Annie Simon left her abusive ex far behind and set out on a road trip to find her independence again. For three days, she's been seeing the same sexy guy on a motorcycle along the road, and decides to engage in what she thinks will be a little harmless flirtation with him. When Jacob Kerr finally catches up to her one night at her campsite, their flirting quickly turns into seduction. One night of reckless abandon with a stranger is appealing to her, but the last thing she wants is another guy telling her what to do. When morning comes, she leaves him in the dust, only to have him catch up with her again the next night. Jacob's relentlessness presents a very real threat to Annie's newfound independence. Can she bring herself to surrender body and soul to her motorcycle man, or will his intense pursuit send her running in the opposite direction?
Something Wild was Shannon McKenna's first published romance and the second by her I've read. There were some strong similarities between the two stories, and I'm sorry to say that both were just OK for me. Ms. McKenna seems to use certain themes in her romances, such as uber-alpha heroes who like to be bossy and dominant, and angry sex, that are simply not my cup of tea.
This story is pretty much the ultimate road trip. After finally getting out of an abusive relationship, Annie packs up some meager belongings in her rattle-trap truck and heads for a casino in Louisiana where Lady Luck had favored her in the past. Along the way she catches the attention of Jacob who is on vacation and had hit the open road on his motorcycle. Apparently, having no particular destination in mind, he follows the beautiful lady who heats his blood and flirts with her along the road for the next three days. The beginning of the story made me uncomfortable, because Jacob's behavior borders on stalkerish. The man followed her halfway across the country after seeing her at a stop along the way, and then insinuated himself into her life. Once Jacob and Annie finally meet and talk in person, they end up sleeping together that very same night without even knowing the other's last name. Stranger sex doesn't usually work very well for me either, but I couldn't deny that at first, Jacob was a very seductive sweet-talker and a tender lover. This started to draw me into the story despite my earlier misgivings, but then everything changed.
Having just ditched her abusive ex, Annie is struggling to find her independence. As a result, she enjoys having sex with the sensuous, sexy Jacob, but she understandably doesn't want any strings. Two mornings in a row, she basically blows him off, and it seems that things are over between them until he can't resist and goes searching for her again. This time, when he went after her, he was none too happy about it and what ensued, when he finally caught up to her, amounted, in my opinion, to an extreme show of dominance which bordered perilously on forced seduction. This is something I don't care for and don't find romantic at all, so I didn't really enjoy this part of the story much. From there they engage in a ridiculous amount of nearly continuous angry sex until Annie decides to make a run for it. This time when Jacob goes after her, he finally lightens up and admits that he only acted like a caveman because he was afraid of losing her and couldn't live without her. By then, it was too little too late for me. Not to mention, in my mind, his behavior was still bordering on obsessive stalker. If I were Annie, having just gotten away from one abusive man, Jacob's actions would have scared the heck out of me and had me running as far away from him as I could possibly get, but deep down she actually loves his crazy pursuit of her, trusts him implicitly from the first time they meet, and falls madly in love with him in only a few days. I'm afraid these things stretched the bounds of credibility further than my imagination was willing to go.
The bottom line: Readers who have fantasies of being pursued by a dominant, bad boy, motorcycle man will probably enjoy this one more than I did, but due to his volatile nature, Jacob was far from an ideal hero for me. I gave it three stars for the couple of scenes where I enjoyed Jacob's seductiveness, but ultimately, I didn't really feel the love connection between these two. It felt more like they were playing a dangerous game that in real life could have damaging psychological consequences. That simply didn't work for me from a romance standpoint, because to my way of thinking, love should heal not hurt. Something Wild was originally published in the multi-author anthology, All Through the Night, and later republished in the single-author anthology, All About Men.
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