Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Lori Brighton - Wild Heart
After his parents were brutally murdered, Leo Roberts raised himself in the jungle of India. His family in England thought he was dead, but now he is back and he is next in line for the family title. His stay in India did not teach him to be a fine and cultured gentleman, he is the complete opposite, his manners appear to be more animal than human. To be ready for the title his grandfather has hired a governess, Ella Finch, to tutor him in the manners and mores of his class. In the past Leo has chased away every employee his grandfather had hired to make him more civil for they did not fit in with his hidden agenda but he finds Ella captivating and lets her stay. This innocent governess messes with his head, she is a sweet distraction he cannot use for he needs to stay focused on his goal…
After her sudden dismissal as a companion for Lady Buckley’s daughters, Ella Finch has no choice then to accept a post as a governess. She is in shock when she finds out that she will not be tutoring a lovely young boy, but a handsome, virile and very wild man. Somehow she knows that he will not hurt her and she is determined to help him take his place in society, after all, his grandfather is paying her a king’s ransom to educate him. This might be her only chance to gain her freedom and independence. But she soon finds out that there is more to Leo than meets the eye, he fascinates her. In no time he stirs up all these feelings inside her, make her do things she normally would not do, she craves him body, mind and soul. For the first time in her life she really feels free…
With Wild Heart Lori Brighton has made a grand debut in the world of romance. It is an impressive debut, I found myself captivated by her characters, and the storyline was so addictive that once I started I couldn’t stop. I felt this compelling need to understand Leo and Ella better and needed to know how they would fare, therefore I could not put the book down. The story is refreshing, unique and has this dark and mysterious vibe. Wild Heart is marketed as a historical paranormal romance, but the paranormal aspect of this story is confined to Ella’s special gift. Although, towards the end there are certain developments in the arc storyline that have some paranormal aspects.Lori Brighton’s writing is easy, smooth and rich in detail.
The setting for this story is the estate of Leo’s grandfather and I could easily picture every inch of this lovely estate. The fabulous characters come alive and tear themselves from the pages thanks to Lori’s writing. At the start of this story Leo is quite an enigma, in public he appears to be daft. He hardly speaks and his manners are nonexistent. He is exactly what society expects him to be after years of solitude in the jungle, an animal. This is precisely what he wants them to think, but under this façade there is also this artistic, gentle and honest man who has to deal with his inner turmoil for he has suffered greatly and therefore has a very dark side that makes him unreadable for others. He has only come back to seek the truth, he needs answers and closure otherwise the past will never set him free. Leo truly radiates from the pages, he is a very strong character and I fell head over heels in love with him.
Now Ella’s background is completely different, she was raised in an orphanage after her uncle never returned from his trip. Now she is a governess who has to tame the beast inside this handsome, older man and make him acceptable for society. Her whole life has revolved around others; she wants to be free of the responsibility to everyone but herself. Although she appears to be a meek person she really has a strong spirit, she is persistent yet nice and likeable. Leo makes her less stiff; he makes her bend the rules of society a little so she actually has some fun. The attraction between them is instant, it smolders a long time before it finally erupts. Their sex is hot, loving and sensual. The development of their characters and romance is stunning and it vibrates throughout the book. It moved me and pulled at all my heartstrings.
I was so wrapped up in their romance that I almost forgot the darker side of this story.The first part of Wild Heart revolves around the relationship between Leo and Ella, then the pace of the story accelerates as the suspense plotline develops and dominates the last part of the story. It is a captivating and surprising plotline, interlacing the paranormal aspects with the suspense and the romance. The end is satisfying and took me by surprise. I did not expect this ending and it was quite shocking to be so surprised. The secondary characters are interesting, the villains are bad to the bone and the true friends of Ella and Leo are loyal and interesting, all these characters spice up the story but the spotlight stays mainly on Ella and Leo.
Lori Brighton could not have written a better or more impressive debut. Wild Heart is seductive, dark and mysterious. The romance is scorching hot, the characters are well-developed and appealing, and the suspense is captivating, fresh and surprising. Wild Heart is a must-read for every romance reader out there.