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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For fans of Release Me comes a series of three enigmatic and powerful men, and the striking women who can bring them to their knees.
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.
Wanted is intended for mature audiences.
Praise for Wanted
“If you’re looking for a steamy new . . . series, Wanted is just the book.”—Harlequin Junkie
“This is one of the best books in this genre I have read this year.”—KT Book Reviews
“Wanted by J. Kenner is the whole package! A toe-curling smokin’ hot read, full of incredible characters and a brilliant storyline that you won’t be able to get enough of. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. . . . I’m hooked!”—Flirty & Dirty Book Blog
“J. Kenner has written an edgy storyline that will fascinate and keep you wondering.”—The Reading Cafe
“Suffice it to say, I was hooked in the first few chapters. It was hot, it was sexy, and it really shows that J. Kenner knows how to write in this genre. I can’t wait to get my hands on Heated, the next book in the series, and see whose hands get on whom. Enjoy!”—Eager Reader
“I loved this story! It had substance, lovable characters, and unexpected discoveries. And the love between Evan and Angelina was passionate, explosive, and utterly wonderful.”—Part of That World
“I don’t know if I have enough adjectives to describe the hotness of this book. . . . Julie Kenner writes a heck of a story and I am definitely a fan!”—About That Story
“J. Kenner writes a compelling . . . story about two people with many secrets. . . . Whenever Evan and Angie are together, the air sizzles with tension.”—Cocktails and Books
“Wanted is another J. Kenner masterpiece. . . . This was an intriguing look at self-discovery and forbidden love all wrapped into a neat little action suspense package. There was plenty of sexual tension and eventually action. Evan was hot, hot, hot! Together, they were combustible. But can we expect anything less from J. Kenner?”—Reading Haven
About the Author
J. Kenner is the New York Times bestselling author of Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. She spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge in her passion of writing. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughters.
Read an Excerpt
A Most Wanted Novel
By J. Kenner
Random House LLCCopyright © 2014 J. Kenner
All rights reserved.
I know exactly when my life shifted. That precise instant when his eyes met mine and I no longer saw the bland look of familiarity, but danger and fire, lust and hunger.
Perhaps I should have turned away. Perhaps I should have run.
I didn't. I wanted him. More, I needed him. The man, and the fire that he ignited inside of me.
And in his eyes, I saw that he needed me, too.
That was the moment that everything changed. Me, most of all.
But whether it changed for good or for ill ... well, that remains to be seen.
Even dead, my Uncle Jahn knew how to throw one hell of a party.
His Chicago lakeside penthouse was bursting at the seams with an eclectic collection of mourners, most of whom had imbibed so much wine from the famous Howard Jahn cellar that whatever melancholy they'd brought with them had been sweetly erased, and now this wake or reception or whatever the hell you wanted to call it wasn't the least bit somber. Politicians mingled with financiers mingled with artists and academics, and everyone was smiling and laughing and toasting the deceased.
At his request, there'd been no formal funeral. Just this gathering of friends and family, food and drink, music and mirth. Jahn—he hated the name Howard—had lived a vibrant life, and that was never more obvious than now in his death.
I missed him so damn much, but I hadn't cried. Hadn't screamed and ranted. Hadn't done anything, really, except move through the days and nights lost in a haze of emotions, my mind numb. My body anesthetized.
I sighed and fingered the charm on my silver bracelet. He'd presented me with the tiny motorcycle just over a month ago, and the gift had made me smile. I hadn't talked about wanting to ride a motorcycle since before I turned sixteen. And it had been years since I'd ridden behind a boy, my arms tight around his waist and my hair blowing in the wind.
But Uncle Jahn knew me better than anyone. He saw past the princess to the girl hidden inside. A girl who'd built up walls out of necessity, but still desperately wanted to break free. Who longed to slip on a pair of well-worn jeans, grab a battered leather jacket, and go a little wild.
Sometimes, she even did. And sometimes it didn't end right at all.
