January 16, 2014

REVIEW: Wanted (Most Wanted #1)

Wanted (Most Wanted #1), by J. Kenner
Published January 7, 2014
e-book, obtained from NetGalley
Genre:  adult contemporary/erotic romance

To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads)
He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same. 

J. Kenner introduces readers to a hot new trio in the first of her new Most Wanted series, Wanted. Evan, Tyler and Cole give new meaning to the phrase "bad boys." Mostly because in many aspects, they really are bad. They've dallied in illegal operations, and their motives in the past have been questionable. The FBI is sniffing around their business ventures and they each keep a lot of secrets. And, they all seem quite unbothered by most of it. Their methods have proven very fruitful - they're living the highlife, not wanting for anything. Except, we find out that Evan Black really does want  something that he thinks he can't have.

Angelina Raine has wanted Evan ever since laying her eyes on him at the tender age of 16. He, Tyler and Cole were her beloved uncle's proteges, and after she started hanging around her uncle a lot following the tragic death of her older sister, Lina spent a lot of time around the three "knights." It made her crush on Evan even more unbearable, especially since all three of them viewed her as a kid sister.

Now, Lina is 23 and spends most of her life pretending. She pretends she's prim, proper and subdued. She pretends she loves politics as much as her sister. She pretends she really likes her boring FBI agent boyfriend. She pretends she doesn't still want Evan more than her next breath.

And, then, she decides she's done pretending. She wants to fly.

There was a rather melancholy tone over the whole book. It begins at a funeral. And both Lina's and Evan's pasts are full of tragic events. The chemistry between these two is palpable, and the constant denial of it is maddening and more than a little sad. The reader feels and knows that if they could just get over their self-deprecation and act on what each of them really wants, they could both find the peace and hapiness that seems to be constantly just out of reach.

I loved the sorta spy-games element that's thrown in. It adds an extra level of suspense and danger. There are twists and turns that made for an exciting final 25%.

I just love that, although J. Kenner writes ridiculously hot and sexy scenes, they don't flood the pages such that we lose the plot or forget the motivations behind what Lina and Evan are doing. There's a good balance of sex and story, and I very much appreciate that.

I am very much looking forward to Tyler's and Cole's stories in the Most Wanted series (and hopefully, updates on Lina and Evan too!).

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