Monday, February 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Wild Card by Rhonda Nelson

Harlequin Blaze Jan 18 2011

224 pages by Rhonda Nelson


Former ranger Seth McCutcheon is a man of his word. Leave the military at the request of his dying mother? Check. Join the super-elite Ranger Security? Definitely. Provide a security detail at a high-society wedding? Hell, why not?
Go undercover as the wedding planner's boyfriend? Uhh, well….
But once Seth sets eyes on sexy Penelope Hart, he knows he's a goner. If Penelope wants a fake fling, he's her man. Especially if it comes with all the sensual benefits.
But they can't spend all their time in bed, as much as they'd like to. Somebody is threatening to sabotage the ceremony. If Seth doesn't discover the culprit, Penelope's business will be ruined.
Seth is going to need all the luck he can get if he's going to save the day and get the girl. Then again, they don't call him Wild Card for nothing….


Rhonda Nelson has again come up with an amazing hero that will melt and sizzle your heart all at the same time.

Seth McCutcheon had me in the first chapter. A big, strapping , tough Army man, who sits with his dying mother tenderly seeing to her needs. Their relationship was touching, warm and really caused me to choke over with emotion. Their gentle chiding was more of close, dear friends, than mother and son. Her deathbed wish is that after his rotation is done, that Seth leave the army. His mother wants him safe. To live a full life. Be there for his sister and her son. Seth promises her, even though the army is his whole life. They play a hand of poker over it, and mom won, on a wild card.

Seven months later, and Seth keeps his promise, gets out of the Army and takes a job at Ranger Security. His first assignment? Go undercover as a wedding planner's boyfriend, to look after security issues at a star football player's upcoming nuptials.

Enter the wedding planner, Penelope Hart. Just the sort of perky, organized woman that annoys Seth to no end. Penelope is so organized, she made up an entire history of their faux relationship and pertinent facts Seth should know like how she takes her coffee, the fact she doesn't like sweet potatoes, and how they supposedly met.
Already their styles clash, Seth thinks Penelope is a control freak, she thinks Seth isn't enough of one. But both, are immediately attracted to the other, and not just physically. I loved the give and take and the entertaining banter between these two as they are forced to spend time in each others company while the undercover is going on.

This seemingly harmless undercover takes a dark turn, from a shredded wedding dress to crosses and double crosses with people you would not suspect. What a wedding.

Penelope is a great match for Seth, she willingly can stand toe to toe with him. However while she more than embraces the lust she feels for Seth, those deeper, intense feelings have her running scared. She never exceeded her three month rule with any man, could Seth be the one to inspire her to try something with more permanence?

And Seth is still heartbroken over his mother' death, can he risk his heart for a woman? Can any relationship last, seeing his father and his brother-in-law both abandoned his mother and sister?
These two come with a lot of baggage , both from broken homes, cynical about love and marriage, but is what they are feeling worth taking a risk? Seth and Penelope were a sweet couple, their banter delicious, the heat real and sizzling. A great read.

3.5 out of 4 stars for the book

KOVER KUDOS: Seth all the way, and love the wicked grin and the beach backdrop.

3 out of 4 stars for the cover

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