Wildest Hearts by Jane Ann Krentz
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: April 1, 1993
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 400 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Oliver Rain is a 37-year-old, inscrutable, hard-nosed businessman who has supported his family of step-mother, twin step-brothers, and two sisters since his father deserted the family, stealing all their assets. This tragedy occurred when Oliver was only 21 years old, his half-brothers were toddlers, and his sisters teenagers. Oliver immediately surrendered his dream of being a botanical research scientist in order to recover the family's fortunes in the world of high finance that his father had occupied. Oliver is brilliant, sophisticated, loyal to his family's interests to a fault, and a complete introvert who trusts virtually no one. One of his few friends is technical wizard Daniel Lyncroft, older brother to kind, caring, and very quirky 29-year-old Annie Lyncroft, owner of a shop selling works of one-of-a-kind art that are as delightfully whimsical as Annie herself. When Daniel's plane goes down over the ocean, and he is presumed dead, Annie approaches Oliver and asks him to form a marriage of convenience with her to protect her brother's company. She and Daniel's pregnant fiance are convinced Daniel is still alive, and Annie desperately needs backup to hold onto Daniel's company until his return.
This classic, Krentz novel was originally published in 1993. It does not have as much of a suspense subplot to the main romance plot as later novels, but it does have a mystery--what happened to the heroine's brother? Is he actually dead? I also thought Krentz did a good job of not telegraphing the solution to the mystery.
This novel contains the very best of the attributes of a Krentz novel that draw me back again and again to her work: a strong, honorable, reliable hero with a bit of darkness in his soul from the wounds of betrayal in his past; a quirky but equally strong and independent heroine with a warm heart and a smart mouth who is more than a match for the hero; sharp, witty repartee between the hero and heroine; important friend and family relationships creating subplots that significantly bolster the romance plot.
This book formed part of my keeper shelf for years, but recently I have been offloading paper books, because they are such a hassle to haul around, and replacing them little by little with ebook versions of them. This book was one of my first replacements, because it is one of my all-time favorite romances. The ebook edition is well designed and edited, making it easy to read. Ideally the price would be lower, but given what book it is, I was willing to pay the price the publisher asked.