I tightened my grip on the charm as the memory of Jahn holding my hand—of him promising to keep my secrets—swept over me, finally bringing tears to my eyes. He should be beside me, dammit, and the swell of laughter and conversation that filled the room was making me a little sick.
Despite the fact that I knew Jahn wanted it that way, it was all I could do not to smack all the people who'd hugged me and murmured softly that he was in a better place and wasn't it wonderful that he'd lived such a full life. That was such bullshit—he hadn't even turned sixty yet. Vibrant men in their fifties shouldn't drop dead from aneurysms, and there weren't enough pithy Hallmark quotes in the universe to make me think otherwise.
Antsy, I shifted my weight from foot to foot. There was a bar set up on the other side of the room, and I'd positioned myself as far away as physically possible because right then I wanted the burn of tequila. Wanted to let go, to explode through the numbness that clung to me like a cocoon. To run. To feel.
But that wasn't going to happen. No alcohol was passing these lips tonight. I was Jahn's niece, after all, and that made me some kind of hostess-by-default, which meant I was stuck in the penthouse. Four thousand square feet, but I swear I could feel the art-covered walls pressing in around me.
I wanted to race up the spiral staircase to the rooftop patio, then leap over the balcony into the darkening sky. I wanted to take flight over Lake Michigan and the whole world. I wanted to break things and scream and rant and curse this damned universe that took away a good man.
Shit. I sucked in a breath and looked down at the exquisite ancient-looking notebook inside the glass and chrome display case I'd been leaning against. The leather-bound book was an exceptionally well-done copy of a recently discovered Da Vinci notebook. Dubbed the Creature Notebook, it had sixteen pages of animal studies and was open to the center, revealing a stunning sketch the young master had drawn—his study for the famous, but never located, dragon shield. Jahn had attempted to acquire the notebook, and I remember just how angry he'd been when he'd lost out to Victor Neely, another Chicago businessman with a private collection that rivaled my uncle's.
At the time, I'd just started at Northwestern with a major in poli sci and a minor in art history. I'm not particularly talented, but I've sketched my whole life, and I've been fascinated with art—and in particular with Leonardo da Vinci—since my parents took me to my first museum at the age of three.
I thought the Creature Notebook was beyond cool, and I'd been irritated on Jahn's behalf when he not only lost out on it, but when the press had poured salt in the wound by prattling on about Neely's amazing new acquisition.
About a year later, Jahn showed me the facsimile, bright and shiny in the custom-made display case. As a general rule, my uncle never owned a copy. If he couldn't have the original—be it a Rembrandt or a Rauschenberg or a Da Vinci—he simply moved on. When I'd asked why he'd made an exception for the Creature Notebook, he shrugged and told me that the images were at least as interesting as the provenance. "Besides, anyone who can successfully copy a Da Vinci has created a masterpiece himself."
Despite the fact that it wasn't authentic, the notebook was my favorite of Jahn's many manuscripts and artifacts, and now, standing with my hands pressed to the glass, I felt as if he was, in some small way, beside me.
I drew in a breath, knowing I had to get my act together, if for no other reason than the more wrecked I looked, the more guests would try to cheer me. Not that I looked particularly wrecked. When you grow up as Angelina Hayden Raine, with a United States senator for a father and a mother who served on the board of over a dozen international nonprofit organizations, you learn the difference between a public and a private face very early on. Especially when you have your own secrets to keep.
"This is so goddamn fucked up it makes me want to scream."
I felt a whisper of a smile touch my lips and turned around to find myself looking into Kat's bloodshot eyes.
"Oh, hell, Angie," she said. "He shouldn't be dead."
"He'd be pissed if he knew you'd been crying," I said, blinking away the last of my own tears.
I almost laughed. Katrina Laron had a talent for cutting straight through the bullshit.
I'm not sure which one of us leaned in first, but we caught each other in a bone-crushing hug. With a sniffle, I finally pulled away. Perverse, maybe, but just knowing that someone else was acknowledging the utter horror of the situation made me feel infinitesimally better.
"Every time I turn a corner, I feel like I'm going to see him," I said. "I almost wish I'd stayed in my old place."
