Lisa Ann Verge is known for her historical romances and her historical fantasy romances; Loving Wild is her first foray into the world of contemporary and series romance. When I’m looking for a good road romance, I know I can turn to Lisa and find one.
Loving Wild is a nice evening’s read. Dylan MacCabe is part mild-mannered high school teacher, part mountain man. Casey Michaels is a struggling journalist with a yen to write a Charles Kuralt-type book about the unusual people she’s met. She’s been assigned to interview Dylan, who is about to trek through the wilds of the northern U.S. to Canada by canoe to re-trace a possible fur-trapping route of the late 1600’s. When she arrives at his isolated cabin, she discovers his partner won’t be able to make the trip – he’s been injured. If Casey can’t take his place on the three-week journey, the entire trip will be called off.
Dylan convinces Casey to make the trip, which the author describes vividly. Lisa Ann Verge is a master at bringing the reader into the scene – the sights, sounds, and smells all come alive, which lends great excitement to the story. The characters themselves have enough personal baggage to sink a dozen canoes. Dylan is twice-divorced; he seems to fall in love with women who can’t accept his small-town lifestyle. Casey is a widow. The death of her husband three years before has damaged her deeply; she now refuses to experience herself as a woman.
The sexual tension in this book is strong, and the pay-off is there as well. I found most enjoyable the fact that the male character felt love and admitted it to himself long before the female character did. Most of the elements in Loving Wild worked, but the depth of Casey’s despair was more alluded to than fully explained. Too much was left unexplored in Casey’s interior world, but given the length constraints of a Temptation, that’s understandable. No doubt I would have enjoyed the book more had it been a full-length single title contemporary.
If you enjoy road romances, you’ll find the action here hard to beat. To try out a better road romance by Lisa, try to find Heaven in His Arms – you’ll find some interesting parellels to fur-trapping in the 1600’s, along with more fully-explored characters.