Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wild Child by Molly O'Keefe

Title: Wild Child
Author: Molly O'Keefe
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Monica and Jackson
Release Date: October 2013
Publisher: Bantam
Purchase Links: 
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
I really enjoy Molly O'Keefe's writing voice and this book was no exception to that. On the one hand, this book is a pretty tried and true story trope with the "Wild Child" coming back home to silence some of her inner demons. Where this book got creative was with Jackson's character. Jackson is a character who needs everything about his world in this small town to work out so that he can get wild. Monica showing up in town threatens that.

Jackson is the mayor of a dying town. At the age of 29, he has spent the last decade doing the right thing, the responsible thing so that he can take care of his younger sister...and in the end, this town. Jackson is a caregiver and he doesn't want that responsibility anymore. He's ready and needs a break to do what he wants to do...to go a bit wild. Something that he hasn't been able to do in a very long time as he always puts others first...ALWAYS. The way for him to accomplish all that is to win a TV contest that will bring new industry to his town. He's positive that the notoriety of Monica threatens that.

Monica is trying to put the demons of her past to rest. She also is in desperate need of money so she decides to come home to write the book about the night her mother murdered her father. It's a night no one that lives in this town will ever forget, but they also really don't want to remember it. 

This book is about two people who have spent their lives surrounded by others, but are totally alone anyway. They each are guilty of keeping others away. I liked how that knowledge worked for them though....especially Monica when she's observing Jackson. She sees and recognizes how he pushes others away and makes a conscious effort to push past that. It gave them a connection which worked so well for them, their friendship, and ultimately their romance. They understand each other so when walls are thrown up, they know how to break them down. They have to make a concerted effort to break them down. 

The story line was interesting just because of the totally public contest that the town is participating in. And I really enjoyed that both Jackson and Monica are totally public figures who don't feel at ease in their world as it stands...there was an interesting dichotomy to that. It worked for me and I enjoyed the book a great deal. Another win for Molly O'Keefe to go onto my keeper shelf.

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