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REVIEW: Wild for Him by Janelle Denison

Dear Ms. Denison:

book review I think I read a Janelle Denison book before. Maybe in a category format? I can’t recall. Wild for Him is the seventh book in a Wilde series. The previous six books featured Wilde family members and this one starred Ben Cabrera, a friend of Joel Wilde. I did wonder why it was Wild instead of Wilde given that all the other books had Wilde in it. I’m thinking that it had to do with Cabrera not being a Wilde family member but I confess to spending some minutes pondering this in my mind.

Ben Cabrera is a former marine who is part owner of the Elite Security Specialists bodyguard firm. Nathan Delacroix is a gubernatorial candidate who receives a threatening letter that if he doesn’t drop out of the race, the thing most precious to him will be harmed. Nothing is more precious to Nathan than his twenty-seven year old daughter, Christine. He calls on ESS to provide 24/7 bodyguard service for Christine until the election date.

Christine isn’t thrilled about the 24/7 babysitting service but she understands her father’s desires to keep her safe. The fact that Ben is easy on the eyes makes the bodyguarding more palatable. Christine, in fact, sees Ben as the perfect person to introduce her to sexual satisfaction because Christine, like many romance heroines before her and like many that will follow after, has had only bad sexual experiences before including with her former fiancee. (Those fiancees rarely can get it right which makes me wonder why these heroines get engaged so often to bedroom losers). Christine also believes that she is inadequate because her fiancee and former lovers couldn’t bring her to orgasm. Christine, of course, doesn’t think that she could bring herself to orgasm and thus she turns to Ben:

“Are you a virgin!” His voice sounded strangled.

A small smile touched the corner of her lips. “I might as well be, but no, I’m not. I’ve had sex before .”

He remembered her comment the other night about wanting to feel desire and taste passion, and felt more confused than ever. “So let me get this straight. You were engaged to be married, you even had sex, but the two of you never-”

“- did anything beyond your basic missionary position,” she quietly finished for him. “It was always a quick, no fuss event. No hot and heavy foreplay. No oral sex. I wanted to, but Jason always got right down to business and it was all over with before I could get excited enough to have an orgasm. I guess he saved all the good stuff for those other women he was with.” She drew a deep breath and released it just as slowly. “The best I can guess is that he just didn’t see me as a sexy, sensual woman. And compared to the woman I’d caught him with, well, I certainly felt inadequate in comparison.”

Her ex was a certified jackass, no doubt about it. “That’s such bullshit, Christine. The fault wasn’t, and isn’t, yours.”

I don’t know, Ben, couldn’t Christine have gotten a vibrator? Couldn’t she have explored a little? Of course, while Ben resists her, it’s a token resistance and the reason for the resistance isn’t well articulated. There’s a minor mention that its an ethical issue, i.e., bodyguards shouldn’t be boffing their clients but it’s not one that is really explored. He resists, in my opinion, because the plot needed sexual tension and so he had to resist.

Once he succumbs to the sexual relationship, Ben resists anything with permanency. Again, I wasn’t sure why. Ben had the stereotypical bitch of a mother to which Christine responds with clinical like sympathy ""I’m sorry . . . For you and the little boy inside who endured a mother’s cruel words and abandonment.’ She swallowed hard, her anger toward a woman she’d never met a palpable thing." But he obviously got over it enough to get engaged to a woman who had died in the Iraq war. It wasn’t really stated that the previous relationship was the impediment to the current relationship. Again, I felt like Ben resisted because the plot needed some additional conflict.

I found neither Christine, the hot and sexy consummate politician’s daughter, business owner, and basketball player (although what the basketball scene had to do with anything or what it purported to show me as a reader, I have no idea), nor Ben, the former military turned bodyguard, determined not to settle down with a woman, to be very common characters. The story was predictable, even to the last villainous moment. I admit that I don’t know if the book is hot because I skimmed the sex parts to finish the story. This wasn’t a terribly written book. It didn’t have unlikeable characters. But it is a book that I never felt connected to and so, for me, it was an average read for me. C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in trade paperback from Amazon or Powells. No ebook format which shouldn’t surprise us because it is from Penguin, the home of the inconsistently released ebooks.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

9 Comments

  1. cecilia
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 17:40:15

    I read this book recently. Denison is a new-to-me author, and I was hoping to find someone I could glom onto. Unfortunately, it didn’t inspire me to look up other books by her. Books like this are kind of frustrating – not bad enough to hurl against the wall, good enough that I’ll read all the way to the end, but not good enough to avoid feeling, ultimately, “I’ll never get that time back.”

    And the basketball thing – that’s the scene where she proves she isn’t a snob by playing in her stilettos with some lower-class kids, right? I think it was supposed to make the heroine more “real.”

    In other words, I totally agree with you, Jane.

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  2. Robin
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 02:07:01

    He resists, in my opinion, because the plot needed sexual tension and so he had to resist.

    I haven’t read this book, but I’m struck by how many books I read these days that short the reader on two IMO essential elements:

    1. making it clear why the hero and heroine falls in love
    2. making the obstacles to their HEA believable and articulable.

    Too often, it feels like the reasons for both the attraction and the resistance boils down to “because it’s a Romance.”

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  3. eggs
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 05:30:20

    Ben Cabrera is a former marine who is part owner of the Elite Security Specialists bodyguard firm.

    Did anyone else read this far into the plot summary and loose all desire to read the book – even before you’d read the review? Talk about your dead horses and frayed ropes. The least she could have done was make him a were-dolphin former marine …

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  4. Jayne
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 05:42:45

    Eggs I totally agree with you. From this opening sentence all the way through the entire plot, it sounded like something I’d read a thousand times. And had no desire to even pick up for the 1001 time.

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  5. Jane
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 08:03:07

    I really like bodyguard stories. In fact, during my Susan Mallery glom, I read The Sassy One (I think, another series that suffers from non specific names) and it featured a bodyguard hero. There’s a funny scene in there in which the heroine asks the hero what he does and he explains that he owns a security company that offers bodyguarding services. The heroine says something like – “Oh like in the movie” and the hero gets snippy and replies that in his company, bodyguards get fired for sleeping with the clients.

    But yes, this was a hard one to finish and didn’t inspire me to read more.

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  6. cecilia
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 08:32:21

    The Sassy One (I think, another series that suffers from non specific names)

    True, but think how memorable it would be if you got truth with titles like these:
    The Self-Righteous One
    The Stalker One
    The Paranoid One
    The (Narrator Keeps Telling You She’s) Smart One

    Never mind, I’d never be able to remember which book the title was for.

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  7. Jane
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 09:03:40

    I don’t know. I think if a romance series ever came out with those titles, I would remember the characters attached. LOL. Although I think I’ve read these books before, just with different names. I know I’ve read the 4th one alot.

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  8. limecello
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 13:15:58

    Hm, I think I agree with you on this, Jane – and cecilia – I hope you do look into Ms. Denison’s other books. I got this book from the library, and… may or may not have gotten to the part you quoted from, Jane, but I put it down and went to another book.
    I tend to enjoy Ms. Denison’s books – especially her “Wild” brothers/cousins [not quite sure why Ben got thrown in the lot] – but this book was pretty “meh” for me. Maybe I’ll finish it later, but it won’t be a top priority for me.

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  9. JulieLeto
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 12:26:17

    Won’t comment on the review, but I will answer a question. Janelle isn’t writing about the brothers/cousins who actually have the Wilde last name, which is why the e is dropped in the title and will be dropped in future titles. She’s writing about the agency Ben works for. It’s a spin-off of her Wilde series.

    ReplyReply

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