Monday, September 21, 2009

Wildfire

Christyna Hunter
Wasteland Press (2009)
ISBN 9781600473241
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (8/09) 

Joanna Webb is no stranger to brute male force. She grew up with a father whose cruelty to animals was overpowering and who never failed to remind her that men were far superior to women. So she decided to dedicate her life to protecting wildlife and to forget about anything else, including dating. Her plan works pretty well until the day she runs into the hunky Ryan Stewart. The mutual attraction is immediate and clearly palpable. But any chance of further developments is quickly squashed when Joanna identifies Ryan as an enemy, due to the fact that he is utterly dedicated to his family's construction business, whose current project is the erection of a commercial building very close to Joanna's place of work, the Animal Conservation Trust.
 
While both Joanna and Ryan fight the lust and the loathing they feel for each other, they can't seem to stay apart for long. Their affair escalates quickly and virtually erupts in flames - just not the kind one would expect. Can they find a solution that would enable them to build a life together or are their differences insurmountable?
 
Christyna Hunter's "Wildfire" is a contemporary romance with a very relevant side-theme of preservation of nature. Although slim, this book packs quite a powerful punch. Transcending the mere romance, it discusses much graver matters as well, such as blaming oneself for things one could not have prevented, sibling rivalry, forgiveness, compatibility and many ways humans impact the nature with oftentimes mindless urban overdevelopment.
 
While I found the story overall appealing and nicely written, there were oftentimes huge time gaps that I felt needed more explanation or more backstory. At 144 pages, the book would not be overly long-winded even if the author added another 50 or 100 pages, and if they were written as compellingly as the original 144, I would have enjoyed reading them for sure.
 
I would recommend "Wildfire" by Christyna Hunter to lovers of contemporary romance, who will certainly not be disappointed by Ms. Hunter's latest offering. Endearingly infuriating hero and heroine, interesting supporting characters, fiery twists and satisfying ending make for a fun read anytime.