Author: Lori Brighton
Genre: Historical Romance
Sub Genre: Regency
As many of you know, I've been suffering from a historical romance drought. The last really good one I read was Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare last year. This month I'm on a mission to prove to myself that I can still enjoy this genre and it hasn't been tossed aside forever like Chick Lit. Wild Heart, a debut novel by Lori Brighton proved to me that I have just been choosing the wrong historical romances to read. It was a wonderful debut book that I discovered many months ago at Marissa's Book Lair. I read her review, and immediately put it on my want to read list. I'm so glad I did.
My Synopsis of the book:
Leo Roberts is a man tortured by his past, and is next in line for an earldom. However, like all distraught heroes, he's not yet ready for society. He grew up in the jungle and has a past that no one is sure about and is hiding a secret from everyone. He is uncivilized and totally wild by English society's standards. Will he be able to overcome the odds? Ella Finch is a governess, and is shocked to learn that her next charge isn't a boy, but a man. She is there to teach Leo the ways of Society, but she also has a secret to hide. They must learn to trust each other in order to help each other unravel the others secrets.
Confession: I have a weakness for historical romances where the hero is a long lost earl or duke, and has to fight for his title. This book pulled me in with that story line, but it is so much more. This is one of the best historicals I've read in a long time. The basic storyline is one that is used in historicals all the time, but Lori Brighton put a twist on it by adding a touch of the paranormal and to it, but she did it in such a way where it didn't take away from anything and just added more substance to the story. Aside from the romance, there is also a mystery to be solved-which also added more allure to the story.
There is so much I liked about the story I'm not sure where to begin. I'll start with the romance part of the book-there was the usual "OMG, I love him, but I'm not supposed to love him" going on from Ella, but I liked how it didn't take over the character, and that she turned out to be strong & independent and not afraid to do her own thing to protect those she loved. Leo is one of my favorite types of historical romance heroes. His past haunts him, and has a lot of demons to work out before he comes to realize that it's ok for him to admit he's in love. Even though I solved the mystery part of the story pretty early on in the book, it didn't take away form the story-and it had a few twists to it that I didn't (but should have) seen coming.
The only weak part of the story was the side characters, Fran and Ashkay. One of the reasons that Ella takes this post is because of her friend Fran who is sick. However, Fran isn't mentioned again until halfway through the book and I'd honestly almost forgotten all about her by the time she was mentioned again. She did end up having more of a role in the latter part of the book, but I hate it when characters just disappear for almost no reason..Ashkay was the exact opposite of Fran-he was around a lot in the beginning, then kind of faded out at the end. However, it didn't take away from the story at all. I have to say this has gotten me wanting to read more historical romances. :) Lori Brighton is definetly one to keep an eye on!
I also wanted to add a shout out: Deb from Book Magic is having a contest for The Last Snow-a thriller. Go and check it out!
Swoonworthy Meter: Medium
Sigh Meter: Medium
Star Rating: 3 stars out of 5 (though it's more of a 3.5-3.9 rating)