Title: Wild Heart
Author: Freya Jackson
Series: Dartmoor Big Cat Brides #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
The jaguar believes in soul mates. The man’s not convinced. Will Liv change his mind?
Pediatrician Caiden Tyler has always worked hard and played hard, but lately he’s grown tired of the dating game. All he wants is an old-fashioned girl who can embrace his inner jaguar and match his high sex drive with the passion both he and his big cat needs. When he first spots Match by Mail’s brochure, he doesn’t believe he’ll find the soul mate his cat insists is out there for them. Then he meets Liv…
The curvy blonde journalist applied to the agency while researching a news article on dating agencies. Her previous relationship ended in disaster, and finding love is the last thing on her mind. Then she sees Caiden’s bio. She’s always had a fascination with the big cats that are rumored to exist on Dartmoor, and something tells her there’s more to the gorgeous doctor than meets the eye.
The jaguar convinces him she’s his destiny, but then Caiden discovers the truth behind why she applied to the agency. He’s just learned to trust again and now everything’s falling apart. Should he listen to his cool head or his wild heart?
Source: Free Kindle download
This was a case of my great expectations going astray. If you like shifter romances with fated mates and lots of sex, without any kind of plot beyond that, then you’ll probably enjoy this. Caiden is a little dull, but otherwise big and growly with his inner beast, while Liv is a curvy woman who lies about her job. They meet, have an instant attraction, try to go slow and obviously fail. That part of it is as expected and okay, and on its own it would probably get three stars. It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s not terrible either.
However, the blurb promised me Dartmoor, which is the whole reason why I picked it up in the first place. I love Dartmoor, it’s full of my favourite places and I escape up there every chance I get. So when I saw this book I was excited, because it’s rare to find books set here. I was also a little worried because it might not live up to my expectations. Sadly, this book didn’t even try to meet my expectations. There is no sense of place in this story. We have place names, but no atmosphere. I wanted descriptions, I wanted mystery, history, maybe a hint of all the legends, I wanted rocks and rivers and beauty, because it is a beautiful place.
Instead I got the cheesily named Big Cat Tor (nice job hiding there), and some confusing geography – he tells Liv he lives at Sheepstor, but Big Cat Tor is in the Dart Valley, which is on the other side of the moor! I also have high suspicions that anything on that part of the moor could be kept such a perfect secret for so long. The river is too busy and Google Maps is everywhere. If they picked the isolated south moor, I might have bought it, but he’s running around in jaguar-shape and not getting spotted, plus there’s a whole village hidden behind a gate. Meh.
Also, the jaguar. Don’t get me wrong, I love jaguars, they are my favourite big cat, but I find it hard to fathom how a European line of shifters can change into a South American cat. Leopards and tigers I can just about believe, but… I am over thinking this, I know. I also am not happy about only men being shifters, and I find the idea that the brothers don’t even turn into the same species of cat kind of weird. Which is pretty weird in itself, because I’m expecting sense out of a fantastical notion.
So safe to say this book didn’t work for me. I expected more in all respects than what I got. But if you like easy paranormal reads where falling in love is pretty much guaranteed, with added shifter moments, then this could be for you. Sadly, on the strength of this I won’t be reading any more.
Wild Heart is out now.
Visit Freya Jackson for more details.