Walk on the Wilder Side
Grade : A-

If ever there were a man ho who could steal your heart, it's Brody Wilder.

Brody is the second of five absurdly sexy brothers who live in the small town Rush Creek, Oregon where they run, with their sister's help, Wilder Adventures, an outdoor adventure outfit trying to stay in the black. Unlike his uber responsible older brother Gabe--his story is told in book one, Make Me Wilder--Brody known as the family f*ckup. After the Wilders' dad died when Brody was 15, he began acting out, ultimately dropping out of high school, and repeatedly letting his family down. Now, however, at 29, Brody is over being the town's bad boy, he's sick of being "the resident bad boy," sick of being a guy that all women want from is "to lick my tattoos and ride on my bike and get fucked against a brick wall.”

Brody's best friend Connor has been there for him through all of Brody's mistakes and Brody would never do anything to betray him. However, when Rachel Perez, Connor's little sister comes to Rush Creek to stay for a few weeks while their mom recovers from a broken foot, Brody, despite being told by Connor to leave her alone, finds he just can't.

Rachel has spent her life trying to be perfect. For years, she assiduously followed her life plan.

    1. 4.0 in high school
    2. College
    3. Grad school
    4. Great apartment
    5. The library job of my dreams
    6. Awesome boyfriend
    7. Meet the parents
    8. Get engaged
    9. Get married
    10. Have two point five kids (I can’t decide between two and three)
    11. Live happily ever after

Until recently, everything was going swimmingly. However, in one day, she lost her job, discovered her boyfriend cheating on her, and found herself homeless after she moved out on the lying jerk. Spending a few weeks at home will give her the time she needs to get back on track. Plus, she can also help her mom with her mom's new online self-indulgence and self-care business.

Brody, whose contribution to Wilder Adventures mostly involves taking tourists for rides on his boat, has been trying to offer more female friendly options. His first effort, a Boat Book Club, did not go well--too little wine and dysfunctional plumbing--and Brody is feeling desperate. So when Rachel suggest he let her host a special girls' night out on his boat featuring her mom's products, Brody agrees.

The night--hilariously written by Bell--turns out to be a shocking success and Brody and Rachel begin working together to reboot Brody's business. The two have always been--unbeknownst to one another--wildly attracted to each other and as they spend time together, well, I'm betting you know what happens.

Here's the thing: You do know what happens. You know Brody and Rachel will steam up the sheets, Brody's truck, Brody's boat, and the great outdoors. You know Brody will turn his life around with Rachel's support, and that Rachel will find that her master plan will play out differently than she'd thought. You know Connor will be upset that Brody is banging his sister and that the two men will figure out a way to move past that. Nothing in the plot of this love story will surprise you. And that's just fine.

Bell is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers in no small part because she can take tried and true tropes and make them feel fresh, funny, and real. Brody and Rachel--and the way they are together--feel genuine as do the family tensions and affections in both the Wilder and the Perez clans. The two become the people they long to be not through the magic of hot sex or another's adoration but through work, honest and often difficult conversations, and a great deal of effort. I so enjoyed watching them blossom.

Walk on the Wilder Side is a steamy, sweet love story with depth. The sex scenes are plentiful and smokin' hot AND deepen the connection between the leads. The Wilder family is a joy to read about and I am down to experience all their love stories the next of which, Wilder with You, comes out in April of 2022. I recommend this one highly!

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Reviewed by Dabney Grinnan
Grade : A-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : September 27, 2021

Publication Date: 09/2021

Recent Comments …

  1. “What follows next is the Forced Seduction scene. Sigh! I had heard these were popular in romance novels written in…

Dabney Grinnan

Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day. Publisher at AAR.
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