Both are more romantic suspense than erotic.
"Nauti Siren" (Nauti Girls, 2; Nauti Boys, 8)
"Riding to Sunset (Wild Riders, 6 & last)
My Take - in General
Both stories are sweet enough with some violence and nicely written sex., but I don't think either lives up to previous stories in either series, hence the "3".
Lora Leigh's "Nauti Siren" is Piper Mackay's story with Jedediah Booker, a friend and fellow agent of Dawg's. Seems Piper is finally fed up with Dawg, Rowdy, and Natches' overprotectiveness and when the opportunity comes, she's gone.
I felt that Leigh was both reaching for an excuse to get this story over with AND, at the same time, breaking out of the usual issues with new troubles. I know, contradictory. I liked that Piper's problems didn't revolve around her father's, Chandler Mackay's, plots, but I did feel as if Nauti Siren was more of a character to be checked off the list because Leigh didn't develop this.
Yes, I realize this is a short story, however, it is possible to develop an entire story within its fewer pages. Instead Leigh, oops, I mean Piper, spent most of her time whining about how irritating Dawg was about protecting her. The fashion designer who invites her to New York, the mob guys coming after her, Piper's own aspirations, the danger at the Inn, the wrap-up---even Piper's final realization get short shrift. We learn just enough so that there appears to be a story revolving around the complaining.
Even her relationship with Jed comes second to the grumbling. We do learn one interesting, and out of character [for Dawg]: seems Dawg's so pissed at Homeland Security for what they did to Mercedes and the girls that he's hiding Chandler's assets from them.
What's the deal with the unset stones anyway? Why bother to smuggle them when they're duty-free anyway?
As for the sex, we've come to expect in Leigh's Nauti Boys series, this is tamer. I don't know if it's a double standard, or that the Mackay boys are so good at preventing it, but it's standard romantic suspense sex.
The Nauti Siren Characters
Piper Mackay is Mercedes' second oldest, a twenty-four-year-old virgin who loves to design clothes, and she's been attracted to Jedediah Booker, a supposed builder working contracts in Somerset, Kentucky, for a few years now. He's learned the hard way to accept her independence. Elijah Grant is one of his partners.
Eve is the oldest sister, and she's engaged to Brogan Campell, another partner, (see Nauti Temptress (Nauti Girls, #1; Nauti, #7)). Mercedes is the girls' mother and she operates Mackay's Bed-and-Breakfast Inn; Timothy Cranston, the supposedly retired Homeland Security agent, is her lover. The two youngest sisters, Lyrica and Zoey, are close to breaking as well.
Dawg Mackay is a brother the Mackay girls recently discovered. He's married to Christa and they have a baby coming---although Dawg doesn't know yet. Rowdy McKay is married to Kelly; Natches is married to Chaya.
Eldon Vessante is a fashion designer in New York City who mentors promising new talent. John Broecun is the huge bodyguard/butler at Vessante's estate; turns out he has quite the reputation. Amy Seavers is one of Piper's clients; Gypsy Seavers is the sister, and a former Marine, who helps out.
Rudy Genoa is a mob boss who needs to placate the Russians. He's also Marlena Genoa's uncle whose plot to kill John Walker Jr. backfired due to the Mackays. Chester is the manager at a car rental agency who screwed up. Andre is Rudy's son; Nate Ryan is Andre's best friend and partner. Jones Morley is an ex-boxer who works for Genoa. Danny is Genoa's driver. Dennis should be the best choice to go after Piper. Marcel is the emissary between Rudy and Boris Cheslav, the Russian mob boss.
Bret Jordan, Matt Grace, and Olivia Camfield help Piper at the hotel. Guido and Rhylan Samson are staying at the Inn.
Jaci Burton's "Riding to Sunset" finds General Grange wih some family problems and he taps the newest recruit, Jed Templeton, for help.
This would have made a bit more sense if she'd titled it "Riding into the Sunset" since it's all about retirement at the end.
Burton did a nice job developing the story from start to finish, even though the sudden love interest was simply dumped in to get it over with. Yes, I'm being snarky since Leigh couldn't be bothered to develop her story at all! I do like the sound of Elena's shop, Eclectic Designs---all that beach and water design---yum! And, of course, I'm a sucker for art. I'd love to see that dolphin!!
If Bishop was supposed to be a red herring, it needed more developing. I did like the sudden twist when Elena suddenly started questioning everything.
The Riding into the Sunset Characters
Elena Madison operates a jewelry and art shop on the beach somewhere in Florida; Carla Madison is her mother and the General's sister. Marco is Elena's employee.
Jed Templeton is the newest Wild Rider recruit via the military then the FBI. General Grange Lee commands the Wild Riders: a group of Harley-riding operatives. Some of the crew makes enough of an appearance to "say" goodbye: Mac and Lily (she's pregnant), Diaz and Jessie, and Spence.
Todd Bishop is part of the business association and fancies himself as a ladies' man. Paco, Mitzie Winfield, and Amanda are all friends of Carla's.
Pete Northram is an old friend of Grange's; Dina is the wife who died.
The cover is a deep royal blue with a shirtless hunk, thumbs tucked into the front pockets of his jeans, standing in front of a motorcycle, both emerging from the fog surrounding them.
The title is an amalgam of their series' names: Nautier and Wilder, just with a bit more oomph since they've already been simply Nauti and Wild.