Passion’s Wild and Free is the second in Janelle Taylor’s “Western Wind” series and was a ho-hum romance.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.Passions Wild and Free Rating:
Illustrator: Elaine Duillo
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
VERY MILD SPOILERS 😉
This review is of Passions Wild and Free by Janelle Taylor, a Zebra historical romance and book #2 in her “Western Wind” series.
The book begins in Wadesville, Texas, at an undisclosed time after the Civil War. Randee Hollis, the book’s heroine, has plans to go after the Epson Gang, a ruthless band of killers who killed her aunt and uncle, Sara Elizabeth and Lee Carson when the gang attacked their ranch.
Randee was the only survivor of the attack. She decides to hire a man to help her track down and kill the gang members. Randee finds resistance to her plans from Brody Wade, the sheriff of Wadesville-named after his family-who is in love with her and wishes to marry her.
Randee runs into–literally–Marsh Logan, the book’s hero. She hires him to work with her, believing he is a notorious gunfighter named the Durango Kid. He’s not, but he is good with a gun and has his own reasons for wanting to find and kill the Epson Gang. As they track the gang, we learn why Randee left her family in Kansas, and she and Marsh give in to their attraction and become lovers.
As they systematically dismantle the Epson Gang, Randee, and Marsh realize that the gang isn’t just a ragtag group of outlaws but rather part of a bigger plan led by someone who wants money and power.
In the end, the gang is brought to justice or killed, as is the big boss of the operation. The real Durango Kid-who is Marsh’s younger brother-appears on the scene. Randee’s family issues in Kansas are resolved. Randee and Marsh have their Happily Ever After.
One positive is the author wrote Randee and Marsh as well-developed characters. Mrs. Taylor gives them depth and fills them in as real people. I liked that Randee was a capable person in her own right, and Marsh grew to respect her skills.
Passions Wild and Free is ostensibly a historical romantic suspense book. Mrs. Taylor only got one of the three aspects right–the historical part.
Randee and Marsh have little chemistry, although they become lovers and adventure partners. There is also very little in the way of suspense; most of the suspense occurs “off-screen.”
I was also quite annoyed with Mrs. Taylor’s overuse of the word “cunning,” which she uses in every book she writes. I wanted to scream several times in reading the book: “Why didn’t you use a freakin’ thesaurus, Mrs. Taylor?”
Sometimes, I skipped pages because Passions Wild and Free was boring.
Another thing: this book is said to be part of a six-book series called “Western Wind.” No character from the first book in the “series,” First Love, Wild Love, appears in Passions Wild and Free.
The only thing the two books so far in the “series” have in common is that both are set in Texas, which is not, in my eyes, a connection that warrants a “series” label.
The love scenes are either mostly quick or typical Janelle Taylor romances. In other words, more focused on the feelings of the act than the esoterics of it.
Most of the violence is “off-screen.” On-screen violence includes assault, battery, shootings, and killings. The violence is not graphic in any way.
Bottom Line on Passions Wild and Free
Randee and Marsh deserved better than what they got from Janelle Taylor in Passions Wild and Free.
After seeing her home and family destroyed by the cruel and hateful Epson gang, Randee Hollis swore revenge. The feisty young woman knew that she couldn’t do the nasty job alone — she needed one good man to help her stop the murderous villains. So when Randee literally ran into the black-clad stranger, she knew she’d found the perfect helpmate. He was strong and brave and met all of her requirements for a gunslinger … but the virile stranger offered something more. Every time Randee looked into his light blue eyes she felt a longing in the pit of her stomach. She wanted to run her fingers through his sleek ebony hair, caress his bronzed skin and know what it would be like to spend the night wrapped up in his warm embrace …
Marsh Logan had his own reasons for wanting to help the flaxen haired beauty find revenge. But after spending sometime alone with Randee, he lost all desire for anything but the feel of her body next to his. Marsh would sacrifice his very soul for a chance to kiss away all of Randee’s troubles, to excite her until she forgot of her pain. All he wanted was to prove that he was the man who could make her happy, that he could love her like no other and unleash her sleeping PASSIONS WILD AND FREEPASSIONS WILD AND FREE BY JANELLE TAYLOR
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