Getting Wilde by Jenn Stark
The awesome Gene Mollica cover and the story description drew us to this book immediately. It’s a fun urban fantasy with enough hot male-ness to make the romance readers’ toes tingle.
Publisher’s Description: Using her well-worn Tarot deck, magical-artifacts hunter Sara Wilde can find anything—for a price. And the price had better be right, since she needs to finance her own personal mission to rescue several young psychics recently sold on the paranormal black market.
Enter Sara’s most mysterious client and occasional lover, the wickedly sexy Magician, with a job that could yield the ultimate payday. All she’ll have to do is get behind Vatican walls… and steal the Devil himself.
But play with the Devil and you’re bound to get burned.
Pressure mounts for Sara to join the Magician’s ancient and mysterious Arcana Council, as militant forces unleashed by even darker powers seek to destroy all magic—including the young psychics Sara is desperate to keep safe. The Council may be their only hope. . . but it could also expose Sara’s own dark past.
From the twisting catacombs of Rome to the neon streets of Vegas, Sara confronts ancient enemies, powerful demigods, a roiling magical underworld about to explode… and immortal passions that might require the ultimate sacrifice. But oh, what a way to go.
No matter how the cards play out, things are about to get Wilde.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, Spoilers!)
Uh….YES IT WAS a cliffhanger! Not even remotely close to a teaser!! I was just getting into the scene and not paying attention to the percentage left in the book when *BAM!!* Well, okay. It wasn’t that much of a cliffhanger, but it did take me off guard. That’ll teach me for not paying attention!
That’s one way to know you’re engrossed in the book. 😉 I thought the ending was an appropriate use of a teaser. The main story about the twin oracles is complete. But we KNOW more will happen with Sara and the Council, so the next book will be her next assignment. The author certainly left me wanting more, though! Did you get the short story?
Overview: I loved this book. It pulled me in from the get go and had me jumping through hoops the whole time I was reading. This is a fantasy, so you know the characters are not believable to a point, but OH BOY! do I wish they were! Armaeus is the first bad boy you stumble on. He doesn’t really seem too worried about Sara’s well being and for someone trying to get into her bed, I don’t think that’s the smoothest move. Then there is the Devil. Whooooo……’nough said. Lastly, there is a super hot detective from Sara’s past who may actually have her best interests in mind. I know the story was lots more than just the romance, but I can’t help but fall into the trap of my own making. *Hand laid upon my forehead in preparation for a faint* The next best point to the book was the plot. Sara is pretty much a one woman “A-team”. She has so much spunk and quick witted remarks that I highlighted quotes on nearly every page. Again, I LOVED this book!!
The good: There is so many facets to this story. There is the thieving of artifacts. There is the saving of the Connecteds. There is the twists and turns to the relationship between Sara and her client. There is the ulterior motives and illusions that are so well crafted they can only come from the Devil himself. There are so many little hints about the power players in the council, but never anything laid out in black and white. That is so much fun! Basically, the council needs to keep the balance between light and dark and does not interfere in saving people unless the balance becomes….well….unbalanced. *Ahem* Anyway, Sara is my kind of bleeding heart who has to save the world. Rock on, Sara!
The bad: I honestly cannot say anything bad about this book….. except if you want to talk about endings. Yep, you got it. Cliffhanger. Now, I have to wait until freaking October before I find out what happens next!! The story was fun, easy to relate to, easy to read and envision. The players follow the Tarot, so if you know your Tarot, you are farther ahead than me, but I catch on pretty quickly.
The ugly: This story follows a real life kind of crime of child trafficking. Instead of slavery, pornography or any of those other horrible things, the dark forces trade in abilities. Whether they use the child’s particular body part (like their eyes) for rituals, or they force them to work their abilities for entertainment, none of it is a lot of giggles. Thank goodness for Sara. Hopefully, she will make a difference! 3.5.
What I liked: I really enjoy some of the world-building in this novel. Sara and Father Gerome are working to save the world’s Connected children–children with psychic talent–from the predations of dark magicians who want to use the kids’ organs as components in ritual magic. At the same time, the Arcana Council is working to ensure magic stays balanced between the light and the dark — and dark must exist for there to be light. The conflict between the Council’s goals and Sara’s should provide fodder for a number of books. 🙂
I’ve always been a fan of Tarot, so both Sara’s use of the Tarot as a divination tool and the council’s structure being patterned off the Major Arcana appeals to me.
I also like how the author works in so much of Las Vegas into the story — the old strip, the new strip, the famous casinos, a wedding chapel, and crazy characters like the white cowgirl Dixie and the transgender Nikki.
What I didn’t like: I can’t say there’s much I didn’t like about this book; but, I did have to exercise my suspension-of-disbelief a bit. 🙂 First, two old and powerful characters being so smitten with a young, snarky treasure-hunter is a bit of a stretch, but we ARE dealing with fantasy here. Also, Sara’s background and skill as a treasure hunter is a bit questionable; aside from using her Tarot cards, she seems to fly by the seat of her pants a lot. There are two major events in Sara’s past that are hinted out throughout the book, but not really revealed in full in this first novel; and Sara has a big secret power that we don’t learn about, either. But in all honesty, the book was so much fun to read, none of these things really bothered me.
Conclusion: This is going to be one fun series. I’m giving it a 3.5 for now, but can see this becoming a favorite series quickly. Don’t forget to pick up the prequel novella, One Wilde Night, and be watching for Book 2, Wilde Card, in October.
Read our review of the prequel novella, One Wilde Night.
If you like this book…