[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.] Wild Child is a sexy and heart-warming read by Molly O'Keefe. I have to say that this is a book where that I was seduced to read it by the publisher note that readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson would find it perfect. Well, Bantam was right. Phillips and Gibson's readers should adore "bad girl" heroine Monica Appleby and "straitlaced" mayor Jackson Davies and the small town setting of Bishop, Arkansas in Molly O'Keefe's Wild Child.
Instead of playing to stereotypes, I loved how O'Keefe shows the surprising inner dimensions of her two protagonists versus their outer shells. When former teen reality-TV star and now best-selling memoirist Monica descends on Bishop, the assumption is that she will be that notorious Wild Child. But is she? And is Jackson really that buttoned-down guy? The way that O'Keefe shifts the roles that her characters "should" inhabit to where they actually live is what truly is memorable.
I wasn't sure where the subplot with the very perfect miss (and one of Jackson's best friends), arts teacher Shelby Monroe and cracker company CEO Dean Jennings would lead, but again O'Keefe was breaking any preconceived character molds in a very profound way.
Live morning television, a contest that could be the life line or death knell of Bishop, reality television, teen angst, all play a role in driving the story forward.
But the beauty of Wild Child for me was the possibility of intimacy and trust that O'Keefe gives to Monica and Jackson - and their inner growth (or not) through the novel. I do hope that this is the beginning of a series set in Bishop as I'd like to know more about pub owner Sean and his brother Brody, cafe owner Cora, and Jackson's sister Gwen.
Do pick this up from a bricks and morter store or download it to your e-reader as Wild Child is a MUST for any fans of romance that pulls at your heartstrings.
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