“Wild Hearted” is a short, intense train ride of a novel that takes you effortlessly into its story of a seemingly unredeemable inner-city crime lord and the woman he falls in love with. The pace is fast, and the characters colorful. More so than other romance fiction, “Wild Hearted” has a very dark, noir quality — of gritty crime, tough inner-city neighborhoods, hurt people and broken dreams…..it does not soft-pedal this atmosphere to let the protagonists (Tomor and Luz) fall in love. In fact, the ending is not the usual “and then everything was all flowers and roses”, but leaves the reader in a dark place, without diminishing the character’s complexity or challenges.
The ending is open and ambiguous enough that it is not hard to imagine a sequel or two, continuing the twists and turns of this story.
It is easy to imagine “Wild Hearted” filmed in black and white, with long deep shadows and darkened streets….it’s a very bracing change from the typical character romance. Author Lea Bronsen is very talented, and has a keen eye for detail. I look forward to reading more of her fiction.