I'd moved in four months ago when Uncle Jahn's aneurysm was discovered. I'd taken time off from work—easy when you work for your uncle. For two weeks I'd played nurse after he came home from the hospital, and when he'd been given the all-clear by the doctors—yeah, like that was a good call—I'd accepted his invitation to move in permanently. Why not? The tiny apartment I'd shared with my lifelong friend Flynn wasn't exactly the lap of luxury. And although I loved Flynn, he wasn't the easiest person to cohabitate with. He knew me too well, and it always made me uneasy when people saw what I wanted to keep hidden.
Now, though, I craved both the cocoon-like comfort of my tiny room and Flynn's steady presence. As much as I loved the condo, without my uncle, it was cold and hollow, and just being in it made me feel brittle. As if at any moment I would shatter into a million pieces.
Kat's eyes were warm and understanding. "I know. But he loved having you here. God knows why," she added with a quirky grin. "You're nothing but trouble."
I rolled my eyes. At twenty-seven, Katrina Laron was only four years older than me, but that didn't stop her from pulling the older-and-wiser card whenever she got the chance. The fact that we'd become friends under decidedly dodgy circumstances probably played a role, too.
She'd been working at one of the coffee shops in Evanston where I used to mainline caffeine during my first year at Northwestern. We'd chatted a couple of times in an "extra cream please, it's been a bitch of a day" kind of way, but we were hardly on a first-name basis.
All that changed when we bumped into each other on a day when extra cream wasn't going to cut it for me—not by a long shot. It was in the Michigan Avenue Neiman Marcus and I'd been surfing on adrenaline, using it to soothe the rough edges of a particularly crappy day. Specifically, I'd just succumbed to my personal demons and surreptitiously dropped a pair of fifteen-dollar clearance earrings into my purse. But, apparently, not as surreptitiously as I'd thought.
"Well, aren't you the stumbling amateur?" she'd whispered, as she steered me toward women's shoes. "With a shit technique like that, it's a wonder you haven't been arrested yet."
"Arrested!" I squeaked, as if that word would carry all the way to Washington and to my father's all-hearing ears. The fear of getting caught might be part of the excitement. Actually getting caught wasn't a good thing at all. "No, I didn't—I mean—"
She cut off my protests with a casual flip of her hand. "All I'm saying is be smart. If you're going to take a risk, at least make it worth the trouble. Those earrings? Really not the bomb."
"It's not about the earrings," I'd snapped, then immediately cringed. The words had been a knee-jerk response, but they were also true. It wasn't about the earrings. It was about my dad, and the grad school lectures and the career-planning talks, and the never-spoken certainty that no matter what I did, my sister would have done it better.
It was about the oppressive, overwhelming weight of my life and my future that was bearing down on me, harder and harder until I was certain that if I didn't do something to break out a little I'd spontaneously combust.
Kat had glanced at my purse as if she could see through the soft Coach leather to the contraband inside. Then she slowly lifted her eyes back to my face. The silence hung between us for a full minute. Then she nodded. "Don't worry. I get it." She cocked her head toward the exit. "Come on."
Relief flooded through me, and my limbs that had frozen in both fear and mortification began to thaw. She steered me to her car, a cherry-red Mustang that she drove at more or less the speed of light. She careened down Michigan Avenue, maneuvered her way onto Lake Shore Drive, and came so close to the other cars as she zipped in and out of traffic that I'm surprised her convertible didn't lose a layer of paint. In other words, it was freaking awesome. The top was down, the wind was whipping my hair into my face and mouth, and all I could do was tilt my head back and laugh.
Kat risked our lives long enough to shoot me one sideways glance. "Yeah," she said. "We're going to get along just fine."
From that moment on, I'd adored Kat. Now, with Jahn's death sending my universe reeling, I realized that I not only loved her—I relied on her.
"I'm really glad you're here," I said.
"Where else would I be?" She scanned the room. "Are your mom and dad around somewhere?"
