Series: Wild Ones, #1.5
Published by Penguin
Published on October 22, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Jenna Theopolis has always known what she wanted. Getting out of her small hometown of Greenfield was number one on her list of priorities. Until she met Rusty Catron.
Rusty’s fun-loving personality was the perfect match for Jenna’s inner wild child. But what started off as a summer fling quickly turns into something more. At least it does for Jenna.
Rusty has lived with the ghost of his father’s abandonment since he was a child, but now he’s beginning to feel the crippling effects of his scars. He wants to trust in Jenna, but deep down he doesn’t believe someone so wild and free can ever be tamed.
But tragedy strikes, pushing Jenna out of Greenfield and leaving Rusty with a choice to make—face his inner demons or lose the love of his life. Forever.
In Wild Child, we find ourselves back in the small town of Greenfield, where the first book, The Wild Ones takes place. Just as with book one, this book is told from dual points of view, both Jenna’s and Rusty’s.
This book picks up a few days before Trick and Cami’s wedding. Jenna and her best friend Cami discuss taking a vow of celibacy prior to the wedding so that Trick and Rusty will appreciate what they have in their women.*high fives* It is then that Jenna confides in her best friend Cami that her boyfriend, Rusty, has not yet dropped the “L” word.
“I know he loves me. Well, at least I think he does, but it’s not like he’s blocked when it comes to this stuff. He just won’t break down and tell me.”
“I need to hear it. I need to know for sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt.”
Jenna is fresh out of college, and is looking for a way out of her small town life in Greenfield. She may not know where she’s going, but she does know that wherever her life may take her, she wants to have Rusty by her side. She is just not sure if Rusty feels the same way.
“Maybe it’s Rusty who’s the leaving kind. Maybe his fear will always keep him from committing, from loving someone like he should. Like he could. But that’s the thing—I need to know so I can move forward, one way or another.”
Jeff “Rusty” Catron has goals to continue working in the car restoration business, getting his hands dirty, and keeping his heart safe. Having dealt with abandonment issues from his past by someone he loved, he is now at a point where he won’t ever allow himself to be in that position again. He is safeguarding his heart from disappointment, and further heartache. When he finds himself in a situation where he’s pushed to his limits, he is faced with either denying or accepting that the heart wants what the heart wants.
“You can love somebody and still end up leaving them. Some people are just made that way—to always want greener pastures. I’ve seen it before. And I’m not getting attached to a person like that again.”
“The things I loved so much about Jenna are likely some of the very things that will take her away from me.”
Remember that vow of celibacy that Jenna and Cami decided upon at the beginning of the book? Well, that lovely little plan made for some really nice moments of sexual tension between Jenna and Rusty. It was interesting seeing how both Jenna and Rusty were affected from both of their POV’s:
“He’s steeling himself against wanting me, which makes me want to tease him that much more. I want to break him. I want him to give in because he just can’t stand it. I want him to forsake all else for me, for the want of me, for the love of me. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from Rusty—his devotion. The same kid of devotion I have for him.”
“I don’t know what the girl’s trying to do to me, but if it includes death from over-excitement, she’s well on her way.”
When a tragic event occurs (which by the way, I did NOT see coming), both Jenna and Rusty find themselves reevaluating their emotions and feelings for one another. It is at this point that Rusty truly grows and is able to realize what is important.
I could not love this book more. This book absolutely took me by surprise. I had become very connected with Cami and Trick in book one, but I was GRIPPED by Jenna and Rusty’s story in this book. While reading this book, I laughed, I cried, I overheated. My heart broke, my heart swooned, and my heart healed from the tender moments they shared.
“What are you doing here?” His eyes search mine. “I came here for you.” “But why?” I ask, unwilling to give in to the hope that has left me devastated so many times before. “In case you need me,” he responds simply. Bitterness rises to the surface to mix with the pain. It blurs the lines of my feelings. “You shouldn’t have,” I spit. “I don’t need you.” I see hurt flash through his eyes. “What if I need you?”
*clutches pearls* MAJOR SWOON. Another one of my favorite Rusty moments:
“Jenna, I can survive without you. I can exist,” he begins, the words slicing through me like a knife through butter. “But it wouldn’t be any kind of existence I’d want. You are what makes my life worth living. You’re the sunshine in it, you’re the laughter and the smiles. You’re the warm nights and the cool breezes. You’re like every good memory and moment and dream I’ve ever had all wrapped up into one. And if you go, you take the only living part of me with you. Without you, I might as well be dead. So, yes, I can survive without you. But that’s all I’d be doing.”
The epilogue did me in. Such a wonderful way to end this story, and yet, I still found that I was sad to turn the last page. When you read this, you’ll find that there is beauty from pain, there is happiness that can be found after times of sadness. This is definitely one of my favorite stories I’ve read this year. <3
Wild Ones Series:
The Wild Ones
Book 1.5 (Novella):
(will be released 10/22/13)
Some Like It Wild
(expected release: 3/4/14)
There’s Wild Then There’s You
(expected release: 2014)