Book Review: Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker

August 22, 2018 Book Reviews 2

Book Review: Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 4, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Built to Last, Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three

Ninth in the Black Knights, Inc. romantic suspense series set in Chicago and revolving around a “family” of covert operators disguised as a fancy motorcycle design shop. The couple focus is on Ozzie Sykes and Samantha Tate.

My Take

I have always liked Ozzie…that passion for computers and all things Star Trek will do that to a girl. Although I have to confess I had never visualized him as hunky as Walker describes him in Wild Ride…hubba-hubba, lol.

I do adore Ozzie’s T-shirts, and here’s one that cracked me up.

“A Vulcan in the Streets, a Klingon in the Sheets”

I like the idea of Samantha, but I don’t feel Walker’s description of her as an ace reporter. Doesn’t sound like she’s actually done all that much to earn that “ace”. And she sure does jump to conclusions! I did like the motivation Walker gave her for becoming a reporter, and I’m so glad things finally turned out right for her! That Ozzie…sigh…such a romantic…

The conflicts Walker created for Ozzie are perfect, and perfectly explains his on-again, off-again attitude. He’s dang lucky the ladies of BKI have got his back. And after Ozzie’s explanation of the difference between a nerd and a geek, well, I wanna be the geek.

Okay, okay, I finally got why Walker is mentioning all those empty loft-style bedrooms. You’ll get it too when you reach the end…no peeking! Oh, lol, all you parents will appreciate Michelle’s frustration with all the “new” words Franklin is learning, ROFL.

Walker is setting us up for Christian and Emily’s romance; they have plenty of snarky scenes with us able to listen in on their thoughts as Walker is using third person global subjective point of view — we’re seeing inside a lotta heads in this one.

That whole family vibe, the teasing, the caring, all make this a wonderfully cozy romantic suspense.

What I did not enjoy about Wild Ride (and why it got a 3.5) is all the whinging on about their issues, why Ozzie can never really be with Samantha, and the mess they made of their miscommunications. Oy. Although it was a slow and interesting reveal that Walker laid out for us as to why Ozzie is so frustrated with women. She sure had me wondering for the longest time.

The Story

Deep into her investigation of gunrunning in Chicago, Samantha Tate is furious to learn that Black Knights, Inc. is selling guns. All that sweet talkin’ and friendliness from Ozzie was a lie. And it’s all confirmed when he threatens to shoot her in the back when she runs from Red Delilah’s.

The Characters

Samantha Tate is an ace investigative reporter at the Herald Tribune, who’s been trying to get the skinny on Black Knights, Inc. for years. She drives a classic 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra that her dad had rebuilt. Donny Danielson is Samantha’s best friend, mentor, and competition at the paper. Charlie is the editor of the paper.

Ethan “Ozzie” Sykes graduated from Stanford and is a former navy SEAL who is a whiz on computers and all things hacking with a passion for Star Trek, heck all them space opera vids. Unfortunately, he’s depressed over what his damaged leg (Too Hard to Handle, 8) will do to his career with BKI. Violet is his custom chopper. Cindy Rutherford had been his dad’s girlfriend for eighteen months.

Black Knights, Inc. (BKI) is…
…a custom motorcycle shop owned by Becky who employs these “knights in shining chrome” to create rolling works of art. The shop is also a cover for this group of covert operators assembled by the president to take on the dirty jobs for him and the Joint Chiefs. Christian Watson, a former SAS officer who prefers fine clothes, is the only one of the Knights to eschew bikes — he drives a Porsche. Dagnar Zoelner gets a mention; he’s off tracking down the Spider in Europe.

Emily Scott is BKI’s new secretary (a whole month already), den mother, and all-around girl Friday, and a former CIA office manager. Red Delilah’s Biker Bar, BKI’s favorite watering hole, is owned by Delilah, a moonlighting forensic accountant, who married Bryan “Mac” McMillan after events in Hell for Leather, 6. Fido, a chubby Labrador, is Delilah’s dog. Peanut is the BKI mascot and fat tub of tomcat who likes to tease Fido. Patti Currington had been Dan’s wife until Hell on Wheels, 1. Jake “the Snake” Sommers and Michelle (she’s also Boss’ sister) are married with two little ones: five-year-old Franklin and eighteen-month-old JJ (Rev It Up, 3). Toran Connelly is one of four Chicago-born Irish brothers who work guard duty at BKI. General Pete Fuller is the head of the Joint Chiefs and their direct boss. President Thompson is their next-up-the-line boss.

Chicago PD
Chief of Police Lawrence P. Washington had been a Marine. Detective Curtis Carver is in charge of the murder investigation. Judge Maple wants more proof.

The Basilik MC is…
…a brutal motorcycle gang that does extortion and deals drugs, guns, and prostitutes. Venom, a.k.a., John George Peabody III, is the president of the MC. Crutch, a.k.a., Denis Cook, is his vp. Termite is the club treasurer; Hawkeye is the secretary. Bulldog is his road name, and he’s the sergeant-at-arms and enforcer for the club. And not too bright. Edward Savoy is their expensive criminal defense attorney.

The Black Apostles are…
…a notorious South Side gang led by Devon Price. Marcel Monroe is a newbie. Sheena had been his mother.

Gloria suggested that Janie approach Ozzie. Julia Ledbetter was the Secret Service agent who still gives Ozzie nightmares. Cheryl “Cheri” Mancini is an EMT. Victor Fisk is a killer. Colonel Raheem-al-Atrash had been a translator for a squad of US Army infantrymen in Albu Bali, Iraq.

The Cover and Title

Yep, that’s one bad-looking blond sitting astride his bike, looking to my right. The cover is primarily grays with that light gray T-shirt and the darker gray hoodie and a blurred-out gray background. All the better to show up the red banner angled in the upper right corner with the gray come-on. Just below Ozzie’s neck is the title in a distressed red, stylized flames licking out on either side of the “WILD”. Between the words is the series information in white while the author’s name is below that in a white fading into a pale pink with a white info blurb in between.

It’s a Wild Ride all right, as Ozzie and Samantha get all their signals crossed.

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