Wilde Love is one of the most epically beautiful MM romances that I have ever read. Lucy Lennox has written a story that spans decades, starting in 1968 and going all the way through today. I read this book when it first came out, and I bought it on Audible and listened to it on my drive earlier this week. If you have the chance to listen to any of the audiobooks of Lucy’s books, I highly recommend it. Michael Pauley’s voice is amazing, and it makes the story 1000000% more intense.
So, this book is part of the Forever Wilde series. It follows a family, named Wilde, who live in Hobie Texas. The family is huge, I mean, huge. The patriarchs, Doc and Grandpa, who ran a ranch, had 4 kids, 1 boy and 3 girls. Bill, their son, had 10 kids, and I can’t remember how many are boys and girls, but most of them are queer. The Forever Wilde books mostly focus on Bill Wilde’s boys, but a cousin and a friend of the family sneak through. This book, though, doesn’t follow the boys. It follows Doc and Grandpa from the first time they meet until now.
It starts in Vietnam, where Major Weston Marian is a medevac helo commander. He’s one of the guys that would rush to injured people and take them to the hospitals on base or the MASHs. One day, he meets Liam Wilde, green lieutenant and brand new medic, and thinks that Liam is the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. The problem is that it’s in the late ’60s and he’s in the military, and being out then would’ve meant a dishonorable discharge at best, and being beaten within a centimeter of his life at worst. So, he hides his attraction to Liam, and becomes the man’s friend. It helps that Liam is married with kids. Eventually, Liam and Major end up as part of a permanent team on a helicopter, and worked together as part of a team for quite a while.
But, as it does, life and team move on. Major rotates home, to a base in TX, not far from Hobie, actually. Doc makes it home and drags Major home to the ranch, where he meets Liam’s wife Betsy, their kids, and both sets of parents. West ends up being basically adopted by everyone, because he’s pretty awesome.
There’s so much more than what I’m going into here, including a lot of pain, emotional and physical. There’s also so much love and humor. You get to see through the eyes of a gay man during a time when being gay was enough to get you arrested. I mean, this happened a year before Stonewall and the birth of the Pride movement. Plus, you add in the stuff about Vietnam in the beginning and all the social upheaval of that. There’s just a lot of changes that happen while the book goes on. Lucy doesn’t document each and every change and say oh, this change, that change, and the other change, but what you do see is how the changes affect the main characters and their families.
I know that I am not doing Doc and Grandpa justice. They are an amazing couple and great characters on their own. They love each other fiercely. They love their children and grandchildren. Doc and Grandpa would do just about anything they had to for someone they love. That’s just the people that they are. Being near their love story is like standing next to a bonfire on a cold night. It gives you light and warmth and it makes you feel better and like things are all right in the world. It truly is one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read.
Part of what makes this story so great is Betsy. She is an incredibly loving and generous woman and she puts her definite stamp on the whole book.
Oh Betsy, sweet Betsy. Poor sweet Betsy. But without her, I don’t think anything else would’ve been as possible as it was.
OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, really. Happy reading!