Surviving Demon Island

Riding Wild
by Jaci Burton
(Heat, $14, NC-17) ISBN 978-0-425-21931-7
Heat is Berkley Publishingís erotic romance imprint. Riding Wild definitely qualifies as an erotic romance if that means lots and lots of sex and practically no plot.

Lily West is a private investigator. She had been a Dallas police officer, but her career was restricted by her powerful, wealthy fatherís interference so she switched. Lily is on assignment outside a Chicago art museum in order to assess nighttime security.

She hears the sounds of an approaching motorcycle. Immediately, her thoughts flash back ten years to her teens when she fell in love with bad boy Mac Canfield, who took her virginity and left her, breaking her heart. She sees the biker enter the museum and emerge with a priceless artifact. She confronts him, but she loses her professional edge when she realizes her memories arenít playing tricks on her. The thief is indeed the same Mac Canfield who has haunted her fantasies.

Mac tells her that the artifact holds a vial with a deadly virus. When someone shoots at them, Mac jumps on his motorcycle pulling Lily behind him. They ride off into the night.

And they ride and they ride.

All of that takes place in the first thirteen pages. Any semblance of a plot doesnít reappear until the last quarter of the book. So what do Lily and Mac do for more than 200 pages?

Yes, thatís right: they have sex. Extremely explicit sex. In multiple positions in multiple places. You might think that Macís having broken her heart ten years ago would give Lily some second thoughts about getting involved with him again, but heís just as bad boy sexy as ever and sheís just as easy.

One weak aspect of the plot - there are no strong aspects - is that Lily believes she has to stick with Mac in order to retrieve the vial of virus and save countless victims. But Lily has only Macís word that the virus even exists, and she never questions it. What inspires such trust? One episode of sex ten years ago and tight black leather biker duds?

Character development is another element of fiction that gets minimal attention in Riding Wild. Lily has Daddy issues - thatís about it.

Eventually Lily and Mac ride into Dallas. There she will meet some of Macís hot associates, all members of a secret agency, Wild Riders.

He was tan, with surfer boy blue eyes and a full, sensual mouth that seemed incongruous with the rest of his physique.

Lily was mad for Mac, but Jesus, this guy was gorgeous.

ďYouíre in deep s**, Mac,Ē the guy said with a smirk, in a voice that melted her panties on the spot. Deep and oh so dark.

ďS*** my d***, Spencer.Ē

Lilyís gaze shot to Macís, but he was grinning. When she looked back at Spencer, he was, too. Okay, so that must be hello in guyspeak.

Thatís as good as it gets in Riding Wild. Itís possible that the Wild Ridersí hot beefcake will return as the heroes in future series, but itís hard to imagine that there isnít anything left that Lily and Mac havenít already done. At length and in graphic terms.

Those readers who want very explicit sex in their stories and donít mind sacrificing plot and character development to get it may be interested in Riding Wild. The sad truth, however, is that hot sex and a lot of miles on the back of a motorcycle get boring very quickly. Most readers wonít think this one worth the ride.

--Lesley Dunlap

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