Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
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.
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Wild Child by Molly O'Keefe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Wild Child is a story about two damaged individuals that are opposites in every sense of the word, but find a way to be together and help heal each other. Monica Appleby is a former reality t.v. star turned accredited author. She spent her teenage and young adult years rebelling and lashing out at her mother by partying, drinking, having sex, and being an all around Wild Child. She has since cleaned up her ways, become a published author, and is now moving back to her home town of Bishop, Alabama to write a book about the night her mom "murdered" her dad. Jackson Davies is a man who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His parents died in a car wreck when he was in college, and he had to give up his dreams of being a lawyer, and move back home so that he could raise his much younger sister, Gwen. To complicate his life even more, when he moved back he ran for, and won, the position of Mayor of Bishop, so now he is not only taking care of his teenage sister, he is also trying to save a quickly dying town. Jackson believes that he has found just the thing to answer his prayers regarding Bishop when he hears about a t.v. contest. A major cookie manufacturer is wanting to move their factory and workers from overseas back to the United States, and has decided to hold a contest where towns can compete to "win" the factory. Jackson is convinced that if he can present Bishop as a picture perfect small town, they will win the contest and the revenue and jobs provided by the factory will save the town. But, when the very famous, hell raising Wild Child, Monica Appleby turns up in town, Jackson feels like she is going to ruin all of his plans. When Jackson confronts Monica with the intentions of running her out of town before she can ruin his plans, he quickly realizes that not only is there an instant attraction between the two of them, but Monica may not be anything at all like what the world thinks she is. In fact, she may be just what he needs more than anything else in the world.
This story was powerful. It wasn't all rainbows and puppy dogs either. There were some hard moments, and some hard truths that had to be faced, but all of the main characters had some major growing that needed to be done. And Monica and Jackson, especially, had very emotionally heavy issues from their pasts that had to be dealt with. Overall, I really liked this story. It was real and raw, and it made me forge a connection with the characters that had me caring about them and what they were going through. This book was definitely a good read.
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Molly O'Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.
She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn't looked back. She loves exploring every character's road towards happily ever after.
Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she's not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.