Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review ~ WILD CHILD by Molly O'Keefe

Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, this sizzling romance tells the story of a sexy small-town mayor and a notorious “bad girl,” who discover that home really is where the heart is.
Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.
Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.


I’ve been a fan of Molly O’Keefe for a little over a year now, ever since Unexpected Family and on through her Crooked Creek Ranch Series.  I have to say that I'm surprised that Wild Child is so different.  This is a dark and hot story with both of the main characters having troubled pasts.
Wild Child takes place in Bishop, Arkansas.  Bishop is a small town that has been hit hard by the recession.  Its okra processing factory has been closed down and a lot of people have lost their jobs.  With a shrinking tax base, the mayor is going to have to decide if they should keep the library open or keep the Fire Chief on staff.
Monica Appleby is known to the world as being the “wild child” after her attention loving mother made them the focus of a reality show sixteen years ago.  Now an author, Monica is back in Bishop to write a book about her father's murder.  Jackson Davies is the young mayor of Bishop tasked with trying to bring the town back to its glory days.  While watching a morning news program that is sponsoring a contest to bring a factory to a small town in need, Jackson sees this as his chance to help the town and set up his departure to leave.
Monica is more than people give her credit for.  She knows that she isn't the “wild child” people think she is.  But she still doesn't know how special she actually is.  She's broken because of what happened when her world got torn apart at the age of six.  Any and every way she could damage herself, she did; guys, drugs, alcohol, you name it.  But she's changed and is growing up.  People just don't want to see it.  Monica isn’t prepared for all the pain and memories writing a book about her parents will bring up.  Just when she thinks she has her life figured out and thinks she knows who she is, someone that is better off forgotten shows back up.
Jackson Davies is a man who likes to make the world think he has everything under control.  But this couldn't be further from the truth.  At the age of twenty-two his life changed with the death of his parents.  He was then forced to give up his college life and return home to take care of his much younger sister, Gwen.  Refusing help and not knowing what to do, Jackson ended up burying his head in the sand.  At this point, Jackson just wants to see Gwen graduate from high school, send her off to college, and wave good riddance to Bishop.
What neither Jackson nor Monica expects is to meet the one person who sees who they actually are behind the mask they show the world.  And they definitely aren’t expecting to loss their hearts to each other.
Wild Child is a great start to a new series full of characters you will love and want to get to know.  Though the story does have its fun and hot & steamy moments, it also has its share of deep dark moments.  Reading this book will allow you the pleasure of watching troubled souls start to heal and become who they really want to be.  You will witness several characters make new discoveries about themselves and the people they thought they knew.  And you will smile when Jackson and Monica realize that they are truly home with each other.
Favorite book quote:  “We learn how to be happy from our parents.  We learn how to treasure it and work for it, how to sacrifice for it.  We learn how precious happiness is from the example our parents set.”
Rating: 4
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Book Length: 368 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Reviewed by: Kim
Reading format: Available in eBook and Paperback

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