Title: Wild Zone
Author: Skye Jordan
Series: Rough Riders #4
Genre: Hot Contemporary
Length: Short novel
Available: 10th Dec
Tate “The Saint” Donovan’s jaded outlook really makes him more of a devil’s advocate. Ever since he discovered his ex-wife doing more in their bedroom than rooting for the home team, he’s given up on finding The One. In fact, he’s given up on finding Any One. So he isn’t surprised when his teammate’s engagement party is one mishap away from going up in flames—until a sexy, free spirit whisks in from Paris and drags the party from the fire. She’s whimsical, wild, and oh so wrong, but her breezy, freestyle attitude makes her utterly irresistible. Tate’s halo slips. He takes a walk on the wild side. And discovers wrong has never felt so right.
With big plans on the horizon, Olivia’s laissez faire attitude toward men is a perfect pairing. She’s drawn to Tate’s wounded soul, and the protective warrior beneath his brooding mask intrigues her…right into bed. Olivia quickly realizes the possessive passion he brings to the bedroom is like nothing she’s ever experienced, and her feelings for Tate turns her take-it-or-leave-it style love life on its head.
With her return to Paris imminent and his grueling hockey season approaching, Olivia and Tate must face the possibility that they are destined to be nothing more than star-crossed lovers.
Source: ARC from the author
Tate didn’t do much to endear himself to me in the last book (Dirty Score), so I approached this fourth Rough Riders book with some trepidation. I shouldn’t have worried. Skye Jordan is an expert in making her rough tough heroes vulnerable, and isn’t afraid to put them through the emotional wringer while she’s at it. In fact, there’s not a lot about this Tate that reminds me of the man in the last book. He’s much more understanding, for one thing, and his protective instincts have been dialled back several notches. Which meant that while it was fun to see him get his comeuppance, I also felt bad for him several times.
Olivia is independent and uninhibited, values honesty above everything and appears to be one of those amazingly lucky people who has never done anything wrong in her entire life, so can sit in sad judgement over others. That might be a little harsh, and I could see why the actions of her mother in particular hurt her so badly, but there were times when I wasn’t so fond of her and her righteous indignation. Mostly during her second meeting with Tate. Something about the way she acted then really got to me. There are times when she seems to think that it’s okay to hurt people as long as she’s honest, because she already warned them, even when her actions suggest otherwise. She does have a streak of carefree selfishness that sprung up a time or two and her habit of running away from tricky situations rather than standing and fighting stopped me from liking her completely.
Although anything to do with her mother made me rethink that, because wow, that woman is a piece of work. I really, really felt for Quinn being stuck at home. Sure, she and Olivia don’t always see eye-to-eye, but Olivia really needs to get over her pity party and support her sister a bit more, because of the two of them, Quinn has the rougher deal. Having said that, there were moments when I wanted to smack Tate around the head for not listening to what Olivia was saying to him. If ever there was a clear line in the sand, Olivia drew it for him.
All of which might hint that this book is about more than the romance. This series has always been about more than just sexy times, but this time around the emotions are definitely taken up a notch, with plenty of strained relationships and the problem with falling for someone who lives on a different continent. Especially when Tate is the kind of guy who falls fast and hard, no matter how young a relationship is, and Olivia is the type never to fall at all. They’re both heart sore and wounded at first, yet somehow, someway, they find common ground amidst all their differences. And with the help of some scorching chemistry, they make a pretty impressive team.
So if you’re looking for a hot read that’s also high on family drama and isn’t afraid to throw plenty of obstacles in the romance’s way, then give this a go. You get plenty of glimpses of the Rough Riders team and a little bit of hockey training, but mostly this is about Olivia’s family and Tate’s battered heart. It’s sexy and enjoyable and emotional, and neatly flips the player hero and romantic heroine trope on its head. I hope there will be more to come from this series, because I’m not nearly ready enough to let go of them all yet.
Wild Zone is out December 10th.
Visit Skye Jordan for more details.