Wild Card – Karina Halle

 

Six years ago, Rachel left town swearing she would never return.  She had been wanting to leave for many years, and had only been waiting for Shane to decide to leave with her.  One night, they had a big fight and she left.  Now she’s back, tending to her mother who has lung cancer.  Sounds simple but it wasn’t.

Rachel had made a life for herself in Toronto, working in Advertising. She had a condo, friends, and a boyfriend.  You’d think her life was made, but it wasn’t.

Shane loved his ranch.  Although at one time he had considered leaving it so he could be with Rachel, he stayed behind because he had to.  It’s a little obscure why, but it’s cleared up later on.  Now, he loves his work and his heart is in this little town and his ranch, and he cannot consider living anywhere else.

When Shane and Rachel meet up for the first time in six years, you would expect hate, anger and condemnation.  Instead there’s gentleness and courtesy from Shane, and on Rachel’s part, breathlessness and confusion.  Right at this moment, I knew they had never stopped loving each other.

The book is done using flashback chapters.  Some chapters are based on their childhood, and recount the story of how they met and became friends, later lovers up to their breakup.  You get to understand the family mechanics in Rachel’s home, which explain why Rachel’s relationship with her mother is so stormy at the present time.

I liked the build up and I liked that there are no surprising twists during the story because you get the hints with the flashbacks, so when there’s a revelation, it’s not a big surprise.  There’s angst because Rachel was dealing with childhood issues and her mother’s alcoholism.   So the slow development allows you to enjoy the story of how they open up to their feelings and forge a relationship again.  I liked that the author didn’t make Rachel to be bitchy and confrontational.  She was a little stubborn and stuck on her new idillic life in Toronto, but Shane wore her down.  He needed to confess his guilt, because he had made her leave town six years ago, and he was going to get his second chance and forgiveness.  He was tenacious!! During the book you also see Rachel mending relations with her mother.

I liked the book but didn’t feel very connected to the characters.  I did like the author’s writing style and how the story flows and all the side plots connect and immerse you into the family and the story.

Shane has two brothers, Maverick and Fox, who I guess will be the protagonists of the next books.  There are little side plots with them, in preparation for their stories.  I liked the sound of them, Maverick seems to be fun and mischievous and Fox seems to be the dark and intense type. I actually liked Maverick more than Shane.  And I found Fox to be intriguing.  So, I’m hoping the next books arrive soon!

About Luisa Rivas-Martinez

Newly retired, lover of romance novels. I've been reading since early childhood, loved those fantasy tales with Princes and Princesses. As I grew, my love for romance blossomed into romance novels, beginning with Harlequin romances. I hope that through this page, I can share my experience and joy on reading my romance novels and make friends.
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