This post contains reviews of all the books currently available in the Forever Wilde series:
- Facing West (Book 1)
- Felix and the Prince (Book 2)
- Wilde Fire (Book 3)
- Hudson’s Luck (Book 4)
- Flirt (Book 4.5)
- His Saint (Book 5)
- Wilde Love (Book 6)
- King Me (Book 7)
- NautiCal (Book 8)
Facing West (Book 1)
I’m not usually one for kid-fic stories, even babies without much personality, but I’ve become a fan of this author and wanted to check out some of her longer series. Nico, West, and the entire town of Hobie, Texas, immediately drew me in. West is a little too perfect, but that doesn’t mean he’s one hundred percent happy with his life. Nico is a little too damaged, but he does the best he can when forced to confront the past he ran from long ago.
From the truth about Nico’s past to the reality of his present as the guardian to his baby niece to the truth about the role West plays in said niece’s life, multiple conflicts intertwine in this story. This book isn’t an enemies-to-lovers story, but Nico and West definitely start (understandably) on the antagonistic side. When they finally collide, it’s both sexy AF and poignant in all the best ways as Nico reconciles the life he left behind in San Francisco with the potential of returning to Texas. The perk to West being a doctor is that there are plenty of opportunities for him to back off as he learns more about Nico, but instead, events continue to draw them together. It’s less about West being perfect here and more about him understanding the realities of life even beyond the bounds of the small town he grew up in and returned to.
Lennox eases readers into all the Wilde clan characters in a way that never left me overly confused about who was who. I adore the family patriarchs and would love to read their own story one day. The best part of this being the first in a long series that I’ll have plenty of opportunities to check back in with West and Nico to enjoy their happily ever after together.
Felix and the Prince (Book 2)
Royalty in romance novels is one of my not-so-secret vices, so I had a lot of fun reading the second book about the Wilde clan. Most of this book takes place in Europe rather than Texas, but it still maintains the family feel for Felix that I enjoyed in this series’s first installment. On the surface, Felix and Lio don’t have much in common. It makes sense, then, that they’d fall for each other while in a position to share their true selves, unencumbered by external expectations. Unfortunately, the external crashes into their island retreat. Lio bows to pressure, and Felix recognizes the realism of why they can’t work as a couple due to that pressure.
This story’s external conflict is the same as what prevents Lio and Felix from living happily ever after. However, Lio and Felix both have family members who just want them to be happy. The question isn’t whether they will end up together, but rather how it will happen. That was the fun part of this book, even if it did come with more than its share of angst as the two men attempt the always-doomed “friendship.”
The story is not entirely one-sided, though. Felix’s experience in Europe helps him come to terms with the rocky relationship he has with his mother. In addition, Doc and Grandpa Wilde also make more of an appearance than I expected, and they continue to be quirky and delightful. Part of me expected all of this series to occur in a small Texas town rather than immediately leaping onto a global scale. But even with that change, Lennox stays true to the heart of what made me initially fall in love with this family. I look forward to continuing the next installment.
Wilde Fire (Book 3)
Wilde and Walker (Otto and Sean only when emotions are involved, because this might be a romance, but they’re still guys) have a love story for the ages. They become friends as kids, fall in love as teenagers, are cruelly ripped apart, and then live happily ever after when they reunite as adults. Except none of it is that easy or straightforward, and while I loved every moment of this book, be prepared to have your heart ripped to shreds as the pages fly by. Walker’s family’s attitudes are a stark reminder that the Wilde clan is the exception rather than the rule, especially in rural Texas.
This book overlaps with the previous installment in the series, a narrative style I love about shared-world romance series. Other characters already introduced also serve as an excellent support system for Wilde as he struggles with the realities of Walker’s life and return to Hobie. Walker himself borders that line of “too good to be true” when it comes to fictional characters, but that’s okay because I don’t think anyone less could come close to deserving Wilde.
The only overtly cliché thing about this book is that the subplot involves fires in a book starring a firefighter. However, the mystery surrounding the arson incidents is a legit page-turner that connects with both of our heroes. The conclusion proves that there are multiple ways to be a hero, and while I never really got the “sexy firefighter” trope, I’m making an exception for Wilde.
