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Wild & Sweet by Rhenna Morgan
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Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

I don’t usually read novels by the same author so close together because I start to see the style patterns more than the stories, but I enjoyed Rough & Tumble so much I wanted more time in that world. First, a correction: Just because Jace, the male lead in Rough & Tumble, rode a motorcycle, as do others in the Haven Brotherhood, this is not a biker gang as I supposed. It has a lot of the same markers, but is its own creation, or rather that of Jace and Axel. The common link between the brothers is more complicated than simply a love of motorcycles, and involves seeing to the heart of a potential brother to learn whether they are a product of their rough circumstances or capable of growing beyond that beginning if given the necessary support.

You might not have needed the above, but it cuts to the core of why these novels appeal to me so much. It’s about rising above harsh experiences, but the stories are specifically focused on success because of support and emotional nourishment rather than the lone hero. While the “lone wolf” concept has its appeal, I’m definitely more of a pack creature…as are wolves, oddly enough. There’s that and the almost Arthurian tale feel of might doesn’t mean right.

Anyway, Wild & Sweet is another great story with people who feel real, are facing serious challenges, and have a gut-level understanding of what it means to be a family. Like Jace and Viv, Zeke and Gabrielle have not had easy lives. Their pasts trained them to keep apart and avoid risks, and they’ve had little reason to fight that inclination.

Though Zeke has been a member of the brotherhood for years, in many ways, the pursuit of honor and justice–sometimes despite the law–has increased his wariness where outsiders are concerned. Add to that his hair-trigger temper along with an inability to tolerate any form of bullying, whether or not he’s the target, and close relationships outside of the Haven Brotherhood are not in the picture.

Gabrielle, or Gabe as she prefers to be called, is shy to a fault due to a combination of her mother, school bullying, and a social anxiety disorder. She’s a talented mechanic and a mother hen to those she lets into her circle, but the people she’s comfortable around are either family or largely senior citizens. Zeke–sexy, wealthy, and a doctor–could not possibly be interested in a grubby mechanic, or so she believes.

However, that Zeke is a doctor is key to how he helps her learn to manage her social anxiety, and for him, their differences are irrelevant. The first moment he saw Gabe, after she’s injured when foiling a robbery, he knows she grounds him in a way he never expected to find. Sure, it might be love at first sight, but neither of them is willing to recognize that pull easily, and their involvement is nothing but complications, the biggest being how the brotherhood has been assessing her brother Danny for acceptance. Zeke doesn’t want to mess with Danny’s chances, or anger the man he brought in for consideration, but he can’t stay away from Gabe. Then there’s her black and white view of things when the brotherhood doesn’t always toe the line.

There is serious character growth here, and some amazing life lessons, even delivered by minor characters like April (a perfect example of Gabe’s struggle to overcome her anxiety). The sex is explicit and detailed, and this one slipped just over the edge into risque territory, but their encounters are well written and caring in all the right ways.

Yes, the women in the series so far have been damsels in distress, trapped by financial or social troubles, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less capable or strong. It just means they end up in circumstances where a brotherhood of those with a wide range of talents is necessary to pull them clear. The women don’t sit back and let it happen, either. They are active participants in the process, sometimes much to the annoyance of their male counterparts in all of the best ways.

Wild & Sweet also shares the layered stories of the first, but the plots are so different, I had no difficulty reading the two so close together. In this book, there’s Zeke and Gabe’s maturing relationship, Gabe’s struggle with her social anxiety, and the story behind the break-in she interrupted, while Danny’s story, which began in Rough & Tumble as a minor side thread, is a powerful secondary tale intertwined with everything else going on. It also allows for a better understanding of the brotherhood itself, since Zeke provided a non-founder perspective.

If you are into stories that demonstrate the bonds between people–family, friends, and loves–this series is a powerful example while offering sometimes harrowing, but always personal, stories. Rhenna Morgan has won me over without a doubt.

P.S. I received this novel from the publisher in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | Jul 3, 2017 |
skipped the first book and while I could figure out what was happening, it would've been so much better if I had actually read the first book. I'm never disappointed with any books by Ms. Morgan. I'm pretty sure this series will quickly become a favorite of mine. I mean, you can't really go wrong with a group of really hot alpha men. ( )
  amdrane2 | Apr 27, 2017 |
Wonderful life changing love stories like this are always a pleasure to read. Addressing real issues and overcoming them with the love and support of that one special person in your life always make a book more meaningful. That's the whole relationship between Zeke and Gabe in a nutshell. He is exactly the kind of person she needed in her life for her to overcome the damage done to her psyche in the past.

