Monday, October 28, 2013

WILD CHILD by Molly O'Keefe

WILD CHILD by Molly O'Keefe
Advanced Reading Copy
Published: October 29, 2013, Random House Publishing

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️

When Jackson Davies, Mayor of Bishop, gets wind of a large cookie manufacturer looking for a new production plant in small town USA, he pulls out all the stops to get to the front of the line. After the death of his parents he returned home to look after his baby sister, and ran for mayor for something to do and pay the bills. His town has been slowly dying for the last few years and despite all of Jackson's efforts, it doesn't look like he will be able to hold off the inevitable for much longer. Getting that factory to his town may well be their last chance, and seeing Monica Appleby return to town right before the all important pitch, has him both worried and intrigued.

Former public "Wild Child" turned successful author, Monica Appleby is under contract with her publisher to write an exposé about the death of her father, which occurred in Bishop. Having just said goodbye to a good friend and forced to honor her book contract, she reluctantly returns to the one place she would rather forget, Bishop. As it turns out, Bishop's own leading man, Jackson Davies, doesn't seem all that excited to have her, or her reputation, there either although the rest of the population seem welcoming enough. Monica can't deny more than a passing interest in the mayor, whose good looks and kind heart crack her cynical outlook.

Despite almost conflicting objectives, Monica and Jackson can't seem to avoid each other or the explosive chemistry sparking between them.  But Jackson has trouble keeping control of his bid for the cookie factory and Monica fares no better when it comes to the writing of her book. The town, however, is a hubbub of excitement and drama, in no small part thanks to the two of them.

Both are still working towards their own objectives though, and neither in business nor on a personal level are they completely open with each other. When old band aids are ripped off, and carefully erected walls have come tumbling down, what has been exposed has the power to tear them apart or seal them together.


WONDERFUL!!! This is one of those rare books that turns out to be so much more than the cover blurb promises.

On the surface a light-hearted story about a woman of somewhat questionable celebrity who returns home to become involved with a slightly stuck up mayor of the town, dead set on saving the town. Underneath a much more compelling and intriguing story, with complex characters and deep-rooted development issues.

Both Monica and Jackson have created a persona which they show the outside world. For both of them, it is the person they think the world expects to see. 
In Jackson's case, a responsible, staid, hardworking and giving member of the community, who never asks one thing for himself. The irony is, he wouldn't know what to ask. Jackson lost his sense of self along with his parents and only has his sense of responsibility left. Everything he does is with a purpose, as long as the purpose is something or someone else. 
For Monica, the tragedy and hurt of her past was first plastered over in youthful rebellion, turned into more hardcore self-desctructive behaviour and then settled for a resigned 'give-them-what-they-want' long as 'they' don't get too close! She still reacts like a cornered cat when she feels too exposed, because she has never properly dealt with her past.

The differences between Jackson and Monica is both what attracts them and also what ultimately cracks each of their exterior facades. They are instrumental in liberating the other.

An amazingly perceptive, moving and well-written story wrapped in an innocuous looking, small-town romance!! Highly recommended and a definite 'must read'.

✨Surprising, provocative, touching and sexy!!✨

**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Random House Publishing in return for an honest review.**

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