Hudson’s Luck (Book 4)
I did not expect to love Hudson nearly as much as I did by the end of this book. I have little patience with “gay for you” storylines, but Lennox handles that aspect of this book with care (especially since Hudson is, until this point, the only “straight” Wilde brother). On the other hand, Charlie was easy to fall in love with, and my heart broke along with him at the turning point of the book, when he figured he’d never see Hudson again.
Of course, that’s obviously not the case, as we drag our favorite Irishman kicking and screaming to middle-of-nowhere Texas to attempt to recreate the charm of a centuries-old Irish pub. He and Hudson must work together on the project, and for a moment, it almost seems like this “friends to lovers” story might verge into “enemies to lovers” territory.
Though this series is designed so that all the books can be read independently, it’s so much more fun to read them in sequence. By now, I’ve come to know the sprawling cast of characters even beyond the lovers introduced in previous books. The Wilde clan is out in full force in this book, and it’s not just Hudson’s biological brothers there to remind him constantly how hot Charlie is. The in-laws are in on it too. It’s not quite this (loving) teasing that goads him into more, but rather external events that force Hudson to rethink both his life direction and what he cares most about in it. Obviously, there’s a happily ever after to this romance novel, but the journey there, including multiple cross-continent trips, makes it all worth it.
Flirt (Book 4.5)
Stevie has been a fixture of the Wilde clan stories, so I was pleased that he finally got his own happily ever after. There’s a certain element of suspension of disbelief needed for this book because the “insta-love” is here, and it’s real. Stevie and Evan are polar opposites, but that just makes so many parts of this story all the more enjoyable (and quite sexy).
The external subplot of Stevie’s family situation is a bit darker, but it balances the romance aspect of this novella perfectly. And in any other world, Stevie might be too big for his small town in Texas. However, in Lennox’s hands, his escapes to Dallas are not an effort to outrun his home but instead brief interludes because he will always go back.
Why is this review all about Stevie? Well, Evan’s character development boils down to “See Stevie. Want Stevie. Get Stevie.” But in the sweetest, (mostly) unaggressive way possible. This book might be a quick read that lacks angst, but I had a blast reading it anyway.
His Saint (Book 5)
I continue to be low-key obsessed with all of the Wilde siblings, and this installment of the series was as fun and sexy as I’ve come to expect. Since meeting the sweet antique dealer next to the Fig & Bramble pub, I knew he’d end up being a Wilde brother’s love interest. Did I expect it to be the badass former Navy SEAL/current personal security expert (translation: bodyguard) Wilde brother, Saint? Absolutely not, which made it all the more fun.
Something hinky is going on in Augie’s life, despite moving to small-town Hobie, and he takes his sister’s recommendation of self-defense training. The sparks immediately fly between Augie and his new teacher, Saint, but there’s some entertaining miscommunication at first. This doesn’t stop Saint from exercising, er, professional concern regarding Augie’s safety outside of class. Nor does the trainer/client relationship keep them from some sexy encounters, thanks to their magnetic pull, even when both men continue to think the other isn’t as interested as he is.
Two external plots delighted me in this book. First, the mystery of who is targeting Augie and why, which was a delightfully twisty storyline. It involves multiple interactions with his crazy family, which is not as crazy in the good way that the Wilde clan is. Second, Saint is a twin, and we also get a sneak-peak into the offscreen romance between his sister and her love interest. Lennox is excellent at furthering previous heroes’ love stories, and I had so much fun being happy for multiple Wilde siblings in this book.
Finally, the connection deepens once again between the Wilde family and the Marian clan in the other Lennox series I’m currently reading. I’d been switching between series, but now I need to sit down and figure out the release order, so I don’t accidentally spoil myself. And I’m 100 percent not complaining.
Wilde Love (Book 6)
Initially, I was not excited about Grandpa and Doc Wilde’s origin story. Even when reading romance novels, when you know the happily ever after is inevitable, it is different from reading a story where you literally already know the outcome. However, Lennox brings Major and Doc to life through their first meeting, their time together in Vietnam, and growing closer together back in Texas following their military service.
The first portion of this book follows a medevac team in Vietnam, and Lennox does not shy away from that service’s reality. As the daughter of military and medical professionals (my mother was even an air evac nurse in the USAF), I have a soft spot for these types of stories. Your mileage may vary, especially if you’re here for love stories set in rural Texas rather than historical combat scenes (even if the events are necessary for the tale’s full context).