The Haven Brotherhood may not always stay between the lines but they sure as heck know when to claim ownership of someone and will go to any lengths to protect one of their own. Geez, we need more guys like them in real life.

I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from NetGalley for voluntary review consideration ( )
  Ash_P | Mar 29, 2017 |
A second in then Haven Brotherhood series and Wild and Sweet doesn't pull any punches, it's a great addition and we're introduced to sexy Zeke Dugan, a trauma Doctor and a member of the Haven Brotherhood. He's part of the Haven family now and he's also very handy when they've needed his professional help.
Gabrielle Parker is an unconventional girl, she doesn't have much in social skills, she's happiest working on an engine with a wrench in her hand, and she's good at it.
Life's good at the moment until she returns home one evening and disturbs someone breaking in, and she is hurt. Zeke, your friendly trauma Dr. checks her injuries and decides that's not going to happen again and the mystery of who's terrorizing the neighbourhood begins.
I really liked Zeke, he wasn't the usual club type member, I wasn't alway's sure how he'd react to situations. And Gabe had problems but was determined to move on the best she could.
A really exciting, action packed adventure story, developed well with intrigue and intense suspense.
A great story, I'm looking forward to the next in the series. ( )
  JulieD2 | Mar 19, 2017 |
Wild & Sweet by Rhenna Morgan
The Haven Brotherhood #2

Sweet, sweet S W E E T read…with a whole lot of Wild ;)

I loved the first book in the series and could not wait to read the second AND now I can’t wait to read the third…wonder just how long I will have to wait? There were two then eventually six and by the end of this book seven men in the Haven Brotherhood. What is the Brotherhood? It is a group of men who have chosen one another to be brothers of the heart – not necessarily of the blood. They are there for one another no matter what. If there is a problem – they will find a solution. If the solution is within the gray area of legality – they still just might go there BUT they never hurt innocents and anyone claimed by a brother will be protected. I love the premise, the brothers and so far both of the books.

Haven brother Dr. Zeke Dugan, Emergency Room medical doctor and adrenaline junkie has just come off a shift when his friend Danny’s sister calls – there is a problem – she has been hurt. Danny, Zeke and a few of the brothers head off to see what is what. Gabrielle Parker is leery of strangers and has quite a few questions after having her injury treated. Well, questions are and are not easy to answer and she is not the only one doing some questioning. Zeke has been poleaxed by this latest meet-up with Gabrielle. It takes him a bit of time to come to terms with his feelings but then he is all in and the story takes off with activities, dates, meeting of brotherhood members and more. Add into the plot some nefarious and deadly characters, and things get a wee bit tense for a chapter or so. By the end all is well, a new brother has been added and a woman has been claimed. I am EAGER to see which man finds his woman next! I kind of wonder if Gabrielle’s new friend might end up with one of the guys or if she was just there to become a friend of Gabrielle’s.

Did I like the book? Yes
Will you like the book? I definitely think you will
How was Zeke as a book boyfriend? Dreamy
What did I think of Gabrielle? She was unique, a fighter and willing to grow
Do I want to read more in the series? No doubt about it – I do indeed

Thank you to NetGalleyl and Carina Press for the ARC. This is my honest review.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Feb 24, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 133566131X, Mass Market Paperback)

Live hard, f*ck harder and follow only their own rules. Those are the cornerstones the six men of the Haven Brotherhood live and bleed by, refusing to conform to society's expectations, taking what they want and always watching each other's backs. 

Zeke Dugan is not a man who walks the straight and narrow. He may have sworn an oath as a trauma doc, but he has zero problem leveraging his medical skills outside a hospital if it means giving the Brotherhood—the group of men he calls family—an advantage. Blood before business. All that changes when shy Gabrielle stumbles into his life and ignites his protective instincts. 

Mechanic Gabrielle Parker prefers the complexities of an engine over men. Her life wasn't always quiet and well-ordered, but now that it is, she finds peace in the solitude. When a robbery in her neighborhood forces her out of her safe bubble, she never fathoms that a dangerous, cocky trauma doctor will fix more than her injuries. 

Zeke doesn't play by the rules that Gabrielle follows but knows that he's exactly what she needs in her life. He'll show her the fierce and uncompromising protection that comes from belonging to a man like him. 

When tension outside the Brotherhood threatens Gabrielle, Zeke will do anything to keep her safe, and damn the consequences. No one will hurt his woman, even if it means putting the very men who saved his life at risk.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:33:45 -0500)

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