Bride Included

Christmas Fantasy

Forbidden

I Brake for Bad Boys

Ready-Made Bride

Seduced

Seductive Fantasy

Stroke of Midnight

Too Wild to Tame

Wilde Thing 

 
Wild for Him
by Janelle Denison
(Berkley Sensation, $ 7.99, NC-17) ISBN 978-0425-22197-6
****
Wild for Him involves a relatively naïve woman and a generally acknowledged stud who both have issues and find ways to relieve tension as they try to determine who is threatening the heroine.  It is definitely a page-turner with hot, steamy sex is liberally sprinkled throughout.

Ben Cabrera is a member of the ESS, Elite Security Systems, a group of ex-marines who work as security and investigators.  Denison has written several stories about his compatriots and a few of them make an appearance here.  Ben’s current assignment is to protect the daughter of Nathan Delacroix.  Nathan is running for governor and has been receiving threats against “someone he holds dear” and that someone is Christine.  Ben is to protect her until after the election, which is about four weeks away.

Christine had an interesting childhood.  Her mother, thrilled to be married to a man who had a future in politics, tried to groom Christine to grow up just like her – cold, snobbish and frigid.  The best boarding schools offered her every opportunity.  Christine befuddled her mother when she tried out for the basketball team rather than dance or ballet.  Upon graduation from college, Christine let her mother convince her to become engaged to one of her father’s political advisors, Jason Forrester. But Jason cheated on Christine and even threatened her, causing her to get a restraining order on him to leave her alone.  Now Christine is trying to establish an events planning business and figure out who she really is. She is enjoying her independence and discovering her strong characteristics.

Ben agreed to take on the case, knowing that he feels an attraction to Christine as does she to him. But he is dedicated to his work and is sure he can keep pleasure and business separate. Until, that is, he moves in with Christine to be her 24/7 bodyguard and she has other ideas. Christine has not had a sex life worth mentioning. She lost her virginity in a one-night down and dirty act and her only other lover was Jason, a less than a satisfactory lover who never fulfilled Christine’s needs. She is determined to take advantage of having a manly stud at her beck and call and proposes an affair that would last the duration of the assignment.

And what an affair it is. Hot sex is followed by more passionate foreplay and more sex.  Her one caveat to Ben is he can’t use the missionary position and he holds up his end of the deal. Luckily for the reader, Denison actually throws in some emotional entanglement, making this affair satisfying in a number of ways.  Secrets are revealed, emotions are discussed and the past hurts and vulnerabilities are all part of the equation.

In between all this are actual threats to Christine. There are three primary suspects, with Jason still doing weird stuff being just the most obvious. A business contact who wants more than a shared business lunch and a business rival are the other two most noted.  The mystery is subtle and there is not a lot of build up until the end, but this is an acceptable suspense filler overall.  

The saving grace and the pivotal part of the appeal of this story are Christine and Ben.  They are realistic, likable and genuinely fun to read about. Christine sees things at times that others might not, and yet her sexual naiveté is very compelling.  Ben is more than just a hot sexy stud.  He has deep-seated issues that have made him the leery and yet sensitive man he is today.  It was easy to like them and their interactions were such that I had to keep turning the pages to see what else they would do.

There are some pacing issues and coincidences that keep this from a five heart rating. But overall, Wild for Him had me thinking that I was wild for this tale and thus can easily recommend it. 

--Shirley Lyons


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