Mere minutes after finishing this book I am here writing about it….while it is fresh in my mind and my emotions are still racing. If you know anything about me you know I don’t read a ton of historical romance. It’s a genre I have only begun to scratch the surface of. I am so very glad for the opportunity to read and spread the word about this book.
Wanton. . .
Leo Roberts is next in line for an earldom and the power and fortune that come with it, but he is uncultured, unrefined–and completely untamed. . .until governess Ella Finch arrives upon the scene. Can so young and inexperienced a woman tutor him in the manners and mores of his class? Leo’s mysterious past has rendered him an outsider, too wild for polite society. But he finds her innocence most intriguing. . .
What manner of man he may be, Ella does not know. Yet he fascinates her and she must know more. Capturing Leo’s reckless heart is about to free her in ways she never dreamed of. . .and his sensual touch releases the deepest yearnings of her body and soul. . .
“A first-class debut. Lori Brighton is a bright new voice to watch closely.” –Hannah Howell
Once again Lori has managed to draw me into a world of her making. The onslaught of feelings I felt while completely ignoring everything around me by reading all day long was simply amazing.
Ella wants nothing more than to be a proper functioning member of English society. Her life has been far from easy though. Swept from a orphanage at a young age and raised to be a governess by the cruel, unfeeling Lady Buckley, Ella has known nothing but servitude. When she is basically sold to the Lord Roberts to be a governess to his grown grandson Leo, she isn’t sure how to respond. Manners win out in the end of course and she agrees to stay, if the Lord is willing to grant her a cottage by the sea and her freedom at the end of her tenure. Thrilled at the prospect of finally being free of society’s binding hands she sets out to do the best with the uncultured Leo.
Seeing your family murdered and then being left in the jungle for years haven’t made Leo simply uncultured. It has left him feral and watchful. Never letting anyone get close. He doesn’t need or want a distraction from his sole mission…finding out who killed his family. His honed instincts scream at his own family for the murderous upheaval, and he will stop at nothing to get his man. The arrival of the lovely Ella not only un-nerves him but tempts him to finally let his guard down.
Can Leo afford to let this petite, wide-eyed, innocent into his life? Ella is hiding a secret of her own, he can sense it. Did she play a role somehow in the demise of his family? The strange incidents that happen in her presence with animals and the mysterious necklace she wears all point toward deception.
Wild Heart is set in the serene seaside fields of England. The smell of the salty air and the cool breeze will play with your senses. Whispering over your skin like a lovers caress. The waves lapping at the shore and the neighs of the bareback horses will assault your ears. Lori will set you down right in the middle of a field filled with flowers and you will smell their sweet fragrance.
The main characters heat scorched my skin with every page turn. I totally connected with these people so unlike me. I wanted to cry with Ella and felt her emotional rollercoaster as strongly as if it were my own. My heart beat frantically with her turmoil and the climax of not only the mystery but of the love scenes. Leo is so Alpha, so untamed and wild. Completely at her side every time someone dared come to close. Who doesn’t want a white knight? Even if the armor he carries is a bit tarnished. Every woman wants to tame the beast. To be the one that soothes the pains and makes the nightmares recede. True, Leo was a bit gruff and downright mean at times. Ella was sometimes meek and she blushed a whole hell of a lot. I did not care. If the book was set today, maybe, but the period of the piece was totally done justice.
The secondary characters of Fran and Akshay were delightful as well as the late arrival of Ella’s long-lost cousin Colin. The villains were underhanded and dark, just the way I like them. Unwilling to stop or be bested.
My favorite aspect was the slight paranormal ability by Ella to feel the emotions of animals and control them. And somehow to feel Leo as well, allowing her a look at the person he truly was underneath the rough facade. It fit into the story line perfectly and when the ending unfolded I was eager to learn more of her abilities and that of her families line. It isn’t often a historical romance weaves in some paranormal activity. The voice is uniquely Lori Brighton.
Favorite quote: “Your cousin and his friends left last night”
“That is unfortunate. I would have loved to smash my fist into his face”
Book #2 Wild Desire is due out March 2011…I will be stalking Borders that week. I didn’t see any info on it, but I am really gunning for Colin’s story..please please pretty please?
I give Wild Heart 5 of 5 stars!