Erryn reviews ‘Wilde Fire’ (Forever Wilde Book 3) by Lucy Lennox. The ebook was published March 20, 2018, 312 pages. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved the two Wilde books and had to grab the this one.
Seth Walker was my first love and I always swore he’d be my last. Even after he moved away our senior year in high school, we vowed to reunite after graduation. But when he suddenly broke things off without explanation and crushed my heart, it was my turn to run.
After a decade in the navy, I’ve finally come home ready to move on with my life as Hobie’s newest firefighter. Unfortunately, the minute I set eyes on the new sheriff in town, I know I’m screwed. Hobie’s top cop is none other than Seth Walker.
Turns out, he’s come home too. And hell if he doesn’t have a lot of explaining to do.
I thought I was doing the right thing when I walked away from Otto Wilde ten years ago without an explanation. I was wrong. I also thought I could come back home without having to face my past mistakes. I was wrong about that too.
What I’m not wrong about: The fact that my heart catches fire every time I set eyes on the sexy man. The fact that I can’t imagine my life without him. The fact that things are still just as complicated now as they were then. And the fact that I have a lot of work ahead of me if I expect to win him back.
Just when things start heating up between us again, a serial arsonist strikes and suspicion falls close to home. I already lost Otto to a secret long ago but I’ll be damned if I let another threaten to send our future up in smoke.
Because Otto Wilde is mine, and I don’t plan on ever letting him go again.
Miss Lucy Lennox, what are you doing to me?!? I swore when I began reading ‘Wilde Fire’ that I was NOT going to cry. I don’t know what I was thinking when I made that statement. Why would I think that? Because your books are packed with emotions that are relatable, raw, and – oddly – joyous.
This is the third Wilde novel, and I love this one as much as the others. Familiar characters are mentioned – Felix is off happy with his Prince, for example. More importantly, in Hobie, we get to see how happy West and Nico are—raising little Pippa who is spoiled by everyone. We get caught up with Grandpa and Doc, whom I adore more and more as the series progresses. And, as always, there are plenty of characters for future books. Thank you for the promise of more.
For now, though, I want to talk about Seth and Otto – or Walker & Wilde, as they are known. They were childhood friends, meeting at age 8 and being inseparable thereafter. Their relationship progressed from friendship to experimentation and then to love. Young love is often fleeting, an intense fire that burns bright and dies off quickly. Not so for Otto and Walker. They bonded in their teen years and if not for Walker’s family moving to Minnesota from Texas, they probably would have beaten the odds and stayed together. The bond was more than just love – it was friendship and trust. Trust that once broken, seems impossible to find again.
Yet they both end up in Hobie, but the circumstances are very different. Otto is newly out of the navy, trained as a fireman and pursing his dream, serving as a lieutenant in the Hobie Fire Department. Walker is also pursuing his dream as the sheriff of Hobie. His arrival was conveniently necessitated by the hasty departure of the last sheriff, a homophobic bully who caused no end of grief for Nico and West. But that is now in the past and Walker is home.
It is inevitable Otto and Walker are going to run into each other. What is not predicted – at least not to me – is the situation Walker finds himself in. The first part of the book is Walker extricating himself from a situation he entered years ago because of his sense of duty and honour to his family. But now Otto Is back and Walker is willing to do anything to hold on to the man he’s always loved.
And they do have history. Luanne, Walker’s capable and competent assistant at the police department, remarks to Walker,
“You two were thick as thieves, weren’t you? I’d forgotten all about that. Wasn’t it you two who got caught skinny-dipping in the lake on Easter morning one time?”
I felt my face heat. “Yes, ma’am. But please don’t remind me.”
Luanne’s laughter was hearty and familiar. “Sheriff Walker, even the baby Jesus was laughing that morning. Nothing like seeing two preteen hineys hotfooting it across the docks in the early morning sunrise to make you grateful the Good Lord died for our sins.”
“How were we supposed to know Pastor Carlisle had a whole baptism thing going on that morning on the waterfront?”
As a child, my cousins convinced me we should all go skinny dipping. We lost our bathing suits in the water and didn’t find the pile until the next day when we went out in the rowboat. I’ll leave it to your imagination what happened to us. (For the record, it was NOT my idea…) It’s those evocative stories, though, that make Lucy’s books so relatable. From the conversation about Barbies being abandoned by lesbians to the story of the wedding rings, the reader is pulled into the nostalgia of the men’s relationship.
There are characters who could have been one-dimensional or stereotypical villains, but they weren’t. These were portrayed sympathetically and with depth of character, allowing for personal growth through the book. I love when characters – even minor ones – are given an arc that leads to redemption.
Very quickly – there was one very irritating thing. I have read every Lucy Lennox book and she’s never done this before and I hope she doesn’t do it again. She would project an upcoming upset. For example, Otto ruminates that “I needed the sleep badly, because, unbeknownst to me, the following day, I was going to meet…” Now, I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but we do find out at the end of that sentence who Otto is going to meet in the next chapter. This predicting and warning the reader of future distress didn’t feel genuine to me. I haven’t seen it before in Lucy’s books and hope this was a one-off.
Despite that little annoyance, I loved this book. I loved the letters – sent and unsent – between the two men. I loved the little stories and memories they were able to share. I loved that each knew the other so perfectly—that Otto was able to buy the best gift for Walker and it wasn’t about the money spent but about the sentiment. I loved how Walker was welcomed back at the Wilde ranch despite the years gone by and the heartache he’d caused Otto.
Mostly, I love that when Otto and Walker were together all those years ago, they had dreamt of a life together, but today – in this time – they will be able to legally marry. That is something that wasn’t open to them ten years prior and a poignant reminder of how far we have come. (Okay, Canada was good with same-sex marriage more than 10 years ago – we figured our neighbours to the south would catch up eventually…)
So, buy this book. Enjoy this book. Love these men for who they are, the obstacles they’ve overcome, and the love they share with each other and everyone around them. Oh, and Firekitten and her final name. Priceless.
And remember, there are more books to come. Thank goodness.
10/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because that stuff is hot.