"They can't make it. They're stuck overseas." The familiar numbness settled over me again as I remembered my mother's hysterical sobs and the deep well of sorrow that had filled my father's voice when he'd learned about his half-brother. "I hated calling them," I whispered. "It felt like Gracie all over again."
"I'm so sorry." Kat had never met my sister, but she'd heard the story. The public version, anyway, and I knew her sympathy was real.
I managed a wavering smile. "I know. That means a lot to me."
"The whole thing sucks," Kat said. "It's so unfair. Your uncle was too damn cool to die."
"I guess the universe doesn't give a shit about coolness."
"The universe can be a raving bitch sometimes," Kat said. She exhaled loudly. "Want me to crash here tonight so you won't be alone? We could stay up late getting so wasted that there's no way in hell either one of us will dream."
"Thanks, but I think I'll be okay."
She eyed me uncertainly. She was one of the few people I'd confided in about my nightmares, and while I appreciated the sympathy, sometimes I wished I'd kept my mouth shut.
"Really," I said earnestly. "Kevin's here."
"Oh, yeah? And how's that going? Engaged yet?"
"Not quite," I said wryly. I supposed we were dating since I'd slept with him twice, but so far I'd dodged the let's-be-exclusive conversation. I wasn't sure why I was so reticent. The sex wasn't mind-blowing, but it did the job. And I did genuinely like the guy. But I'd spent the last few months holding him at arm's length, telling him I needed to keep my attention on Jahn's surgery, then his recovery.
Obviously, I hadn't planned on his sudden death.
How horrible was it of me to think that now Jahn was gone, I had no more excuses to hand Kevin?
Beside me, Kat craned her neck and scoped out the crowd. "So where is he?"
"He had to go take a call. Technically, he's working today."
"What are you going to do now?" Kat asked.
"About Kevin?" Honestly, I was hoping to avoid doing anything on that front for the foreseeable future.
"About your job," she countered. "About the roof over your head. About your life. Have you thought about what you're going to do?"
"Oh." My shoulders sagged. "No. Not really." My job in the PR department of Jahn's company might pay my bills, but it was hardly my life's ambition, and Kat was one of the few people to whom I'd confessed that deep, dark secret. Right then, however, that wasn't a conversation I wanted to have. Fortunately, something across the room had caught Kat's attention, effectively erasing my lack of direction and purpose from her mind.
She stood slightly straighter and the corners of her mouth tilted a bit, almost hinting at a smile. Curious, I turned to look in that direction, but saw nothing but suits and dresses and a sea of black. "What is it? Kevin?" I asked, praying he wasn't heading our direction.
"Cole August," she said. "At least I thought I saw him."
"Oh." I licked my lips. My mouth had gone suddenly dry. "Is Evan with him?" I forced my voice to sound casual, but my pulse was racing. If Cole was around, it was always a good bet that Evan was, too.
Then I remembered what day it was and my pulse slowed as disappointment weighed down on me. "Isn't tonight the ribbon-cutting for the hospital wing Evan funded?"
Kat didn't even spare me a glance, her eyes still searching the crowd. "Not sure." She shot me a quick look. "Yeah, it was. You invited me before, you know, all of this happened."
I blinked back the sudden prick of tears. "Evan's going to hate missing this. Jahn was like a dad to him."
Beside me, Kat took a quick step backward, startling me.
"What is it?"
She dragged her gaze away from the crowd, then frowned at me. "I ... Oh, shit. I have to go make a call. I'll be right back, okay?"
"Um, okay." Who the hell did she need to call right now? That wasn't a question I pondered for long, though, because I'd caught a glimpse of Cole. And right beside him—looking like he owned the world and everything in it—was Evan.
Immediately, my chest tightened and a current of electricity zinged across my skin. Technically, I saw him first, but it was my body's reaction that caught my attention. Only after I felt him did I truly see him.
And what a sight he was.
Whereas Cole might be sex on wheels, Evan Black was the slow burn of sin and seduction—and tonight he was in rare form. He must have come straight from the hospital, because he was still in a tux, and although he was clearly overdressed, he appeared perfectly at ease. Whether in a tux or jeans, where Evan was concerned, it was the man that mattered, not the garment.
