by Jannine Gallant
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pub Date: May 23, 2017
The Wilde brothers may be attracted to all things fast and furious. But their spirited sister can’t be tamed when it comes to matters of the heart . . .
The beautiful vistas and peace and quiet on her family’s Wyoming ranch are a balm for Eden Wilde’s soul—and inspire a gentle touch when it comes to breaking the wild horses she loves. Though there’s no hope on the breathtaking horizon for her love life. Until her sanctuary is invaded by a movie studio shooting their latest blockbuster starring Hollywood’s man of the moment.
After a personal tragedy plays out in his real life, movie star Blake Benedict finds himself falling for the wide-open spaces and easy going pace of Wyoming—and for Eden. Around her, he feels safe shedding his public persona and letting down his guard. But then accidents begin to happen on set, mishaps that could end Blake’s career—or his life. And Eden will be forced out of her comfort zone to save the Hollywood hero from an enemy he never saw coming . . .
The fourth and final book in the Wilde sibling series is the story of the sister, Eden Wilde, the firecracker who has appeared in the previous stories where her brothers find their destiny. The story is a mixture of ranch life and Hollywood glamor supplemented by a dash of danger and spoonful of love.
Eden Wilde is a prickly character, filled with sass and toughness. She has a gentle side that she shows to the horses she train, an artistic side when she works with her leather accessories, yet her interactions with others around her are often testy. She generally sees problems instead of solutions and making, and accepting, compromises don't come easily to her.
Blake Benedict, the Hollywood heartthrob, turns out to be just a regular guy from a small town farm who has made a success in the career of his choice. He is kind, considerate, generous, and attentive. His honesty, loyalty, and dignity are refreshing, his straightforward attitude just what Eden needs.
While Blake's feelings and attraction towards Eden are obvious and his desire for her palpable, Eden hides her emotions behind the tough exterior and tries to keep her distance from Blake, and that push-pull started to wear me out after a while.
The accidents, that keep happening every time Blake and Eden are together, were puzzling. There are several secondary characters who could have a motive for trying to harm either Blake or Eden. The mystery of the incidents gives the romance story suspenseful elements but is not focus on the tale.
I had a little hard time connecting to this story or getting the feel for it. It is well-written with an intriguing plot and filled with snappy dialog, and I did stay up late just to find out what happens, yet some kind of spark or attachment to the story was missing in my mind. The ranch life with the wild horses was appealing, yet the tale was not the sweet kind of cowboy romance, the accidents happening were frightful at the moment they happen but the intensity and constant fear of a suspense story weren't there. What we had were two people who were living the opposite lifestyles, who seemingly were contrary to each other, falling in love and working out their road to happiness, finding out the compromises they needed to make without losing themselves in the process. It is an interesting journey with many roadblocks and few dangers, but as the desire and deep feelings grow the concessions are easier to make, and the understanding effortless to find.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
“You’re kidding, right?” Eden Wilde dropped her fork on her plate and glanced around the dinner table. Had her parents lost their collective minds? “I’m afraid not.” Her father’s determined blue gaze, a mirror image of her own, met hers. “We signed the agreement this afternoon.”
Her mother reached over to pat her arm. “Think of it as an adventure.”
More like a nightmare.
“Grandpa, I can’t believe you agreed to this insanity?”
Jasper Wilde shrugged then dug into the pile of mashed potatoes on his plate. When he glanced up, his gray eyes twinkled beneath a thatch of snow-white hair. “Your dad says the ranch needs the income, and I think filming a movie here will be quite an experience. Maybe we’ll all get to be extras. Wouldn’t that be a kick?”
“Fun? Really?” Eden snorted. “From what you’ve told me, this isn’t some little documentary. It’s a major motion picture. Our lives will be in complete chaos for… How long?”
Her father laid down his steak knife as a frown knit his forehead. “The producer told me they hope to finish in four weeks. A huge chunk of the action is set outdoors, and the majority of those scenes will be shot on the ranch.”
She gripped the edge of the table. “A month?” The reality was worse than she’d imagined. “And you waited until now to tell me because…”
Her mom let out a worried sigh. “Nothing was finalized until today since the production company was considering several different ranches here in Wyoming, as well as a couple in Montana. There was no point in upsetting you if the deal for our property fell through.”
