Wild Man (Dream Man)
I finally just finished this one (book #2 in the series) last night, and yet again, a great solid Kristen-style alpha read. Unfortunately, I started this book just before my “meet Lothaire/read Christian Grey/go on biz trip” whirlwind, and therefore, poor “Brock” got shortchanged. I pieced his story together by reading it every few days, and unfortunately for this one, I didn’t get that whole “Kristen-alpha” proper immersion where I swooned my butt of on the couch for two days. Oh there was swooning potential, but something (and much of it was GREAT somethings) kept me from becoming one with Brock. Oh stop!! You know what I mean. Tee hee!!!
But, do you wanna know something else I’ve come to realize with Kristen’s heroes? Sure, they’re mostly bossy, demanding, and gruff (and sexier then anything, in the process), but I’ve come to realize that I love how not “wordy” they are. I know you just blinked at me, wondering… “She didn’t just realize that, did she?” I know. These guys are infamous with their one word answers, and mostly that answer is just… “Babe.” Says it all, doesn’t it?
Of course I’ve always loved that, but I’ve come to appreciate it even more since taking a break from her men for a month or so.
Because in that time, I’ve met many more heroes and over and over, have found myself thinking… “What? No guy would actually say this, would he?” or “Oh come on, he’s a bad-boy. He wouldn’t talk like that during…. you know.” Nuh uh. He’d be cruder. Quicker. Intense in sound (maybe a few words, here or there), but not so vivid in the flowery descriptions area. In a few recent books, I’ve come across some bad boys that are a bit too “poetic in their enthusiasm” let’s just say. A bit too proper considering the circumstances, whether he was coming on to her (I eye-rolled a few times), arguing (really? He’s that articulate when angry?) or steaming up the place (Wait!? He sure is talking a lot. And not sexy-suggestive either. All eloquent-like). The imagery. The detail (and not the author’s detail of the scene) but the hero is saying this stuff (or thinking it). I didn’t realize guys could think that much, let alone say that much, considering where all the blood… ahhhh nevermind. *blush*
Anyway, as I was saying, beautiful sure, in a poem. But not so hot in the throes of passion. Hrmmmm…
So case in point. I’ve come to appreciate Kristen’s alpha’s even more, because of it. I can relate to her guys (and her girls), on a personal level. I believe them. She’s created them in such a way that her bad-boy “characters” are true to their persona. Not just in image, but bone deep, too. And reading Brock last night (finishing his bittersweet story) felt real to me. So even if Brock’s book was not my favorite (and I believe only because he had the misfortune of not being fully consumed in one or two sittings), I still adored him!
So here’s Brock’s deal (’cause all know Kristen’s heroes always have a “deal”). Brock is an undercover agent in the DEA and get’s quite serious about his undercover roles. In fact, if there is a female involved in his investigation, he’s been known to get quite personal with her, if you know what I mean. To keep his cover, and to fully integrate into the group he is investigating. He is one of the characters we met in book #1 that was part of that whole “kidnapping” plot. Yep! Remember him?
Well, in this book, he’s investigating a sweet, and gentle “cake baker” (Tess) just trying to get on with her life, after leaving her abusive husband. Come to find out, her abusive husband was seriously involved in some shady dealings with drug cartels, and therefore, her past involvement with him is suspect. Thing is, Brock develops a serious crush on her, and she falls for him head over heals. Together for months now, she truly believes he might actually love her. But she doesn’t know him as Brock (who he really is), she knows him as Jake Knox.
And I knew, feeling the burn of his eyes, what that look meant. I knew this man, this fantastic, striking, wild man was mine.
I felt it in my blood.
And when she realizes the truth (believe me… the discovery is not pretty), her whole world comes crashing down around her.
I just knew a man like Jake Knox would have not one thing to do with the pale faced woman that was me.
Unless it was his job.
Not only is she under investigation for being part of a drug cartel, her ex-husband has signed her name onto things she never wanted to be a part of, and the one man she was finally letting in, isn’t the man she knew at all.
And so the story goes. That, my friends, was only the beginning. The rest of the book well, is plain old fun! Brock’s own personal life is a bit of a mess. A large and loving (yet highly dysfunctional) family, a very ill father, a vindictive, gorgeous ex-wife, two sons caught in between them, and a woman he truly wants, despite how he had to betray her.
“You didn’t have my name, Tess, but all that time you had me and you know it.”
I would say this book is more about “living” with them, their families, their daily experiences (sweet and some not so sweet). Almost a realistic look into the life of a new couple (with issues). Less drama in this one, more “living”, although some drama comes a long. Let’s just say, the end was high-impact, considering the slower, gentler pace of the book as a whole.
There were a few opportunities where I thought the author could have increased the drama, or the tension. Stuff like potential for break-up moments, maybe insecurities from misunderstandings, or incorrect perceptions that might have played out a bit more. Maybe even Kristen’s infamous “alpha second-guessing his choices, and breaking her heart in the process” moment. You know…stuff like that. There was certainly that “realistic” potential here. But I think the author played this one a bit safer than some of my favorites from her repertoire.
Still though, heartwarming-ly good stuff! Warm and fuzzy with some seriously sweet and some seriously sad moments, that were well worth it in the end.
Interested in the series? —> Dream Man Series Reading Order