He had the kind of chiseled good looks that would have gotten him plucked from obscurity in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the kind of confidence and bearing that would have made him a box-office draw. A small scar intersected his left brow, giving the angel's face a hint of the devil.
He both came from money and had made his own fortune, and it showed in the way he held himself, the way he looked around a room, managing to take control of it with nothing more than a glance.
His eyes were as gray as a wolf's and his hair was the color of cherrywood, a deep brown that hinted at golds and reds when the light hit it just right. He wore it long in the back so that it brushed his collar, and the natural waves gave it the quality of a mane—which only enhanced the impression that there was a wildness clinging to the man.
Excerpted from Wanted by J. Kenner. Copyright © 2014 J. Kenner. Excerpted by permission of Random House LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Let me start by stating that I am a huge fan of the Stark trilogy. I would even go so far as to say its light years better than 50 Shades. So, when I heard about this news series, I was beyond excited. When I began reading, that excitement quickly turned to disappointment. I can't tell you how many times while reading this book that I found myself shaking my head and laughing at just how awful it is. There are no redeeming qualities to either the H or h. Both are ridiculously annoying and for Lina, she very easily falls into the TSTL category. I'm not sure how Evan is considered an Alpha. He is BORING! And his moves are so tame, its laughable. This is truly one of those times that I am extremely aggravated that I wasted not only good money on a book, but my time. I didn't even finish it. I couldn't stomach a moment more.
I love Kenner but "Wanted" doesn't hold a candle to the Stark trilogy. Poor character development. The story went on and on and on for the first three quarters of the book and then it picked up. I was getting bored and if it was any other author I would have not finished the book. I just don't feel the chemistry between the two. I was disappointed in this book.
Angie always knew she'd wanted Evan. What she didn't know was that he'd always wanted her too, but knew he wasn't good enough for her. She was a senator's daughter, he was the bad boy with a lifetime of secrets he could never tell her. Angie's uncle took Evan and his two best friends under his wing and treated them like his sons. Angie loved her visits to her uncle, knowing Evan and his friends would be there a lot. Her fantasies had only escalated with time, always starring Evan, but he was the boy her uncle told her she could never have. Shortly after his death, Evan tried to fight his feelings for Angie, but their long hidden desire for each other eventually emerged. I really liked this book and can't seem to keep my mouth shut when recommending it! The characters were well developed and I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting for that final moment of surrender between the hero and heroine. That was a little slow to happen for my liking, but I totally enjoyed the book. The supporting characters gave the story depth and made the book more interesting as they were important to the hero and heroine's development. That added to their sexual tension, which is so much more fun and keeps you turning the pages that much faster. Evan likes to be in control and he loved showing that side of himself to Angie. I was kind of liking it myself (lol)! I loved the ending and very much look forward to the next book in the series! Please keep them coming, Ms. Kenner!
J. Kenner introduces readers to a hot new trio in the first of her new Most Wanted series, Wanted. Evan, Tyler and Cole give new meaning to the phrase "bad boys." Mostly because in many aspects, they really are bad. They've dallied in illegal operations, and their motives in the past have been questionable. The FBI is sniffing around their business ventures and they each keep a lot of secrets. And, they all seem quite unbothered by most of it. Their methods have proven very fruitful - they're living the highlife, not wanting for anything. Except, we find out that Evan Black really does want something that he thinks he can't have. Angelina Raine has wanted Evan ever since laying her eyes on him at the tender age of 16. He, Tyler and Cole were her beloved uncle's proteges, and after she started hanging around her uncle a lot following the tragic death of her older sister, Lina spent a lot of time around the three "knights." It made her crush on Evan even more unbearable, especially since all three of them viewed her as a kid sister. Now, Lina is 23 and spends most of her life pretending. She pretends she's prim, proper and subdued. She pretends she loves politics as much as her sister. She pretends she really likes her boring FBI agent boyfriend. She pretends she doesn't still want Evan more than her next breath. And, then, she decides she's done pretending. She wants to fly. There was a rather melancholy tone over the whole book. It begins at a funeral. And both Lina's and Evan's pasts are full of tragic events. The chemistry between these two is palpable, and the constant denial of it is maddening and more than a little sad. The reader feels and knows that if they could just get over their self-deprecation and act on what each of them really wants, they could both find the peace and hapiness that seems to be constantly just out of reach. I loved the sorta spy-games element that's thrown in. It adds an extra level of suspense and danger. There are twists and turns that made for an exciting final 25%. I just love that, although J. Kenner writes ridiculously hot and sexy scenes, they don't flood the pages such that we lose the plot or forget the motivations behind what Lina and Evan are doing. There's a good balance of sex and story, and I very much appreciate that. I am very much looking forward to Tyler's and Cole's stories in the Most Wanted series (and hopefully, updates on Lina and Evan too!).
