Title: Ace’s Wild by Sarah McCarty
Hell’s Eight Series Book Seven
Publisher: HQN Books (Harlequin)
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
When you gamble with desire, be prepared to risk everything…
Unlike the rest of the Hell’s Eight brotherhood, Ace Parker’s home isn’t on the range. This restless cowboy craves the hustle of Simple, Texas, a lawless town where he can sate his darker appetites without guilt. At least he could, until Petunia Wayfield arrived. The prickly new teacher is insisting that Ace help her rid the town of drunkenness and card playing. For that kind of miracle, Ace demands a reward the spinster schoolmarm will surely never give.
But Petunia isn’t backing down. Not when the intense passion Ace offers shatters her to the core. As soon as she can afford a ticket home back East, she’ll leave Simple behind for good. Until then, she’ll match his sensual challenge with her own, daring him to give up his fiercely guarded self-control. And then real danger claims Petunia, forcing Ace to reveal the man he really is even if it drives her away forever.
Ace’s Wild is the seventh installment Sarah McCarty’s delectably steamy Hell’s Eight series. This newest addition to the very popular historical series is full of sexual tension and primarily focuses on the relationship between lead characters Ace Parker and Petunia Wayfield.
Petunia Wayfield is a strong and independent woman whose forward thinking puts her at odds with many of the townspeople. She is only planning on staying in town long enough to earn the funds to continue on her journey to San Francisco, but she does not let that stop her from trying to make improvements before she leaves. She tirelessly advocates on the behalf of her students but not everyone supports her assertion that every child deserves an education. Petunia has given up on love and marriage and she is more than a little surprised by her unexpected attraction to Ace Parker.
Ace is a little broody and a whole lot sexy. He is at loose ends a little now that the rest of Hell’s Eight has settled down but he manages to keep busy as the town’s assayer. He also spends quite a bit of his time in the local saloon/brothel drinking and gambling. However, there is much more to Ace than this somewhat dissolute reputation and although he takes some convincing, he agrees to help Petunia rescue one of her students from an abusive situation.
The sparks fly between Petunia and Ace right from the beginning but Ace refuses to let their flirtation progress beyond a few hot kisses. He is a little overbearing, stubborn and very resistant to a relationship with Petunia. Petunia is his equal in every way, but she eventually allows him to convince her leave town. She does not get very far before she ends up in a very dangerous situation, but Ace rescues her in the nick of time. This becomes a turning point in their relationship, but these two have a few more issues to overcome before they can live happily ever after.
Ace’s Wild is an outstanding addition to the Hell’s Eight series. Petunia and Ace are appealing characters and while it takes a while for them to act on their attraction, there is no denying the chemistry between them. The storyline is fast-paced, fresh and delightfully angst free. Sarah McCarty brings the novel to a heartwarming conclusion that I absolutely loved.
Read my reviews of the other books in this series HERE.