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Friday, December 7, 2012

Blooming in the Wild by Cathryn Cade

Blooming in the Wild by Cathryn Cade
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (308 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Iris

Dangers in paradise…

Hawaiian Heroes, Book 3

On Hawaii’s Big Island to supervise a photo shoot for her sporting goods company, Bella Moran is looking forward to relaxing with her newfound family. As the island works its magic on her Ho’omalu blood, though, something strange begins to happen.

In her dreams, she is at one with the untamed rainforest, able to command the trees and flowers with a terrifying power. Unfortunately, she finds no rest in her waking hours, dealing with the sexy, boy-in-a-man-suit star of the shoot.

Joel Girand, star of his own TV adventure show, signed on for a relaxing weekend showcasing tropical camping gear. He never expected to fall for an uptight executive type like Bella, but there’s something about her lush native beauty that excites the wild places in his soul.

In Joel’s arms, Bella feels her civilized veneer peeling away. But when it becomes clear someone with a grudge against her family is using deadly force to sabotage the shoot, Bella’s frightening dream power manifests in the very clear light of day. And Joel must decide if his heart will let him stand back and let her sacrifice everything—even her life—for her native home.

What a long and wild ride! Unfortunately slow and cantankerous when Bella and Joel meet, there are so many twists and turns that it was easy for me to put this book down in favor of another. The good news is, I HAD to read this book, since I'd requested it for review. Boy, am I glad I finally did! Once you get through the personalities of the characters, you begin to see the mystery being revealed through the mundane activities occurring around the photo shoot.

Strong will + mystery + action all lead to some very HOT interactions.

Although this is a contemporary novel, set in the US (Hawaii, to be exact), the story assumes paranormal powers for our heroine, Bella. In fact, it outlines paranormal powers for her entire family. Once the reader accepts this, the story begins to get interesting. Bella’s unique powers center on the island - the forest to be exact. The link to the forest impacts almost every aspect of her life, from her temper to her safety, to her sexual experiences.

Joel, our hero, seems to be standard issue “adventure man”. While not a womanizer, he does not attempt to “smooth” his rough edges, nor attempt to disguise when he is interested in a woman. He is also very “nature savvy”, and is definitely more than a pretty face. His protective instincts seem to rise when around Bella.

Let’s add to the mixture the fact that Bella does not know the Hawaiian side of her family very well. Having just learned of her relationship with them recently, events that occur while on this work-related trip do not make sense to her, adding to the danger and urgency during the climax of the story.

To add to the Hawaiian aspect of this story, Ms. Cade uses Hawaiian words liberally throughout the story. While the meaning of many of them are common knowledge, she weaves in meanings or descriptions either before or after the Hawaiian words, ensuring her readers are not confused by any terms used throughout. The way she did this was unobtrusive, and a very nice touch.

In all, this is a mystery and action/adventure all rolled into one sweet treat of a story. The whipped cream and cherry topping it all off is the incredibly hot sexual relationship developing between Bella and Joel. When they finally come together, even the forest comes away satisfied!

Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out a few things. Bella and Joel took forever to get together. Even their first time together left a little to be desired. Also, when they finally do consummate their relationship, Joel finds a condom. I found I was asking myself “who packs a condom for a work trip to a jungle?” I am all for safe sex, and maybe I have just been on the wrong work trips, but this just seemed improbably to me.

There is plenty of violence within the story. Besides the violence occurring during the lengthy climax of the story (warning: plenty of action, violence and hot action await you during this portion of the story). There are other violent acts peppered throughout the story. Some appear to be relevant, some not so much, but they are there nonetheless!

It’s not speaking out of turn to say that Bella’s Hawaiian family comes through for her in the end. Their familial love and bravado underscore Bella’s actions during the climax.

While you may be confused to start, this book is most certainly worthy of any effort you make to turn the page. Before you know it, the focus will be on the effort to stop turning pages! Make sure you have a nice quiet block of time set aside so that you can enjoy this one cover to cover!

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