Random House / January 7, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital
He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.
Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.
My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.
And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same.
Simply said, Wanted by J. Kenner is an exercise in the study of anticipation. Angelina has been lusting after Evan Black for eight years. Evan, along with his friends Cole and Tyler, was taken under her Uncle Jahn’s wing as a young man. During her summer vacations in Chicago with her uncle she would hang out with them and was like a sister to the—but she felt differently about Evan. Unfortunately for Angie, Evan never reciprocated her feelings. As the book opens, Uncle Jahn has passed away and despite her grief and a hopeful suitor, Angie is looking forward to seeing Evan Black again.
Anticipation is the part of desire that creates breathlessness, butterflies in the stomach, and enthusiasm. As a senator’s daughter, Angie has had to tow the line and live a life without a lot of excitement. When she was younger and a little wild, she went by the nickname Lina, but when her sister died, she decided it was time to grow up and leave Lina behind, so she went by Angie. She carries around survivor’s guilt for the death of her older sister, and seems to need an outlet, a rush, to make her feel whole again. Angie gets a rush from Evan—he's dangerous, and has a controlled power, and a dominance about him that attracts her like a moth to a flame, but the feelings seem unrequited...until the funeral.
Evan swoops in, a successful millionaire businessman now, fresh from a hospital dedication service and looking devastating in a tux. Angie holds together until she talks to him. Then the floodgates opened, and in front of everyone he embraced her, comforted her, and let his guard down enough to show her the desire he had been banking for years himself. The reason he held back all this time was a promise he made to Angie’s Uncle Jahn, but with Jahn dead, he considers breaking that promise.
We get our answer about what he decides to do later on when Angie has wandered away from the mourners and well wishers and is looking at the view of Chicago from her uncle’s high rise condo. Evan finds her there, and in a scene full of—you guessed it—anticipation, he comes up behind her, whispers in her ear, and says all the things that let her understand that not only does he know her, he understands her. He gets her. And because he gets her, he can certainly please her. The spell of the moment is broken, and Evan snaps out of it, then walks away, but now Angie has confirmation that Evan is as affected by her and she is by him.
But that road is not an easy one to travel. Evan is still fighting his craving for Angie, not only to keep his promise to her uncle, but to protect Angie from some things she is safer not knowing. Angie has decisions to make as well; her father has arranged an aide position on the Hill for her, and she needs to figure out if she will follow in her sister’s footsteps into politics with her father, or stay with her uncle’s foundation and pursue her love of art in Chicago, possibly with Evan. With her potential move creating a timeline, Evan and Angie finally start making serious moves, and Evan demonstrates his dominance spectacularly:
Patience is a virtue, Lina. And anticipation is one hell of an aphrodisiac.
The journey this couple takes is a sultry, controlled chaotic filled course filled with desire, longing, a touch of danger, and of course, anticipation. Finally being able to let go of expectations, promises, and vulnerability, Evan and Angie at long last choose love and each other.
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Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.