Saturday, April 5, 2014

REVIEW - WANTED (Most Wanted #1) by J. Kenner:

TITLE: Wanted
SERIES: Most Wanted
AUTHOR: J. Kenner
GENRE: Romance
RELEASE DATE: January 7, 2014
FORMAT: eBook and Paperback
PAGES: Approx. 352

RATING: 2.5 Stars!

He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets. 

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight. 

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same. 

*Wanted is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.*

Reviewers Note: Wanted is book one in the Most Wanted series and is an Adult, Contemporary Erotic written by J. Keener. In exchange for an honest review, I was gifted a copy from the Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell through NetGalley.

2.5 Sometimes Slow, Sometimes Not Stars!

The Review: 
This one starts out strong with a great premise and intriguing character but it quickly lost its luster. Though I enjoyed some aspects of it, there were others that just left me wanting. 

This book starts out with our heroine, Angie, hosting her uncles wake, who over the years, became like a second father to her when he took her under his wing. A few years before, Angie fell into a deep pit of guilt and depression and decided that her wild streak needed to be tamed because it was her fault her sister was killed. So the once wild child who called herself Lina, is Angie, now the good daughter, who is living the life her sister should have had. 

Her first summer at her uncles house, she meets the Knights... three college boys her uncle teaches and has grown to care about like sons over the years. Angie, a teenager at the time, took an instant liking to Evan Black, one of the knights, but her unrequited love is buried behind her walls until she’s old enough for her uncle to take notice and who immediately forbids a love connection.

This is the grounds for the love angst between Angie and Evan but there are other things keeping them apart, other than her deceased uncles request. Evan and Angie both have secrets neither are willing to expose but the attraction is undeniable and they are pulled to each other in ways neither expected.

I really liked where this book was heading. When we meet the characters, there's an intense vibe to all of them. They each have their secrets and they each have things going on in the background we aren’t privy to so you get a sense there’s going to be a big mystery and a lot of action because no way they have all this subtlety that leads to nowhere. But that's just what happened.

Angie (aka Lina) wasn’t as strong of a heroine as I wanted. She seemed tough and formidable in the beginning but her character and her story slowly lost its steam. Her guilt, which was so profound in the start of the story, just fizzled out and really wasn’t addressed in a way I thought was healing. She was a good person though, even with her issues. She had a conscience and she wanted to protect those she cared about. Even troubled, she tried to stay on the right path. Evan was definitely her weak spot and though I thought she was a weak character, I did like them together. 

I think my biggest problem with her was, she was so consumed with finding a thrilling outlet for her feelings that everything was always about the “release” or “flying”. I never got a sense of who Lina really was. When she finally decided to come out of her Angie shell, it was so close to the end, you just never have a chance to connect with the real Lina.

Evan, was a hot, alpha male who came out of the gate all mysterious and swoon-worthy with this dark mystery and his compelling eyes. He was hard to get a handle on at first and thats what I loved so much about him. You thought there was some intense feelings for Lina going on behind that mask of his, but its hidden so well and this was thrilling, because you just didn’t know.... for all of three seconds. Then Evan’s character just fell flat. 

Yes, he was sexy and I loved his take charge attitude in the bedroom, but there’s this big lead up to him being a “bad bet” and that never really gets accomplished. Evan’s character starts out strong with his questionable past, his secrets and his impenetrable walls, but it didn’t last. He wasn’t as dark as the beginning of the book made him out to be. In fact, once he took his shirt off, he was kind of tame. 

I did appreciate his back story once it was revealed and it made me like his character and the reasons for his actions but I was also a little disappointed in that I didn’t get everything I wanted from his character. I didn't get the drama or the angst or the darkness I was expecting, considering how the books starts.

The story was a bit slow. It enjoyed the concept of the story and I think it could have been a lot of fun and a lot more thrilling, had the execution been better. It just didn’t take off like I thought it should have. And the sex scenes, which were bordering on light bdsm with a few tie-me-up scenes, were hit and miss. The first few, where the tension was mounting and you didn’t know what to expect from your characters, were really good, but then, like the rest of the story, it lost its shine. 

And the ending had so much potential but the big climax felt rushed and skimmed over. 

The Wrap Up: 
I’ve read other books by this author and loved them, so I'm not giving up. Not at all. I love her writing and I love her stories. This one, just wasn’t for me.

Buy the Book!

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