Welcome to the Dark Horse Dive Bar, where the Wildes throw one hell of a party and love could be a barstool away!
When Lyric Wilde’s not whipping up the best food in town at the Dark Horse Dive Bar, she’s making a name for herself as a rising singer-songwriter. And if any of her online followers cross the line from friendly to fanatical, well, Lyric figures it goes with the territory—and she can take care of herself. But there’s one fan she wants to get to know better—a silent, sexy biker named Viper. A man who makes her think mine every time she looks at him. But who exactly is “Viper?”
Undercover FBI special agent Mason Gunn has been hiding in plain sight and alone for far too long. And while he fantasizes about a peaceful life with beautiful Lyric by his side, he knows that until his mission—to take down a murder-for-hire network—is accomplished, his dark world is no place for her. But when frightening encounters and threatening text messages from a stalker bent on keeping Lyric all to himself and his most wanted criminal target his sultry songbird, he will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves…
Jennifer Ryan is one of my go-to authors when it comes to swoony romance perfectly blended with twisty suspense and her newest book, Wilde Love is a great example of why her books keep me reading way past my bedtime. I couldn't put this one down.
There's so much chemistry between Viper (Mason) and Lyric and a soul-deep connection that only gets stronger the more time they spend together. He's such a good guy even though he looks like a bad guy. I love his sense of honor, his protective nature, his determination to keep Lyric safe and separate from the dangers of his work. And I love that while others take one look at him and make judgments based on appearance, Lyric takes the time to look beneath the surface. She instinctively knows that there's more to this man who keeps secrets, who won't even tell her his real name, and she's willing to wait until he can.
Lyric is the kind of character I want to be friends with. She has a great relationship with her family, is caring and kind (sometimes a little too kind), a magician in the kitchen, and always ready to step in and help someone in need, even if it puts her in the line of fire. I was cheering her on every step of the way. She and Mason together make me smile. I love how she gives him the support, trust, and space he needs as someone who is dealing with the effects of too many years undercover. She brings light into the darkness of that life, changing his life for the better even as he brings trust, respect, and a deep well of love into hers. And kudos to an author who treats mental health therapy as a natural, accepted avenue to travel. It's an aspect of Ryan's books that I've always appreciated.
There's great family dynamics in this book too, both in Mason's and Lyric's. I loved the sibling relationships within Lyric's family and the rowdy but heartfelt relationships among the all-male siblings and cousins on Mason's side. I especially enjoyed the bonus of watching Lyric interact with Mason's cousins, one in particular. That man has hidden layers and what I expect is more than a little emotional baggage. I do hope we'll be seeing more of him - and the rest of them - in future books.