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Wild Abandon
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2006
Ronica Black has proven once again that she is an awesome storyteller with her new romance Wild Abandon. With her second published novel, she has crafted an erotic, sensual and well paced tale.

Black dives right into the plot, immediately creating tension between the two protagonists. Dr. Chandler Brogan is pulled over and arrested by Officer Sarah Monroe for exceeding the speed limit on her motorcycle. The battle for control begins with this scene, and the conflict extends throughout, capturing our attention with an emotionally charged story.

Both Sarah and Chan like their sex steamy, unencumbered and where each holds the ultimate power. During their repeated chance encounters, we experience this clash of wills and struggle for dominance while Black increases their desire and wanting. The author's imagery of fast driving, open roads, and the resulting freedom is analogous with the themes of sexual dominance and power and paints a vivid picture. The back story is seamlessly woven in and gives the reader a better understanding of who the characters are and why each must be in control. Black sets this apart by using italics so the reader is never confused. The above devices form the meat of Wild Abandon and turn this novel into a very hot and well written book.

Black is a master at teasing the reader with her use of domination and desire. Emotions pour endlessly from the pages, moving the plot forward at a pace that never slows or gets dull. But Black doesn't stop there. She is intent on giving the reader more. Wild Abandon hints at a plot twist early on, and while we know who it involves, we do not know what will happen, and how, until the last minute, effectively keeping us spellbound.

Black's first novel In Too Deep is a finalist for a 2005 Lammy and for two GCLS awards. With Wild Abandon the author continues her winning ways, writing like a seasoned pro. This is one romance I will not soon forget.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Erotic page turner that addresses tough personal issues

I wouldn't call this a romance so much a character study. A really, really erotic and sexy character study. The two main characters have some serious back story issues to overcome to be whole themselves before they can have a relationship. I liked Sarah from the get go and liked her even more as the story progressed. Chandler is a mixed bag. She is a therapist with an interesting specialty. A lot happens to her in this novel and some things she handles wonderfully and others it is evident she is very young. She makes some interesting choices in pursuing Sarah. I think they make a good couple and was sad the book ended when it did as I would have liked to explore them as characters longer.

From the publisher's website - Doctor Chandler Brogan's favorite things start with the letter S: Speed, Sex, and as she soon discovers when a cop pulls her over on her motorcycle for reckless driving...Sarah.

Chandler is a clinical psychologist who focuses on sexual dysfunction, but her professional expertise has never made her personal life any easier. She spends more and more time searching for the ultimate connection, and when she fails, she escapes on her bike. Officer Sarah Monroe enjoys being in control, so much so that she can't let down her guard enough to achieve the intimacy she secretly craves.

From their first tumultuous meeting, the two women are drawn together in a battle of wills and a fiery sexual dance that neither can turn away from.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 3, 2006
I'm fully convinced this second book from Ronica Black is enchanted by a magic spell. From the second I opened the front cover, I couldn't put it down. It followed me to my kids' piano lessons, then to their softball practice, and finally to my favorite reading chair with a glass of wine. I thoroughly enjoyed her first book, 'In Too Deep,' but it doesn't hold a candle to this one.

Black's talent is in the same class as authors such as Radclyffe and Kallmaker. She does a great job bringing her characters to life, giving them depth and dimensionality, personal histories, and possibilities for the future.

One can't help but feel Chandler's pain or Sarah's anguish. Both characters are likable and interesting throughout the entire novel. It takes a while for them to truly come together, but once they do the passion is intense and relentless. Black is a master at writing both explosive bedroom scenes and compassionate situations.

This is a wonderful lesbian fiction classic in the making... One that will be in my collection for many years to come. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2006
After reading Ronica Black's In Too Deep, I couldn't wait to get my hands on her second novel, Wild Abandon. The first was written so well, I anticipated another sizzling thriller. Black does not disappoint; however, this endeavor was strictly romance. And as romance goes, this one is hot! I have to start with that because that is how Black begins with Dr. Chandler Brogan in a hot steamy love scene with a latin lover. Chan is a psychologist who is trying desperately to find a woman with whom she connects. She does not lack lovers, only that one special woman eludes her. That is until Chan gets pulled over for speeding on her motorcycle. DPS officer Sarah Monroe, a highly controlled loner, pulls Chan over and threatens to take her in. After the encounter neither can stop thinking about the other.

This is what's interesting about the book. The characters that Black develops are really a lot alike. Both are strong, dominate female types. She describes Chan as wearing jeans, a cut off muscle t-shirt, boots and riding a Harley. And of course she is hot. Then there's Officer Monroe, tall, muscular, dark with blue eyes, and very tough and in control. At first I was wondering what these two were going to do with each other. There is no need to worry, and Black leaves nothing to the imagination. Did I mention that the sex in this book is hot? No femmes necessary.

Officer Monroe has a past that haunts her, a storyline that touches on the dark side. She must overcome her past in order to be able to accept all that Chan has to offer. But she has a difficult time with it, and as a result puts Chan through an emotional rollercoaster ride that both barely survive. On top of that, Black entertains us with several clever coincidences through out the story and an impending confrontation between Chan and a unstable client.

The story is written well and the characters are refreshingly different, but the ending was unexpected and a bit formulaic, but it doesn't ruin the story. Both characters do things in the end that seem a bit out of character or different from what I would have expected, but I guess that's true to life in some cases. There is definitely a connection between Chan and Sarah and true to form, the girl gets the girl in the end no matter how we get to it. This is a great read, one with dogeared pages to keep on the nightstand, if you know what I mean.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2006
Dr. Chandler Brogan, lives life in a "go hard or go home"mode. She lives for the thrills. When she meets Officer Sarah Monroe, who unexpectedly and forcefully curtails one of Chandler's adventures, things do not go well.