I really enjoyed the Stark Trilogy, and have been waiting for this book to be released, but it doesn't even seem like the same author. There are loose ends (which may get addresses in the next book) and other things seemed thrown together.
I have been waiting for this book for months and it definitely was worth the wait! Read it in 2 days, i absolutely loved Evan & Angie. Can't wait for the next one!!!
This book was hot! Agreat way to start a new series. It had me hooked from the first page. Looking forward to the next book.
J. Kenner did it again! If you loved her Stark trilogy you will love this book!!
Im a huge fan of the Stark triliogy and I thought this was book just as good. While it took the author the entire trilogy to finish telling us the story in the Stark triliogy, she did a fantastic job telling us the story of Evan and Lina. I was hooked from chapter 1 and I find it hard for me to get into a book within the first few page. This is one I could see myself reading again (along with the Stark books). I look forward to the next book in this series and love how the author is tying in all her charecters from her previous stories into her new one.
I’ve read a few J. Kenner books and while I’ve enjoyed them, they’ve never grabbed me like Wanted has. From the very first few pages, the mystery of Evan and the uncertainty of Angelina as she enters the real world was addictive to say the least. Well written characters, a wonderful start to a new series, and a rich secondary character set easily makes this one of the best new series to watch. Angelina’s much beloved uncle, Jahn, has just passed away. Just having graduated college and taking care of her suddenly ill uncle haven’t left Angelina with much time to plan her life, or decide which direction she wants to go. Her father is a politician, and wishes for her to work on capital hill. She’s dating an FBI agent, who doesn’t light a fire in her like her Uncle Jahn’s friend, Evan. Evan is as mysterious as the night. Angie has known Evan for years but has never really known him if you know what I mean. A student of Jahn, a lover of all things fine, and definitely not always on the right side of the law, Evan promised Jahn he would never pursue Angelina. With Jahn’s death, Evan can no longer deny his feelings for Angie and Angelina begins to see her infatuation with Evan may not be as one sided as she thought. Addictive is probably the best way to describe Wanted from the first few pages. I couldn’t get enough Evan and his total just alphaness. It was freakin’ fantastic. He may be an art thief, he may not, he may be under investigation by the FBI, he may not...but boy oh boy do I love him for being the bad boy that he is. The will she won’t she plays out beautifully and their first kiss will have you shouting yes! This book is so much fun! Swift moving with a total alpha lead hero and a fun heroine in Angie, I can’t wait to see what J. Kenner has in store for us in Heated. Evan’s two friends, Tyler and Cole, will make great characters in their own books, and I will most definitely be rushing to read their books. Secrets abound and I have a feeling they are only going to get better and a bit juicier. Who are these three men and just what exactly have they been up to?
