This one is a keeper. One of those books that you can't stop reading and then find yourself sad as you approach the end because you don't want it to be over. WILD CARD is a beautifully done romance with scorching hot love scenes, plenty of action and a sexy alpha male hero that literally jumps off the pages at you. Bound in leather chaps and just daring you to get on the back of his Harley. What an escape, I loved it.
Navy Seal Nathan Malone was happily married to his young wife Sabella. His last mission was supposed to be simple, infiltrate a Columbian drug cartel and rescue three young girls. But things went disastrously wrong and Nathan finds himself at the hands of Diego Fuentes the evil crime lord. He is held captive for 3 years, pumped full of experimental drugs, tortured and beaten beyond recognition. When he's finally rescued there isn't much left of the man he used to be. Scared inside and out, Nathan now feels that he's too damaged and violent to ever return to his wife and joins a team of covert ops. After several reconstructive surgeries Nathan Malone becomes Noah Blake aka "Wildcard." The man his wife loved is now gone forever.
Several years later a new mission (ironically enough) takes Noah back to his hometown and puts him undercover as a mechanic in Sabella's garage. He'd assumed that after 6 years his wife would have moved on with her life but she hasn't ever let Nathan go. After learning of Nathan's death Sabella didn't leave the house for 3 years, barely functioning, she dreams of him. There's is a love that will last forever, she tells herself. Only after almost losing their home and business does she manage to pull herself together enough to rejoin the world. Sabella initially has no idea that the sexy new Harley riding mechanic is her dead husband but something draws her to him and awakens feelings she had thought long buried. Nathan is stunned that Sabella isn't the agreeable little wallflower that he remembers as his wife anymore. Where did this tough, no nonsense woman come from?
This establishes the characters into their plotlines and that's when the story really gets going. The sex scenes are amazingly hot but they are also filled with such tenderness and longing that you will simply sigh. Lora Leigh pushes the boundaries further each time Noah and Bella are together and just when you think they couldn't possibly do anything else sexually, that it's just going to be another sex scene, she manages to make it different and even more exciting. The running internal dialogue is also well done here and heartbreaking as Noah struggles with the ghost of the man he used to be and Sabella tries to not let on that she knows who he really is. The endings full of suspense and I wasn't certain until the last few pages if our couple would truly get their HEA or if our testosterone filled hero would leave again.
I think this is probably some of Lora Leigh's best work, the unconditional love between our main characters was beautifully written, the story interesting and suspenseful and surprisingly involved at 415 pages. My only complaint would be the sloppy editing (or lack of one) .
This is a story that I won't soon forget. Highly recommended.
-It's now been a few days since I finished reading Wildcard and an interesting thing has happened. I can no longer remember the sex scenes but I still find myself thinking about the love story. Go Siorai, Forever my soul.