I don’t usually read novels by the same author so close together because I start to see the style patterns more than the stories, but I enjoyed Rough & Tumble so much I wanted more time in that world. First, a correction: Just because Jace, the male lead in Rough & Tumble, rode a motorcycle, as do others in the Haven Brotherhood, this is not a biker gang as I supposed. It has a lot of the same markers, but is its own creation, or rather that of Jace and Axel. The common link between the brothers is more complicated than simply a love of motorcycles, and involves seeing to the heart of a potential brother to learn whether they are a product of their rough circumstances or capable of growing beyond that beginning if given the necessary support.
You might not have needed the above, but it cuts to the core of why these novels appeal to me so much. It’s about rising above harsh experiences, but the stories are specifically focused on success because of support and emotional nourishment rather than the lone hero. While the “lone wolf” concept has its appeal, I’m definitely more of a pack creature…as are wolves, oddly enough. There’s that and the almost Arthurian tale feel of might doesn’t mean right.
Anyway, Wild & Sweet is another great story with people who feel real, are facing serious challenges, and have a gut-level understanding of what it means to be a family. Like Jace and Viv, Zeke and Gabrielle have not had easy lives. Their pasts trained them to keep apart and avoid risks, and they’ve had little reason to fight that inclination. Continue reading