unique voice and hits the tone perfectly.

I requested a free copy of the audiobook and this is my honest opinion that I am volunteering

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • choccygrl
  • 08-24-22

A solid story and performance

Slow burn
Older MCs
Grumpy, happy being alone, firefighter meets commitment shy, I only date much younger twinks, arson investigator.
This is a later book in two connected series and as such there are a lot of characters that you are expected to know and as such occasionally I felt out of my depth with all the different people popping up.
There seemed to be a distinct lack of looking into the arsonist while the relationship was developing and then everything sort of fell into place without very much work from the MCs. I wanted this part of the story to be stronger and more evenly paced throughout the story.
However I did enjoy the developing relationship between Devon and Kimble.
The narrator does a solid job with the story and the two MCs are easily distinguishable.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 08-20-22

Frye and Flynn

Devon Flynn is the fire chief on Piedras Island where fire is alarmingly common. Aside from the standard kitchen fires and people leaving embers smouldering, something else seems to be afoot. Several of the fires were for abandoned or historical buildings. An arsonist was caught for one of the fires, yet the blazes have continued. Obviously, something’s going on.

Kimball Frye just can’t stay away from Piedras. Ostensibly because some of his best investigators from West Coast Forensics now call the island home. Also because of a certain attractive fire chief. Sparks fly between the two men, but it’s Kimball’s help when Devon is injured that really turns the tide on the relationship. Kimball’s relationship to lethal fires broke my heart, but watching him work with Devon definitely helped heal it. And their bickering is legendary.

They’re also willing to come together to solve the arson problem on the island. Not just because people are getting hurt, but because Devon’s become a suspect. I have to admit, some of the groundwork was laid in previous books, so it shouldn’t have been a total surprise to me. That being said, a few of the twists I didn’t see coming.

I’m really enjoying these books and am glad there are more to come. Naturally I hope they’ll be put onto audio and narrated by the amazing Michael Dean. I can’t wait.

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  • Susie Umphers
  • 08-19-22

Great mix of mystery andcromance.

Loved the characters of Devon and Kimball and how their forced proximity romance develops as they work together, initially very reluctantly, to solve the mystery of the arsons and see that the perpetrator goes to jail. The author kept me guessing about the motive and identity of the arsonist and I found this a perfect mix of romantic steam, mystery and arson investigation. Michael Dean does a great job of distinguishing characters, bringing them to life and sustaining the suspense aboutvthe identity of the arsonist.

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  • Pixiebell
  • 08-18-22

Real Risk

It’s great to be back on Piedras Island and revisit her inhabitants.
This time it’s the book concentrates on its fire chief Devon Flynn and arson investigator Kimball Frye.
This is a slow burn between two gruff alpha type men. Both men are not looking for relationships due to past issues but are brought together whilst investigating a series of arson attacks and Devon is hurt attending a fire. Kimball volunteers to stay and look after Devon and both men begin to become friends and then eventually more.
I love this series because of its combination of romance and thriller and of course the setting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Magnus
  • 08-18-22

Real reward

Another great story by Ella Keaton. Kimball and Devon are fantastic characters to get to know better. Perfect blend of mystery and romance to keep you entertained. Michael Dean did a super job with the narration.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KBR
  • 08-18-22

Real Risk

I've enjoyed this series. These guys have been dancing for a while, and it was nice to see their story. Michael Dean did a great job with the narration.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L.D.
  • 08-17-22

Real Entertaining

Real Risk is the third book in the West Coast Forensic series, and although I think this series is best read in order, Real Risk can be read as a standalone.

I was so excited when I realized that the head honcho himself, Kimball, finally had his romance. The romantic buildup was slow but steady which burst into a satisfying climax. The mystery was interesting and had a twist I really enjoyed. I really like how the author is continuing to build this series and creating a community with familiar characters from previous books.

The audiobook was narrated by Michael Dean who does a wonderful job. The narration was smooth and engaging which made for an entertaining listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gunhild
  • 08-17-22

It's all about community

I enjoyed this story about grown up love in a tight knit community.

Devon and Kimball are both scarred by life, both duty oriented, and both commitment phobes. Fortunately, they have friends and family who want more for them, as well as fires to stop and arsonists to catch.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 08-17-22

a mystery to keep you guessing

I love the WCF gang and to see these two stubborn, set in their ways men subtly adapt and fall for each other was great and done slow and organically it just makes sense! Add in a compelling mystery and danger and I couldn't put it down! Great read and listen!!

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