Excellent book! It had a mysterious vibe full of intrigue and some seriously SCORCHING sexy times! I was instantly drawn in and wanted to know more about their secrets. Evan Black. Totally sexy and dominant yet caring and giving. The type of alpha-male I love. Angelina Raine was an interesting character. She was wound so tight, I couldn’t wait for her to unleash. Sometimes I felt sorry for her and other times she irritated me but by the end I really liked her. I really enjoyed Evan and Angie’s developing relationship and the pull they had on one another. All the questions I had throughout were answered and I thought there was a great build while everything unfolded. I thought this book was fast paced with just the right amount of drama to keep me invested. I like the other characters that were introduced and am looking forward to their stories. Evan’s friends, Cole and Tyler, seem like interesting guys and I enjoyed the back story of how they all met. I liked Angie’s friend Kat and the interest she had in Cole. Can’t wait to see where that goes – they get their own story in Ignited (which will be book 3). This book was seriously scorching. I mean really - cold showers required! I don’t know if I have enough adjectives to describe the hotness of this book – sensual with lots of heat… totally hot with a combustible build. It was H.O.T. The sexy times were woven throughout the story and just about the time I thought it was to much, it pulled back to the story, keeping it pretty even. It is erotica so I knew there would be lots of schmexy times involved - I'm certainly not complaining. ;-) This book was a definite page turner. I was happy with the conclusion even though it might have wrapped up a little too nicely for me. There was a great I didn’t see that coming moment with Evan’s family, I knew there would be something but I wasn’t expecting that. I was very happy with the epilogue. I am looking forward to the next two books in the series. Julie Kenner writes a heck of a story and I am definitely a fan! ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wanted by J. Kenner is the first in the Wanted series and features Evan Black and Angelina Raine. This book was good. I liked the dynamic between Evan and Lina, but I think I enjoyed the Stark series better. Don’t get me wrong this story has the hot sex and dangerous men-what more could you ask for? I just felt like the story was a little rushed at the end. It ended in a nice neat little bow and I like that-I just think that it got there a little too easily. FYI I have purchased and plan to read book two of the series.
Angelina Raine lost her sister when she was just a teenager. Wracked with guilt and keeping a massive secret from the world around her, she retreated into herself and withdrew from social interaction. But her Uncle Jahn, who shared her loved of art, managed to draw her out of that shell and allowed her to stay with him in Chicago whenever her schedule permitted. There, she met three boys Jahn took under his wing – Evan Black, Tyler Sharp, and Cole August. Tyler and Cole are like brothers to her, but Evan – Evan stirs in her a desperate passion that she has managed to keep hidden from everyone around her. Or so she thought. With her Uncle’s death, Angelina and Evan are drawn further together. Angelina has always been convinced that Evan only sees her as a little sister, but she’s about to discover that she has been very, very wrong. Angelina is an insecure young woman with a penchant towards kleptomania, a crime that fulfills some pent-up need to “be wild.” I didn’t find her particularly likeable. In fact, at times she came off as nothing more than selfish, spoiled, and rich brat acting out to get attention from her Senator father. I understand that there must be a tremendous amount of guilt over the death of her sister, but most of her words and actions came across as stilted and awkward, mostly due to her indecisiveness and lack of confidence. Evan is a secretive man, evasive but charming. As a rich man, he is used to getting what he wants. Except when it comes to Angelina. He made a promise to leave her alone that stretches all the boundaries of his skewed, but firm code of ethics. Unfortunately, this all falls apart in the space of a few days after Jahn’s death and Evan spends the first half of the book in a broody I-want-you-but-I-can’t-have-you attitude that came across as lame and boring for a character who is supposedly such a naughty badass. Thankfully the story actually picks up in the second half with Angelina and Evan succumbing to their passion for one another and a fun, little mystery playing out to a delightfully intriguing end. Other than that, this one fell a little flat for me. The writing style is great, but the characters and plot development needed fleshing out. I couldn’t connect with the characters and definitely didn’t sympathize with Angie’s need to steal things. Some parts were enjoyable, particularly the second half as I’ve already mentioned, but mostly this book left me feeling a little bored. Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] com
