Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Born Wild - Julie Ann Walker (Sourcebooks Casablanca - Nov 2013)

Series: Black Knights Inc (Book 5)


"Wild" Bill Reichert knows a thing or two about explosives. The ex -- Navy SEAL can practically rig a bomb blindfolded. But there's no way to diffuse the inevitable fireworks the day Eve Edens walks back into his life, asking for help...

Eve doesn't know what to do when the Chicago police won't believe someone is out to hurt her. The only place to turn is Black Knights Inc. -- after all, no one is better at protection than the covert special-ops team. Yet there's also no one better at getting her all turned on than Billy Reichert. She has a feeling this is one blast from the past that could backfire big time...

Very good book. The action and suspense were there from the first page and never really let up. Eve has had three "accidents" and is sure that someone is trying to kill her, but the police don't agree. After the latest one. Eve realizes she needs help, and goes to Black Knights Inc. But that also means facing ex-boyfriend "Wild Bill".

Twelve years earlier, when she was eighteen, she and Billy had been in love. But while he was away, she gave in to pressure from her father to date another man, and ended up marrying him. Realizing her mistake, she quickly divorced him, but the damage was done. Billy was heartbroken and very bitter about what he saw as her betrayal. 

Because Eve is his sister's best friend, Billy sees Eve quite often. Every time the sparks fly between them, usually expressed in snide remarks. Their past is always there, stirring up feelings that neither wants to admit are still simmering. When Eve comes to BKI for help, Billy can't deny the need he feels to protect her, but trusting her again is something he can't bring himself to do. Eve can only hope that he doesn't hate her too much to help.

I loved finally getting Billy and Eve's story. The tension between them has been building through several books, and it has reached its boiling point. Though Eve has previously come across as quiet and a bit of a doormat, in this book a different Eve emerges. She has had enough of letting people like her father boss her around and she has made several changes in her life. From defensive driving and self-defense lessons, to moving out of her father's house, she has developed a new confidence in her own abilities. It doesn't come easily to her, and there are some great scenes of her giving herself pep talks. She also tends to blame herself for all the bad things that are happening. Billy is definitely an alpha male, great at taking charge, but he is also a gentleman at heart. I loved seeing his protectiveness and caring come out, even as he was trying to resist admitting that he still loves Eve. One of the things I really enjoyed was the way he was often surprised by what she is capable of now, finally realizing that she isn't the same girl she was all those years ago. The events on the sailboat show him just how much she has changed, but letting go of those hurt feelings is harder than he thinks.

The action and suspense of the story was really good. I loved Eve's determination that someone finally believe her, and how she takes matters into her own hands. As the attacks escalate, it becomes obvious that someone is deadly serious about ending Eve's life, and the team is equally serious about finding out who and why. Putting all the pieces together isn't easy, and leads to evidence of a betrayal of the worst sort. The final confrontation comes with a twist that Eve and Billy didn't see coming, and nearly cost Billy his life. It did make him realize that life can be too uncertain to hold a grudge. The final scene of the book was great, and Eve's comment about the catheter was pretty funny.

There wasn't much involvement from most of the BKI team, except for Mac and Ace. There were a couple fun spots with Ace, especially with him telling Billy what a fool he is. There's more involvement from Mac, who has his own contentious moments with Delilah of the bikers' bar. I've liked what I've seen of her in previous books, and she really shines in this one. I hurt for her after the shootout at the bar, and was rooting for her as she got under Mac's skin. I'm really looking forward to their story in the next book.

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