Title: Wild Kisses (Wildwood #2)
Author: Skye Jordan
Date of publication: 10 Jan 2017
Genre/themes: Contemporary Romance, Small-town
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My rating: 4 stars
Newly divorced, Avery Hart returns home to Wildwood eager to take on her dream opportunity and transform her family’s dive bar into her own bakery. The contractor for hire isn’t just a master with his hands—he’s big, built, and wears a tool belt like nobody’s business. Despite being an ex-con, Trace Hutton is irresistible. Too bad he’d never go for someone as inexperienced as Avery.
Trace needs to focus on the job at hand, not daydream about smearing icing all over the sexy baker…and licking it off. This job is the key to getting his construction company back on its feet after his time in prison. Besides, no one deserves a fresh start more than Avery, and she certainly won’t get that with him.
After a delectable night of passion (and pie), Trace craves something more. But he’ll be damned if he’ll let his checkered past crush her dreams. And as Avery starts to realize how Trace fulfills more than just her physical needs, she struggles with whether to let her history decide her future, or explore the wild new possibilities of forever…
I loved the first book in the series, Forbidden Fling, and this one is just as good - a moving, sexy, heart-warming romance in a small town setting.
I really like what the author is doing with this series, building a great small town community and populating with the most amazing and intriguing characters. We get the feel-good, heart-warming atmosphere of small-town romance with the added edge of really complex characters, struggling with their past trying to move forward and ultimately falling in love.
I really loved the heroine here. Avery married young her high school sweetheart but their marriage soon turned loveless and she ended back in her hometown, divorced and trying to get a fresh start. I liked the twist of her having been married, yet being very much inexperienced both sexually and romantically. She was understandably cautious with men but couldn't resist falling for Trace. I loved how determined to succeed, personally and professionally she was.
Trace was a great character as well, an ex-con, a ladies' man trying to stay away from Avery because he didn't think he was good enough for her. He had a lot of going on in his life and falling (and trying to stay away from) Avery who on top of everything was his current boss was a complication he didn't need.
They had great chemistry and the sexual attraction was there from the start but nothing happened easily for them. The conflict they had to overcome in order to be together felt very real and the way they bumbled their way into a relationship was fitting to their characters - imperfect, a little lost, a lot hesitant because of their pasts but also hopeful and willing to give love a chance. There were no magical solutions to their personal and professional troubles but hard work and concentrated effort made things work for them.
Both Avery and Trace have a lot going on in their lives when they met each other - both trying to get back on their feet, dealing with difficult family issues (though neither of them was on their own) and both reluctant to enter a relationship and yet unable to resist the attraction between them.
I enjoyed the complex, even slightly convoluted plot and feel it helped bring out all the best/worst qualities of the characters making the reader see them as real people and not just as figments of the author's imagination.
Wild Kisses is sweet and sexy, real and deeply romantic, definitely a recommended read for me.
Purchase links: Amazon