4.5 Stars Let me just say that Kenner writes some amazing dirty talk. So far all her men are supreme male specimens in and out of the bedroom and they all have amazing mouths. If there had been time I could have read Wanted in one sitting. As it was, I read until 3am then was forced to put the book down. Hey, even I need a few hours of sleep every night. Our hero, Evan Black was hot. So Hot I've already made him a book boyfriend. This book is full of good sex and even better dirty talk. Evan is a man bound by a promise. Evan may not be the most honest business man in Chicago, but apparently he's a man of his word...for a while at least. I understood where Evan was coming from and I appreciated his attempt at being honorable, but mainly I just really wanted them to hurry up and get it on. :) Not only does Kenner write one hell of a hero, she writes an awesome heroine as well. Angie isn't a push over, but she's another woman who is going through something. She's strong yet, just a bit vulnerable at the same time. It's her ability to raise above that vulnerability that made me love her. Just like Nikki in the Stark Trilogy, Angie felt very real to me. I was able to connect with her and what she was going through during the time of the book. A small part (a very small part) of me almost wishes Angie had played a little harder to get, make him work for it a little, you know? For what it's worth I pretty much loved all the supporting characters as well. Flynn was right at the top of my list. I could read a book with him as the leading male. Wanted is a little over 350 pages and the closer to the end I made it I started to worry that we wouldn't have enough time to solve the mystery and tie up all the lose ends we needed to. I was freaking out because we were running out of time. We did tie up everything that needed to be handled, but the ending did seem rushed. I would have liked more story on 'the plan'. It's almost anti-climatic because everything goes down without much issue. I would have liked to see the plan be more complicated and maybe with a set back or two. In fact I wish the ending had been longer in general. I wasn't done swooning over Evan Black before the book ended. I feel like everything that happened after the 90% mark could have been told in more detail and started somewhere around the 60% mark. That was were the meat of the story was for me. I wouldn't say there was ever a part where I was bored, but there were parts early in the story that seemed to drag a bit. But, what can I say, I'm an action girl. Wanted was definitely a top read for me this year and I can't wait to get Heated (book 2) on my Kindle.
This is a great book from the first yo the last page! I absolutely loved it!! I can't wait for the next book!!
4.5 Hot yet not quite FSOG stars When I dove into Wanted I expected lots of steamy scenes and typical alpha male action. Now Evan fits the bill for your typical alpha male. He is rich, hot, charismatic, dominant, and has the required tattoo. Angie is your typical, "I want someone who is bad for me" heroine. She is refreshing in that she did not overdo the back and forth "should I/shouldn't I" and just went for it. So together as a couple I liked them. The sex scenes are definitely hot but it took over half the book to get there. Interestingly, once there, despite being hot they were definitely more vanilla, but not like that is a bad thing. What I found to be surprising, was the little mystery/suspence that was throw in at the end. I think it helped to round out the story and found it enhancing Evan and Angie's relationship. It also helped to bring Tyler and Cole back into the story and I so can see one or both of them getting their own books. Angie's friend Kat was also enjoyable and I was disappointed that she wasn't in the book more. The best part is the book can be read as a stand alone gives you a HEA, so two thumbs up!!! Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
I just wanted to get to the end. I can't stop without getting to the enf of a book but this almost convinced me to try. Weak story line, characters that I couldn't bond with.... I am so dissapointed. Loved the Stark series! Unfortunately, this isn't even close.
Love this boock so much
After reading a few reviews I admit I was a little apprehensive about purchasing this book, but I was more than pleasantly surprised as I began reading, and as I completed the book. Its more than just your average 50 shades twisted love story. The story line is interesting and leaves you wanting more of the Angie and Evan love story. I though it was brilliant, and I know it is one I'll read over and over again.
I've become a great fan of J. Kenner's work. Her Stark series is one of my all time favorites, so knew I had to follow that "peek" of Evan Black in one of her Stark novels, and read about him on his own. Not disappointed! Love the fact she set this book in Chicago. I'm a midwestern girl and frequent the Windy City, including the Drake Hotel, quite often. She did her research on the city, except for one fact. I'll forgive her for making it sound like Evan could live on his yacht year round. Lake Michigan freezes over in the winter. Yacht living for any Chicagoan would be limited to summer /early fall. Would have loved for her to write more about about Evan and Angelina, but will hope for some glimpses into their lives together in the next book about his friend and business associate, Tyler!
One of my favorite series