We’ve gotten hints of the full story throughout the books in this series, but obviously, the major (no pun intended) one is how Doc went from being married to a woman with four kids to raising those same kids with Grandpa. The story is both more loving and more heartbreaking than I could have possibly imagined. Lennox does a great job of including foreshadowing, so I had a pretty good idea of what was coming. I still cried a lot when the inevitable happened, and again when the two men were finally able to live their authentic life together. This book has multiple dark moments, but the pain/angst is definitely worth the journey.
I highly recommend that readers also check out Lennox’s Made Marian series for the full impact of the present-day ending to this novel. It’s a lot of books and even more characters to keep track of, but if you’ve been enjoying this series, the other will also hit all those sweet spots. As usual, this book also appears to overlap with events that will occur in the next book of the Forever Wilde series, and I’m excited to read King’s story. The Wilde clan still has plenty of stories left for me to enjoy, and I can’t wait to dive in.
King Me (Book 7)
Lucy Lennox wrote me a heist novel!
Okay, I know she didn’t write it for me, but I’m a sucker for heist stories. So, I was thrilled by this story’s premise, especially after the slight overlap of events in the previous book. The Wilde clan members have such varied skills and talents that, sure, international art thief fits right in. Even better, King is an international art thief with a conscience, so it’s no wonder that he and the FBI agent sent to capture him end up with sparks flying between them.
Not only does this novel feature multiple heists, but secrets abound between the point-of-view characters. This often irritates me when it delves into “unreliable narrator” territory, but Lennox uses a deft hand to skirt that line as she reveals just enough information to keep me hooked. She also does an excellent job executing the multiple external plots, which feature King’s brilliant revenge plot against his ex and the United States’ strange involvement in another country’s national treasure. The latter rings all too true, unfortunately, which adds an interesting verisimilitude to the novel itself. And, of course, no heist story is complete without the full crew—Falcon’s interactions with his minions are intriguing enough that I’d love an entire novel about them, too.
Honestly, I loved everything about this book, but we can’t forget about the romance arc. King bucks the alpha-male trend set by his brothers without ever giving up an ounce of his intelligence and charisma. He has plenty of scars from his introduction to his life of crime but hasn’t allowed it to damage him completely. Against his better judgment, Falcon sees through to the real King and gives him the agency to bring his full strengths to the team to solve the main external plot. The fact that they get closer along the way doesn’t hurt the sexiness level at all.
This book works fine as a stand-alone, so Leverage and White Collar fans shouldn’t hesitate to check it out. I promise you’ll want to go back to the beginning of the series, though. (And if Lennox ever wants to write the continuing adventures of King and Falcon, I certainly wouldn’t complain.)
NautiCal (Book 8)
As sad I was that this is currently the last book about the Texas Wilde siblings available, I still couldn’t wait to peek in on the youngest brother. There isn’t a ton of lead-up to Cal’s adventure, other than a few dropped comments about him doing the sailing/diving thing in the Caribbean in a previous book. It turns out that while Cal had the goal of settling in Hobie and living his dream, that went up in smoke when the original plan didn’t pan out. Now, he’d rather stay on the water away from home. It’s not so much a desire not to grow up so much as a desire not to be a disappointment compared with his older siblings and their wild (pun intended) stories and successes.
Well, he definitely gets his adventure in his book, and it’s delightful. Cal and Worth’s “relationship” parameters are a bit of a shifting target as the characters grow closer. It’s sexy, as expected, but also hysterical at times—the text messages between family members had me giggling, but especially when Cal tells 100% true stories about his family. One of my favorite moments, while still containing humor, was also one of the quieter ones, as Cal reaches out to his cousin Felix for advice on how to “fit in” with Worth’s set.
Luckily, Worth and his siblings are sweet as hell, and even the initial drama of exposing a cheater ends up unexpectedly resolving itself. Though the Wilde clan’s saga doesn’t entirely end with a bang (except, ahem, metaphorically), it is still an excellent addition to the series. I’m impressed with the variety of unique characters Lennox has developed for two massive families, and I look forward to either returning to Texas or encountering this batch in future books. For now, I’ll have to enjoy the nostalgia this book gave me of a Caribbean vacation and that this entire series gave me for my own amazing Texas grandparents.