When a chance encounter turns into a sexual one, both women find the controller has become the controlled. But which is the controller and which is the controlled? Which woman walks away in victory? Taken as a one-night stand, why does each find the other constantly in their thoughts?

Sarah reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation one evening from a co-worker. Imagine her surprise when she finds Chandler there and learns exactly what the `Doctor' part of Chandler's name means. Her mind rushes to digest the information even as her body reminds her of their encounter. Chandler is just as shocked to look up and see Sarah. It seems that everywhere one goes the other is there. Could fate be trying to tell them something? If so, will they listen?

Chandler finally admits to a strong attraction to Sarah. Sarah, though attracted to Chandler sexually, cannot let go of something from her past. Though Chandler wants to help Sarah, Sarah won't let her? Why? Is she so afraid of what happened that she is willing to let a chance at love go?

In her first book, In Too Deep, Ronica Black displayed a talent for weaving a well written, captivating tale with dynamic and somewhat mysterious characters. Her second book simply sizzles! Wild Abandon is filled with intrigue, and a bit of heartbreak, and tells a terrific tale of how one person learns that inner strength can come from just learning when to lean on a friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 26, 2006
Unlike so many authors who falter after a great first book, Black has not faltered here.

Black has ably written two characters who bring a lot of baggage in the door with them. The question is whether each of them will be able to deal with their problems without destroying either themselves or their budding relationship.

The characters are well written and Black spends enough time with each of them to make them sympathetic and likable. While there no particular hint that the two may be seen again in future books, they are the kind of characters that any reader would be glad to see again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2006
Ronica Black's second book "Wild Abandon" is a sizzling romance with a dash of dark intrigue. Ms. Black has managed to yet again create a story that edges the dark, while making sure we are all sizzling hot reading her creative scenes of erotica. I loved "In Too Deep" and this romance novel does not disappoint!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2007
This book features two emotionally stunted characters looking to find meaning outside of their usual casual (and abundant) sexual encounters. I found the plot somewhat unbelievable in the way they kept just running into each other until they could no longer avoid a relationship, but it did keep my interest.

In my opinion, Ronica's writing is a cut above most of the gay authors I've read, and I found her book to have an entertaining and erotic storyline.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2007
This is the 1st book that I have read by Ronica Black. The two main characters are so similar in some of thier actions I found myself having to look back to see which one was speaking. However, I did enjoy the characters and the development. If there were a sequel to this I would read it just to see where the characters have gone. This is a good summer time (or wish it were summer) book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2006
Dr. Chandler (Chan) Brogan, an adventurous emotionally charged sex therapist meets a reserved control freak cop, Officer Sarah Monroe, who pulls her over for speeding in the satisfying and steamy romance between two women who are destined to be together despite their painful pasts. A literary award finalist for Lambda and Golden Crown for her debut novel, "In Too Deep," Ronica Black has once again given her fans another riveting novel, "Wild Abandon."

After a negative experience with a past girlfriend, Chan goes from one casual sexual encounter to another - that is when she's not riding her bike with wild abandon because, "Next to speed and the need for that adrenaline rush, sex did top her list" (p. 30). Chan is a psychologist but that doesn't mean she has control over her own issues. The first time Chan sees Sarah the attraction is purely physical and her fantasy complete. Surprisingly, Chan finds she doesn't want another fling but perhaps something more. It's refreshing and yet Sarah makes it difficult for them to build a relationship.

"[Sarah] had worked hard to build a nice life for herself. A tidy, comfortable apartment, a great job, and attainable goal with the FBI. And no one to share it with" (p. 57). She manages to keep her raw emotions in check and remain detached in order to forget her tumultuous childhood. That is until she meets Chan. No matter how many times Sarah runs away, she cannot get Chan out of her mind. Sarah even avoids opening up to her one and only friend, fellow cop Dave Houston. Dave asks for nothing but friendship in return but it is still hard for Sarah to trust anyone.

Chandler also has trouble with trust and commitment but she feels compelled to help Sarah get over her angst. Can these two women, both bogged down with emotional baggage, ever connect the way they are meant to be together?

"Wild Abandon" has the key elements for a powerful romance. The dramatic plot elements, the moving character journeys, and the passionate sexual climaxes are written with equal intensity. Black uses the right shot of adrenaline to achieve that edgy voice characteristic of both, her debut novel, "In Too Deep," and now "Wild Abandon."

I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend "Wild Abandon" to readers who thrive on hot sizzling sex, exploring inner feelings, fast-paced drama that keeps you glued, and a romance that fits all the criteria for happily ever after. What I love best about Black's writing is how easily I can get into the characters' heads and know what they are thinking and feeling. I can be them in my mind if I choose. It is great watching Chan's loved ones try to tame her reckless ways out of concern for her safety. I could live vicariously through her as she speeds along the highway or succumbs to the ultimate pleasure repeatedly at the talented hands and other body parts of Officer Sarah Monroe. And Sarah, so tough on the outside, so in control, and a total sweep you off your feet sort of gal, well, even with all her inner turmoil, cool reserve, and almost standoffishness at times, you just can't help loving her and wishing to be the one to make her pain go away. Don't miss "Wild Abandon." You'll enjoy the ride - it's wild!
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