Illustrator: Oliviero Berni
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Book Series: Western Wind #1
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Western Romance, Forced Seduction
Format: Paperback, eBook
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks, Open Library (BORROW FOR FREE)
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
First Love, Wild Love, begins in Texas, where Calinda Braxton has come from England to investigate the disappearance of her father, Elliott “Brax” Braxton. Her arrival in Texas is not welcoming, as the stagecoach she’s on is robbed.
The stagecoach guard is killed, and the other passengers blame her because she fought back. Disconsolate and penniless, Calinda is taken in by the madam of a house of ill repute and given a room.
What happens here sets the tone for the rest of the book.
Yes, the Hero is a Pimp
Calinda is given laudanum by the madam (not for nefarious purposes, but to help her sleep). Into the room comes the owner of the bordello, Lynx Cardone.
Thinking that Calinda either was sent to him or heard he was the man to see if she needed a job as a prostitute. So, thinking he has a freebie, Lynx has dubious consent sex with Calinda. She does agree to sleep with him…but she is under the influence of the drug!
Afterward, they argue and vow never to see each other again.
So Naturally, They Fall in Love
Later, Calinda is visited by Rankin Cardone, Brax’s former partner in their ranch and–unknown to her at the time–Lynx’s father.
Rankin invites Calinda to come to the ranch, although not entirely for altruistic reasons. He does wants to know what happened to her father, but he’s also hoping to set up Calinda with Lynx, of course not knowing they already know each other (in the biblical sense.)
When Lynx comes home, he sees Calinda and thinks she’s a gold digger out to trap him, which is obviously not the case.
But that issue gets resolved soon and resolved, leading to Calinda and Lynx falling in love and marrying.
Calinda’s happy, Lynx’s happy, and Rankin’s happy.
Here Comes the Other Woman to Cause Trouble
One person who is definitely NOT happy is Salina Mendoza, the Cardone’s housekeeper, who fancied herself the future Mrs. Lynx Cardone.
She tries various tactics to get rid of Calinda. First, she is defiant toward Calinda. Then she attempts to seduce Lynx. When that doesn’t work, she turns to kidnapping and, finally, conspiracy to commit murder.
None of these efforts ultimately succeed, but they do drive a wedge between Calinda and Lynx.
Another issue between our main characters is Lynx’s frequent absences from home. Eventually, the reasons behind this are explained.
Brax’s mysterious behavior is also clarified.
By the end of the book, Calinda and Lynx have their Happily Ever After.
Calinda is a strong character. She has to deal with a lot of heartaches, pain–both physical and emotional–as well as various forms of danger. But she survives and thrives.
Some of Calinda’s dangerous situations occur due to her naivete, so she often finds herself in trouble. Lynx is always there to save her.
As for Lynx, he is too perfect a hero. He gets himself into risky scenarios and always comes out scot-free without a scratch. I found this unrealistic.
What I REALLY didn’t like, however, is the way Mrs. Taylor resolved the Brax issue.
Rather than Brax explaining in his own words, there are hints throughout the book and a summary at the end.
I feel the book would have been better if Brax–and the others involved–said in their own words what happened and why it happened. I found the ending very frustrating.
Lots of love scenes with lots of euphemisms and purple prose. That’s how Mrs. Taylor writes her love scenes.
In addition to the stagecoach guard being killed, Calinda is shot in the shoulder. Plus, there are other scenes of shootings plus, assaults, and batteries. The violence is not graphic.
Janelle Taylor can write some very good romances. But not always perfect ones.
Books like First Love, Wild Love deserve a gradient of stars. It’s not really a 5-star book–more like 4.25 or 4.5 stars.
|Rating Report Card|
He stole her innocence…
When the handsome cattle baron Lynx Cardone saw the luscious wench sleeping in his hotel room, he was certain she was there for his enjoyment. Why else would she be wearing a revealing red dress with her rich chestnut hair spread languorously over the sheets? Without a moment’s hesitation, the hot-blooded man swept the lovely woman in his arms and branded her with his passion — realizing too late that he had made a terrible mistake…
She lost her heartFirst Love, Wild Love by Janelle Taylor
The most wonderful sensations roused Calinda Braxton from her slumber — but when she discovered she was in a stranger’s embrace, her pleasure turned to horror! Sensuous kisses muffled her cries of protest; powerful hands stilled her struggles to escape… and before she could help herself, the naive beauty fell under the spell of desire. She was captivated by his caresses, bewitched by his charms — and her heart too quickly surrendered to her FIRST LOVE, WILD LOVE…