Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: ARC via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Program
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: 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 waiting since October 2013 to read Molly O’Keefe’s Wild Child because I was notified I’d be receiving a copy via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program, but I didn’t actually receive a copy until April. I’ll be truthful, I struggled to finish it and while it’s my first O’Keefe novel, it won’t be my last.
Character development is a bit weak. Monica Appleby is America’s “Wild Child” and her antics would make the antics of today’s Hollywood young stars look like a walk in the park. As an adult, she’s moved on from that and has become a successful author. As a character, I liked her, but it was difficult to really get to know her. I understand why she kept to herself, but I wanted her to be a little bit more open. Then there’s Jackson Davies, who carries the weight of the world, or at least Bishop’s on his shoulders. He reluctantly comes back to Bishop to raise his sister and as the mayor, is trying to find a way to bring Bishop out of debt. Jackson was pretty easy to like and he takes his role in his sister’s life and that a mayor very seriously. In the end, him and Monica are quite the opposite from each other. We have a variety of secondary characters that play a vital role including Jackson’s sister, Gwen.
I really wanted to enjoy O’Keefe’s Wild Child, but to be honest, halfway through it, I stopped caring about Bishop and its residents; I kept reading just to see if they won the coveted contest (factory owner looking to expand and Bishop is one of the finalists). I normally don’t have a problem with secondary characters stealing the show or being part of the plot, but for some odd reason I was annoyed with them because they didn’t do much to enhance the plot. One particular character, Shelby was scarified for the sake of the plot and that angered me because I loved the potential relationship she might have had. I hope she gets her redemption and secretly hope the jerk that ruined her gets his own chance at redemption (because I kind of liked him).
We have a lot of answered questions. First and foremost is Monica’s whole reason for being back in Bishop and that’s to find answers regarding her father’s murder. We’re told early on who killed him, but as Monica digs, she finds herself at a standstill. I’m frustrated on her behalf and yet when we reach the end of the novel, I still don’t know if her father’s murder was justified. We’re led to believe that it was, but if Monica’s relationship with her mother is anything to go by, then should we believe whatever conclusion we’re given? Also, a few times there were a bit of inconstancies. Monica is surprised to find out Gwen is Jackson’s sister, but he mentioned having a sister and her name earlier. This bothered me immensely because it felt out of place and it really felt like it was used to give us a reason as to why Monica and Jackson would be in contact. And finally, though we aren’t given the results of the contest, I would have liked to have known the vote count.
Overall, Molly O’Keefe’s Wild Child had great potential, but fell flat. Sadly, the best parts of the novel were the last 25%, but I’m still willing to give this series a chance because I’m interested in how things turn out for a few of the Bishop residents.