Wildest Hearts – Book Review
By: Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Pocket Books
Copyright: 1993, ISBN: 
Reviewed by: Leslie Yau, May 1, 1995
Summary: Love and romance contemporary style with corporate business as the backdrop.
Republished from Crushies Book Reviews – Volume II Issue No. 1
Oliver Rain has the reputation of being a dangerous, lone wolf. Things either get done his way or not done at all. He owns a successful business in the Pacific Northwest, gets around in a luxury limousine, lives in an elegant penthouse on the twenty-sixth floor. If that’s not enough, he also has a bodyguard, Bolt, who appears to be a combination of butler and chauffeur, and a good cook too. Rain is an interesting character with many talents.
The spunky, impulsive, soft-hearted yet strong-willed Annie Lyncroft runs a collectables store named Wildest Dream. She loves animals and especially likes to rescue the wounded ones.
Yes, you’ve guessed right. One contemporary romance coming right up….
When her brother Daniel is missing after a mysterious plane crash, Annie had to come up with a fast plan to protect the family-owned business, Lyncroft Unlimited, from being taken over by other competitors. Because she was Daniel’s only family and the sole inheritor of the business, Annie must do anything in her power to save the company. Anything. She decided to get help.
Since he was Daniel’s longtime friend and a major investor in Lyncroft Unlimited, Annie decided Oliver Rain was the man to help her keep the business running. But how can she get him to become a family member? Annie proposed a marriage of convenience. Oliver accepted it. But he had a plan of his own….one that would capture Annie’s heart. They agreed to a pretended marriage for six months and hoped for Daniel’s return soon. Annie never believed Daniel was dead. She just had to buy some time to allow her to find a way to investigate his sudden disappearance. There had to be something she could do to find him.
It may be a temporary marriage, but Annie has secretly hoped she could change the cold, calculating business man Oliver Rain into a warm, sensitive husband. It was definitely a challenge to teach Oliver a few lessons on improving relationships. But common sense told her that since the marriage was in name only and she expected it to end any day, it would be foolish to think about remolding Oliver Rain. She already anticipated a domestic war.
“……Oliver, I’ve been thinking about your basic problem in life.”
“I wasn’t aware I had one.”
“Well, you do. Your problem is that you can’t be bothered with explaining yourself. Also you’re a trifle insensitive. And you lack interpersonal communication skills. The end result is that you’ve acquired a reputation for being devious and mysterious and rather arrogant.”
“Is that a problem?”
“Yes, it is. Especially when you apply that approach to family matters.”
We have learned from experience never to underestimate a woman’s power. Even if she is your fake wife. Oliver was furious at the fact that Annie was invading every corner of his life. She was taking over, interfering in his personal matters, involving herself in matters that didn’t concern her, causing him to change his life style upside down. If Annie were not around, he would have never allowed his sister, Valerie, to marry his enemy’s son nor would he want to end the old grudge he had with his enemy, Paul Shore, Valerie’s soon to be father-in-law. He wondered depressingly how a woman like Annie could have such a powerful impact on a man like him. He found it much simpler to deal with a multimillion business contract than to deal with his pretended wife.
What do you think of the story so far? Pretty predictable, isn’t it? What I found interesting about WILDEST HEARTS is that the two strong-headed opposites were almost like strangers at the beginning, had arguments on issues big and small, accepted each other at the end. They both wanted the marriage to become real. The story supported my view that the survival of a marriage is almost equal among individuals who have known each other for a long time and those who were brought together by fate and circumstance. What makes a marriage work is not so much how much time you spend cultivating the relationship before the marriage but rather how much devotion and sincerity you are willing to put into the marriage after it becomes a marriage.
Jayne Ann Krentz’s writing style is somewhat soft and mild, clear and very easy to follow. Most of her novels are about strong romantic conflicts in love-hate relationships along with some adventures here and there. I suspect her reading audiences are mostly women. What I don’t understand is why her characters are usually so incredibly rich. Not only that, the problems faced by her characters and the adverse situations they face are presented almost exclusively from the viewpoint of those of the upper class. You would think people of different social levels have the same problems when it comes to relationships. If you have nothing to do on a lazy day, reading WILDEST HEARS can be enjoyable. You can imagine yourself being the richest man in town, the most desirable woman in a man’s fantasy or. . . whatever you dreamed to be.