“So, you knew I wouldn’t be on board with the plan, but you still went ahead with such a major decision without discussing it with me?” Eden’s voice rose. “What am I, a child to be placated? I can’t believe this.”
“Honey, we aren’t ganging up on you. We’re just doing what needs to be done.” Her grandpa cleared his throat.
“Boyd, what did that producer say he’d pay us?”
“Fifty grand.” Her dad took a swallow of his iced tea. “After two years of severe drought, we’ve dug into our reserves for cattle feed. The barn needs a coat of paint and there are a lot of costs associated with throwing a double wedding for your brothers. That check is going to help me sleep nights.” Eden opened her mouth then closed it. She didn’t have a reasonable counterargument that didn’t make her sound petty and selfish. She let out a slow breath. “I didn’t know the ranch was having cash flow problems.
I’m sure Griff and Sawyer would be happy to chip in for wedding expenses if they knew.”
“Your brothers already have.” Her mother tucked a strand of short brown hair behind one ear. “But we’d like to lay down new gravel on the driveway and put in an irrigation system for the back lawn where the ceremony will take place so the grass will be nice and green.” She waved a hand. “Generally spruce the place up so the ranch looks its best in June.” “Dahlia’s right.” Her grandpa forked up another bite of potatoes. “We
want to impress the future in-laws.”
“Not to mention the barn is so faded it’s closer to pink than red.” Her dad winced. “We’ll have to paint it before they start shooting the movie. Our vintage barn is one of the main reasons the producers went with our spread.”
Eden let out a sigh as resignation set in. “Why’s that?”
Her grandpa reached for a roll from the basket in the center of the table. “Settlers painted their barns red, and this movie is an old-fashioned Western.” His smile stretched. “You know, the type John Wayne used to star in with cowboys and Indians.”
“Native Americans, Grandpa, not Indians.” When her parents exchanged a long moment of wordless communication, tension banded across Eden’s chest and squeezed. “Oh, now I get it. They want my wild horses.”
“They intend to use them in background shots.” Her father leaned forward to plant his elbows on the table. “I made sure the contract stipulates you have final say over anything to do with your horses.”
“Well, thank God for that.” “Within reason.”
She scowled. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Her mother let out a quick breath. “They can film the horses, but you’ll be a consultant for those scenes.”
Eden’s head throbbed, and she reached up to rub the nape of her neck. “Yet, you didn’t ask me first?”
“No one mentioned your horses would be part of the equation until today.” Her dad’s gaze held steady. “We tried to call, but you didn’t pick up your phone. The studio’s representative made it clear he couldn’t wait around an extra day to discuss a minor point with you. Your mother and I did our best to protect your interests.”
Eden gave a short nod. She wasn’t going to flip out…at least not until she read the fine print in the contract.
“They said they’d pay you for consulting services.” Her mother’s strained voice nudged aside her thoughts. “It may be a deal breaker if the horses aren’t part of the bargain, but if you really oppose this—”
“I’m not going to be a total jerk. While I’m not thrilled with the whole situation, I respect your decision. I’ll work with the movie people.”
“That’s our girl.” Her grandpa laid his calloused palm over the fist she’d clenched on the tabletop. “By the time they finish filming, you’ll have all those Hollywood types eating out of your hand…just like your horses do.” Eden couldn’t help responding to his smile. “Let’s hope so.” Her appetite gone, she pushed back her plate. “When will this three-ring circus start?” “Beginning of May.” Relief filled her mother’s green eyes. “They should finish filming well before your brothers’ double wedding at the end of June.” “Two weeks until all hell breaks loose. Ugh.” Eden pictured the peaceful solitude she so valued disrupted by production crews and prima donna actors and actresses. She straightened in her chair. “Who’s starring in the movie?”
Her grandpa rubbed his hands together. “Blake Benedict. Can you believe a huge star like Benedict will be here on our ranch?”
Write what you know. Jannine Gallant has taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. She grew up in a tiny Northern California town and currently lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t busy writing or being a full time mom, Jannine hikes or snowshoes in the woods around her home. Whether she’s writing contemporary, historical or romantic suspense, Jannine brings the beauty of nature to her stories.
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