Alright guys, I’m writing this review way, way, waaaaaay early. Like three months or something. Why? Because after reading Rough & Tumble, the first book in the Haven Brotherhood series, I just had to find out more about this group of guys. Thankfully, I already had book two sitting on my Kindle. And since I have no willpower whatsoever, as soon as I finished book one I immediately dove back into this world.
Wild & Sweet is Zeke’s story. Trauma doctor, extreme sports fanatic, slick and sexy Zeke Dugan. Growing up poor, but highly intelligent ultimately led him from Philadelphia to a scholarship at SMU. Which is where he met Jace and Axel and found a place in the Brotherhood. He loves his job and the adrenaline rush of saving lives, but he’s also not afraid to skirt the law when his brothers need his services. There is nothing in Zeke’s life more important than his chosen family.
Gabrielle Parker is quiet and keeps to herself. Her world mostly consists of helping out her elderly neighbors, working as a mechanic and keeping her brother healthy and out of trouble. What almost no one else knows is that she suffers from intense social anxiety and interacting with strangers or large crowds leads her to panic attacks more often than not. Which is why she has chosen to live her life quietly and mostly in solitude. While checking on her elderly neighbor’s house one evening she interrupts a break in and is injured. Her brother happens to work for this bad ass group of men who specialize in troubled situations, which is how Zeke and Gabe meet.
Because I read Jace and Zeke’s stories back to back, without any wait time in between, events from the first book were fresh in my mind. Jace is loudly and proudly alpha male. He’s pushy at times and is involved in some pretty sketchy activities which revolve around his legitimate businesses. He and Viv have an intensely sexual relationship. I kind of expected more of the same, but was pleasantly surprised when everything about Zeke and Gabe’s story was different. Zeke is alpha, but it’s quieter, less in your face. He’s more of a steady warm presence at your back, or someone who will hold your hand and lend strength while you figure out what you want on your own. Which is exactly the kind of hero Gabe needed.
Gabe is a heroine I think quite a few readers will relate to. Unsure, introverted and someone who needs time to work up to certain situations. She’s content with her life, until she realizes that she’s shut herself away from true happiness due to her fear. Zeke slowly enters her life and let’s her set the pace on just how much of him she is comfortable with. He sees something special and finds himself compelled to get to know her better. That she is the sister of a man who might be brought into the brotherhood in the future presents many challenges, but he is prepared to find a way around them for Gabe. But it’s Gabe who has to find her footing and work up to stepping out of her comfort zone.
The building of Gabe and Zeke’s relationship is slow and steady. I liked the pacing and felt like it was a natural progression for this couple. There are sparks, but be ready to wait for the absolute right moment for this couple to fall into bed. Trust and respect have to be built and earned first. And while that is the case in almost every relationship, with this couple it is even more important. . Especially since Zeke wants to be completely honest with Gabe, but some of the things he does for the brotherhood tend to wallow in the gray areas. Gabe tends to see things in clear black and white, and Zeke’s business dealings make her question exactly just what kind of man she is getting involved with.
There is a mystery and it involves some odd happenings and dangerous situations in Gabe’s neighborhood. And while I did find it interesting, and it ultimately led to some decisions about Danny (Gabe’s brother) and his place in the Haven Brotherhood, I felt like it was handled well and didn’t overshadow Gabe and Zeke’s romance.
Overall, I enjoyed Wild & Sweet even more than its predecessor. I’m absolutely hooked on this series now and am already looking forward to book three. (Which I’m pretty sure is Trevor <3 ) Final Grade- B
Perfect. His hard to her soft. HIs strength to her give. His claim to her surrender.