Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
When you gamble with desire, be prepared to risk everything…… Unlike the rest of the Hell’s Eight brotherhood, Ace Parker’s home isn’t on the range. This restless cowboy craves the hustle of Simple, Texas, a lawless town where he can sate his darker appetites without guilt. At least he did, until Petunia Wayfield arrived. The prickly new teacher is insisting that Ace help her rid the town of drunkenness and card playing. For that kind of miracle, Ace demands a reward the spinster schoolmarm will surely never give.
But Petunia isn’t backing down. Not when the intense passion Ace offers shatters her to the core. As soon as she can afford a ticket home back east, she’ll leave Simple behind for good. Until then, she’ll match his sensual challenge with her own, daring him to give up his fiercely guarded self-control. And then real danger claims Petunia, forcing Ace to reveal the man he really is—even if it drives her away forever….
This series is one of my favorite, the men are over the top alpha and the women are strong and independent yet they still crave the protectiveness these men can give. I have read all of the Hell’s Eight books and have enjoyed each one.
Petunia Wakefield is a teacher by default. She left her father and his wealthy lifestyle for California, but at a stop along the way she was robbed and stayed in Simple, Texas to earn the money to continue her journey. She gets caught up in the lives of this small town and ends up causing problems as she fights for the children that can’t fight for themselves.
Ace Parker is Hell’s Eight, a group of men who banded together years ago when they lost what little they had. A woman named Tia took the boys in and they are notorious as dangerous Rangers in and around Texas. These possessive men take care of their own and when they find that special woman, watch out.
Ace and Petunia have an interesting relationship, the witty banter back and forth does not fool those around them, there is definite attraction but he feels she is too good for him, and she still wants to leave. The push and pull fight is on.
I am always excited when a new Hell’s Eight comes out. I found this author and series a few years ago and love them. The hero usually has a tortured soul and the heroine is always strong and able to forge her own way in life. The setting is the west and the author does not paint a pretty picture as she shows the danger and lawlessness of the times.
Petunia is a bit of a conundrum, she comes across as a teacher that is untouchable and prissy when in fact she left her sheltered wealthy father because she felt she was more liberated and modern, she wanted to go west, help teach all children and she wants to vote. She also has passion and wants to explore her feelings, unfortunately the man she wants feels she is too good for him and they often push each other’s buttons as they dance around their attraction.
Ace is one of the lost boys that found each other after their town was attacked and parents killed when they were young. They banded together and formed a family calling themselves Hell’s Eight. He is also a puzzle, he makes a living as a gambler but he is also a Texas Ranger. He feels Petunia is not for him, but that doesn’t stop him from teasing, pushing and saying “mine” in a growl when other men are around her. Whee. It is not until she is in danger that he realizes what she means to him and then the war begins because she is not sure she wants to give him total control, something he demands. The chemistry between them sizzles and Ms. McCarty can write an amazing erotic scene, I love Ace and Pet together.
Secondary characters play important roles, the town is small and everyone knows each other so interaction is common. I enjoyed seeing several Hell’s Eight members and their mates and look forward to seeing Luke fall next? At one point, Petunia has a horrific encounter with the Comanche but the issue is over almost too quickly yet it creates a turning point for the relationship between Petunia and Ace. The pace is fast, there seems to be something always going on and it makes for an easy read. If you have read others in this series, Ace’s Wild is a great addition however if this is your first from this author, expect hot alpha men, strong women and amazing erotic passion.
I give Ace’s Wild by Sarah McCarty 4 stars!