REVIEW: Riding Temptation by Jaci BurtonSaturday, October 11, 2008 1:00
Isn’t that cover gorgeous? I heard a lot about Jaci Burton’s Wild Rider series – especially the first book Riding Wild – so when the chance to read Riding Temptation came up I jumped at it. The characters are relatively non-traditional, and I’m definitely intrigued. (I’ve also always wanted to ride on a motorcycle…)
Jessie Matthews makes for an interesting heroine, but I’m not entirely sure what I think about her. When the book begins, based on her initial character description I feared that I was about to read a TSTL heroine for the next hundred plus pages. Luckily, that’s not the case. Jessie does make a few mistakes – due to her age (she’s 23) and inexperience, but she owns up to them and sees the error of her ways, which was very refreshing. She was a bit bull headed as for going after Diaz, but she had to. I liked that Jessie could hold her own, and was so pragmatic. I didn’t find her back story entirely believable or sympathetic, but it does give her added layers. Overall she’s a great girl and a likable character.
Diaz Delgado is something of a stereotypical hero. He’s big, bad, had a rough life, has a big chip on his shoulder, and doesn’t believe that he deserves or can have love. Diaz has been attracted to Jessie ever since she became an adult, but tried to tell himself she was off limits because he’s eight years older, and has known her since she was fifteen. Still, Diaz is an admirable man. (After all, he’s been noticing Jesse for the past five years.) Capable, caring, Diaz is quite an emotional person, but simply has a difficult time translating that and sharing his feelings with others. I like Diaz and was glad he pulled through in the end.
I really enjoy the premise of the Wild Riders and the plot. The setting and characters over all were also quite interesting. There definitely aren’t that many books out there dealing with motorcycle gangs and domestic terrorist groups. Ms. Burton definitely has something unique on her hands with a group of men and women who work for the government but even more importantly are bikers. The facts and attention to detail allow the reader to really become a part of the story.
As a matter of fact, the description of the motorcycles, the bike rally, and the numerous get togethers that occurred were some of my favorite parts of Riding Temptation. That, and the banter between the characters. It was fun to read their snappy dialogue and good-natured ribbing. Ms. Burton clearly conveys the character’s lighthearted and fun loving nature as well as the deep affection they have for each other.
However, the romance of the story was a bit flat for me. I found it slightly lacking, and predictable. I knew what the romantic conflicts would be from the start. The main characters also were rather one-dimensional for the majority of the book, which also contributed to the C+/slightly better than average grade. The developing relationship between Jessie and Diaz could have been applied to the characters of a number of books, not just their story. Ms. Burton also used a number of clichés, which made the story seem a bit plastic. However, the interaction between Diaz and Jessie was hot, as well as the initiation scene for the biker gang. (Although there wasn’t quite as much heat as I was expecting.) And the plot details are interesting.
I think Ms. Burton’s writing shows a lot of promise and I’m definitely looking forward to her other books, especially those in the Wild Riders series. I know Ms. Burton has a number of books coming out now, and I’d really like to do a comparison reading. Fans of the Wild Riders will likely enjoy this book a lot.
He’s a biker working undercover for the Feds. She joined the Wild Riders for reasons of her own. Together, they’re burning up the asphalt and tearing headlong into danger and passion…
Naked under leather.
Ever since runaway Jessie Matthews teamed up with the gang of special ops bikers, the Wild Riders have thought of her as their kid sister. Except for Diaz Delgado. Over the past few years he’s been watching the budding of a ripe young woman. Jessie’s glad somebody finally sees her for who she is—and she’s thrilled it’s Diaz. His dark good looks and killer body have tempted her since day one.
Diaz’s unbrotherly urges have been hard to fight but the last thing he’d want to do is hurt Jessie and break up the gang. But when they both go undercover to infiltrate a group of killer survivalists, he knows it’ll be hard to keep his distance—especially when the mission takes a risky turn. Now Diaz has no choice but to open himself up to the one woman who may be strong enough to take him on.
Read an excerpt here.