Wild Kingdom – Deanna Ashford
I wasn’t aware that there was a prequel to this book before I read it, and I didn’t notice anything amiss, so it obviously doesn’t detract anything from the story. Wild Kingdom works perfectly well as a standalone book, but with hindsight, there were hints at some of the characters having a dark and intriguing past, so I’ll definitely be getting hold of the other book, Savage Surrender. And I’d definitely be happy to read follow on books from this one, too!
Wild Kingdom is set in a mythical land where many kingdoms are at war, and the main characters in this book have all been involved in one way or another. The action begins with Prince Tarn, who is struggling to drive out the invading army from his land and regain control. Then he plans to make his betrothed, Rianna, his Queen.
As always, though, the course of true love never does run smooth. As Tarn is fearful for Rianna’s life, he bids her travel ahead of him with his good friend and comrade, Captain Leon. However, Leon is enamoured with the Baroness Crissana, who was once married to the same man as Rianna. The man in question, Sarin, is now believed dead. The two women are mortal enemies, but Leon remains blissfully ignorant, and as the Baroness is travelling to the same place as them, he decides there will be safety in numbers. And so Rianna must put up with the company of her enemy.
The Baroness, better known as Niska, has no such problem with this. She now has money and power and intends to use it to her advantage, and wants to get her revenge on Rianna. She plans to do this by presenting Rianna to her half-brother in the north as a slave. This will please her brother greatly, and no doubt cause great distress to both Rianna and her beloved Tarn. The idea makes Niska very happy, as she wants to possess Tarn for herself. She has desired him since she first laid eyes on him and will stop at nothing to get her hands on him.
Without giving away all the plot twists and turns, the main characters all become horribly entangled in their situations, whether good or bad, and all are out for themselves. Sizzling hot sex is liberally peppered throughout the novel, though I did feel that the heterosexual scenes had considerably more description than the homosexual ones. I think they should have been given their equal share! It didn’t let the action down any as the point was definitely put across. But I think a little more depth and detail to these particular scenes would have been perfect.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and managed to finish it in a meagre two days, which is a sign of a good book! The sex scenes were kinky, the love scenes were intense, and the battle scenes were gruesome. Definitely a pageturner which I’d recommend to any erotica fan, especially if you like homoerotica and bondage scenes.