Monday, May 25, 2020

Book Review for Known & Wanted by Wendy Burke....

Zoe Zimmerman wants to stay out of the spotlight, but years in media and her iffy choices in men has made that a difficult task. Jilted, heartbroken and left in the dust by those she thought loved her, she’s excited and terrified with a gift from her best friend, a 1Night Stand encounter. She hopes to find a connection and a weekend of no-strings-attached adult fun with a man who admires her for who she is and not her past.
Eli Martin is well-known and well-liked. He’s accustomed to taking care of people—his three children, the residents of Birch County as elected sheriff, and anyone else who may need a helping hand. Regardless of his good looks and stunning personality, his high-profile position means the widower can’t go trolling for a night of sex. When a 50th birthday present from Madame Eve arrives, Eli is greeted with the perfect opportunity to salve his lonely heart.
What neither Eli or Zoe expect is to meet one another—although their jobs provided opportunities for corresponding and phone-flirting for nearly a decade, they’ve never met in person. Will Madame Eve’s magic do its trick or will Zoe’s insecurities and a bullet end it all before they realize they’re known and wanted…and in love.


Fans of mature couples will find themselves rooting for the main couple of Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand as they try to make a future by moving on from their painful pasts.  For Sheriff Eli Martin he’s moving on from widowhood while newswoman Zoe Zimmerman is left dealing with low self-esteem and dangerous obsessions courtesy of a string of losers.  For ten years Zoe and Eli have made a connection through their daily phone calls but the time has come where they both want more in an erotically-charged weekend getaway full of secrets being revealed as well as scorching encounters and moments of tenderness.

Eli’s a delicious hero with a kind heart and a deep-seated loyalty to friends and family.  The life he once had with his deceased wife is a precious memory but he’s clearly ready for more as he doggedly pursues Zoe throughout their weekend together.  He’s self-assured around her as he gently pushes her to open up, pushes her to be honest with her feelings, and it leads to a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  Eli’s a sexy beast who all the ladies in town want, but he only has eyes for Zoe.  While Eli projects an air of confidence, Zoe’s a bit more cautious when it comes to men.  She’s self-assured when it comes to her professional life, but crass comments and actions from previous relationships have left her leery of opening up and putting her heart on the line in a long-term personal relationship.  I can understand those concerns as what was said and done to her was truly awful and it would scar anyone’s psyche.  Eli was just the man she needed to show her that there are decent men out there though and his tender but determined time with her warmed my heart.

With each turn of the page readers will find a sweet and sensual connection between Eli and Zoe, a connection that was a slow-burn over the years before, but that explodes over one weekend.  Eli is nearly perfect when it comes to heroes and I could drool over him all day long.  When it came to Zoe there was much to admire about her, but also a few things that frustrated me.  She didn’t hesitate to stand up for herself when an ex tarnished her career, but when it came to personal aspects she wasn’t as forceful in demanding respect.  She also seemed to have a radar for finding losers as her past is littered with them.  A dramatic event at the end of the story also revolves around Zoe and seemed to come out of nowhere, but it served a satisfying purpose in opening her eyes to what’s truly important.  Alongside this appealing, and easily relatable main couple, was a cast of equally entertaining secondary characters like Eli’s children and his second-in-command who has a heroic moment of his own in this story.  On a whole this was a quick yet satisfying read that gave me an afternoon full of decadent delights.  This story may be short when it comes to word count, but it was definitely full of warm fuzzies and sizzling encounters that have me longing to return to these characters in the future.

My rating for this is a B+/A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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