So, I love to read. A lot.
I have read so voraciously over the past several months that I have literally fallen in love with the works of several independent authors. You know, the guys and gals who self-publish their works through e-book web sites in the hopes of sharing their creativity with us, their avid fans. Oftentimes, this is at a cost that helps us not break our banks. (Thank you, indie authors!)
One of those authors is Michelle Leighton (@mleightonbooks on Twitter). I have read every novel she published and I continue to see her writing style mature and get more “refined” with every book. Her most recent novel, The Wild Ones is just about my favorite to date.
Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.
Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines. She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses. Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future.
But that was before she met Patrick Henley.
“Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her. He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her. And Trick needs his job. Desperately. His family depends on him.
When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome. It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.
The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles. At least the ones they know of.
As I said before, I am a fan of this author, so I’ve been excited about this book for weeks. I had pretty high expectations for it before diving into it. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.
Cami is the daughter of a successful horse breeder. While she is grateful for the life she has, she remembers the days of her more humble roots and remains grounded in the good sense that comes from that background. Cami seems to have it all, a lavish lifestyle, good friends and a stable boyfriend. She is spunky and has a little bit of a temper, which makes her even more personable.
Patrick or Trick, is a hard working young man who has given up his dreams of a career to help take care of his mother and younger sister. However, he does like to have a good time. He’s having one at a local bar when he meets Cami. Trick is definitely a New Adult genre alpha male. Self-assured, driven, and extremely attractive.
The build-up between the Cami and Trick kept me turning the pages eagerly. Their first kiss was unexpected and left me wanting to go back and re-read it (which I did!). When they mutually give in to their feelings for each other it is without abandon and care for the consequences. (I had to fan myself a little while reading, I have to admit!)
Quickly, I have to talk about Rusty and Jenna, who are Trick and Cami’s best friends, respectively. I love them as much as Trick and Cami! Rusty is a “cool drink of water” as they say in the South, and Jenna is so spunky I just want to love her and call her my BFF! (I a lot of myself in that girl, what can I say?) Their presence in the book adds another layer of depth that would be lacking without them.
I was floored about 70% through the book and had to grab a tissue. I am not going to share any spoilers, but it totally changed the trajectory of the story and my heart was aching for these young lovers. Their losses were palpable and Michelle’s writing style had me feeling I was in the story, just not reading it.
However, as we know, most books have happier endings. Again, not sharing spoilers, but I believe sometimes the road you take to get to your finish line is just as important as when you arrive. I loved this HEA!
Michelle Leighton created such perfectly flawed characters and gave them each depth that swept them off the pages and into my heart. I CANNOT wait to see what she has in store next!
***Just a reminder, this book does contain adult content and should probably not be ready by younger teens.***