One Life to Lose

Kris Ripper. Riptide, $17.99 trade paper (302p) ISBN 978-1-62649-440-4

Love, BDSM, films, and murder take center stage in this moving and suspenseful erotic romance, the fourth in Ripper’s Queers of La Vista contemporary series (after The Queer and the Restless). Cameron Rheingold runs an independent movie theater in present-day fictional La Vista, Calif. Though he’s part of the local LGBTQ community, he largely keeps to the fringes until he meets Josh and Keith, who have just opened a queer-youth center in town—and who begin to show a romantic interest in Cameron. Meanwhile, a serial murderer, whose attacks began in the previous books, continues to target the local queer population. As Cameron tries to determine how he fits into Josh and Keith’s romantic and business partnership, the diverse and thoughtfully crafted community struggles to find comfort and safety. The various plot threads are expertly woven together, with particularly strong attention given to establishing healthy kink relationships and to the effects of post-traumatic stress. Erotic-romance readers and series fans will be thrilled by this sweet and often intense exploration. (Dec.)