Wild Encounter by Nikki Logan (GR)
Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Romance
Published: September 9th 2012 by Entangled Publishing
A wildlife release mission in Africa turns deadly when the convoy is hijacked by smugglers, and veterinarian Clare Delaney is taken hostage. Terrified for her life and her animals, the intrepid Clare establishes a rapport with the man she believes is the criminals’ leader, and reluctantly finds herself under his protection…and falling hard for the enigmatic man.
Alpha-to-the-max Simon deVries sees right through his sexy captive’s attempt to seduce her way to freedom. So when their simmering attraction flares into true passion, it takes them both by surprise. Now he’s torn between completing his secret mission and letting her escape without telling her his true identity. He knows if he lets her go, he will be risking his career, his life…and his heart.
Contemporary isn’t my usual genre, I much prefer fantasy, but there are moments where I enjoy reading it because it doesn’t require that much brain power to read and enjoy and it was relaxing. It helped me get back into reading too which was always a plus. Wild Encounter was rather surprising because it was exciting and suspenseful, whilst it seemed predictable, there were elements that surprised me and I was very opposed to putting down my kindle when reading this. It had me hooked and that’s definitely what I want from the best of stories!
Simon deVries is a character that I felt very torn over to begin with. Although he’s not how he first appears, there is a complexity to his character and his ‘morals’ had me screaming at him because he’s a frustrating man. However beneath that he is a master of seduction and when he’s filthy and playing the bad man he certainly appears to be pretty hot. By the end I was in love with his character. I can’t admit to him being my favourite male love interest of a novel, he certainly has a lot to offer. Although the Alpha side of things I felt could have been seen a lot more, he was commanding and his presence filled the room which I liked. He was just a little bit thick when it came to Clare’s emotions and he needed his head hitting against a wall.
“She’d been scared, vulnerable, and stark naked, and to his shame he’d hardened up in that moment. Not a sterling recommendation of his character.”
Clare Delaney is a heroine I admired. She was smart, resourceful and most of all brave. I don’t think many women in her shoes would have been capable of the feats she achieved and the situations she put herself in. Most of all, she did this for her animals, her African Wild Dogs who were her project and that was what made her actions so touching. She clearly cared and her actions weren’t made out of some misplaced attempt to be a heroine, she did it because of her love and affection for the dogs and what was right and wrong and this is what made her so likeable. She was a strong female protagonist and somebody that easy to like.
“They stared at each other for a moment. “Last chance, Clare. I’m serious…” This was it. Do or die.”
The romance wasn’t insta-love or immediate either, it built slowly with indications that something was brewing between the pair and it blossomed. It wasn’t without its fraught complications but that only added to the excitement. I tend to appreciate it more when romances are far from simply achieved because it draws out the suspense and there was quite the bit of longing and misunderstandings between these two that added up to make an engaging and entertaining read. The tension and the sexual undercurrents are definitely the best bits of a novel for me and this book was full of them so I was in my element because they are so much more thrilling than the actual sex scenes for me. I liked how Logan slowly pieced things together for us and gave clues that foreshadowed their romance and the feelings they held for each other over time.
“And almost certainly a nasty case of the Stockholms.
And yet… Perhaps he’d felt it too, because he’d made two major errors, and she figured him for a man who rarely made a mistake.”
Overall, I’m incredibly glad that I gave Wild Encounter a shot and the setting out in Africa was refreshing and different. I really liked that element of it, especially with the animals and the abduction, it made for a different setting for a contemporary romance and I think this is why I enjoyed it much more than I would have otherwise. I have Rachel over at The Reader’s Den who’s review convinced me to pick this one up and give it a read otherwise I probably would have never heard of it! Definitely give this one a shot, especially on a rainy day when you have lots of time to just sit and read!
The African Wild Dog is only found in Africa weirdly enough and they can also be called the painted dogs and have only four toes. They make up part of the canidae family of carnivorous and omnivorous mammals which includes the domestic dog, wolves, foxes, coyotes and other such creatures.
And here is a pretty picture of an African Wild Dog. I certainly wouldn’t want to run into one of them…