Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hero: William Sanchez Travers
Heroine: Annie Parrish
Date of Publication: December 10, 2008
Started On: February 26, 2011
Finished On: March 7, 2011
Jungle-trek themed romances are one of my favorite tropes in the world of romance. I got off this recommendation from my friend Jill on Goodreads who was wonderful enough to give me a huge list of jungle-trek themed romances which we both seem to love. River of Eden is my first novel by Glenna McReynolds and according to FictionDB the last of her published books as well.
River of Eden takes us through the steamy jungles of the Amazon where fact and myth submerge, where evil lurks in every deep and dark shadow that the jungle and its surrounding river harbors. Dr. Annie Parrish aka Amazon Annie had been a world renown botanist until the unfortunate Woolly Monkey incident which had labeled her persona non grata. Originally from Wyoming, Annie had been chased out of Brazil after having being captured and tortured in a Brazil jail until Dr. Gabriela Oliveira had pulled all imaginable strings to rescue her.
Annie returns once again, this time to garner more samples of the incredible orchid that she had found on her last trip, before her run in with the evil Corisco Vargas who has his own evil plans to conquer the wild jungle and its riches for himself once and for all. Corisco has been waiting for Annie, the one who got away from his clutches the 1st time round.
To make the required trip upriver to Santa Maria, Annie hires Dr. William Sanchez Travers, a Harvard trained ethnobotanist, until 3 years ago William had forsaken academia and his fieldwork and disappeared into the Amazon rain forest. Six feet tall, rangy in build with wild sun-streaked hair and a face that had set more than one coed on the path of a botany degree, Will is rumored to have lost it all and become a drunken half of a man who ferries scientists like herself upriver to pass his days.
Every preconceived notion that Annie has of Will flies out the window as she begins to learn more about the complex man who reluctantly agrees to take her on his boat Sucuri without half-knowing the secrets that she holds very close to her soul. Annie who is skittish at best when it comes to men after her horrific up close and personal encounters with Corisco finds herself fascinated with how Will makes her lose sight of herself with their up close and personal encounters.
Annie doesn’t feature into any of Will’s plans, Will who has been biding his time in fulfilling his end of a deal that has bound him to the jungle and its people for the past 3 years. Annie tempts him beyond anything Will has encountered before and when his protective and possessive instincts flare to life around a woman who is a mass of contradictions herself, Will is helplessly drawn into plans fate has in store for them, a plan that lands them right into the center of execution of Corisco’s evil plans.
Though I found myself a little bit impatient with the pace of the story at the beginning, things began to turn around once the trip aboard Sucuri took underway. Both Annie and Will’s characters are interesting ones, each carrying a whole lot of secrets with them, and each surrounded by the mystiques that cloak the Amazon and its tribes which lend an interesting facet to the story. Let me not forget the romance between Will and Annie, and how it drew me in as Will and Annie seduce more than just their surface emotions, but end up coming together as one and combining their lives together, once and for all.
All in all an entertaining read recommended for those who love a romance between two endearing people in the midst of a jungle adventure which gets its extra richness from the mystique surrounding the whole tale from beginning till end.
I leave you with a little spoiler, the scene which comes after the very erotic hammock smexing scene, where Will realizes that he has fallen completely for his Amazon Annie.
Good God, he thought, a tired grin spreading across his face. They were a long way from a first-class hotel suite with hot towels, clean sheets, and room service, but she was reminding him of all the luxuries he’d been so long without, and of a luxury he’d never had.
Her, with her tough-girl reputation, her Israeli rifles, and the softest mouth he’d ever kissed. He hoped like hell she didn’t hate him in the morning when she realized what had happened, because he was afraid he’d fallen in love in a hammock.