Wild Card (North Ridge #1)
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What would you give up to have a second-chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love?
Wild Card is a STANDALONE SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE from the NYT bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You.
Rough, raw & rugged.
As the man in charge at Ravenswood Ranch, Shane Nelson has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. His sculpted physique isn't the product of a gym, but of years of hard labor under a relentless sun. His straightforward, alpha tendencies come from a man who knows what he wants and goes after it.
And what he wants is Rachel Waters.
He's never stopped wanting her.
They were childhood best friends, then teenage lovers who evolved into soulmates. But on one fateful night, Shane made a grave mistake, breaking both their hearts in the process.
Now, after six years, Rachel is back in the small, wild mountain town of North Ridge, BC.
Ready to face her past.
Ready to face Shane.
Ready to face his dark secret.
But is a second-chance at a one true love in the cards? Or will their wild hearts be broken once again?
WILD CARD IS A COMPLETE STANDALONE NOVEL and the first book about the Nelson Brothers of North Ridge
Wild Card is a sweet and sexy second chance romance. It's a story about coming home and finding yourself, forgiveness and second chances.
The setting is amazing and the characters are wonderful. I totally fell in love with Shane. Basically, everything he said or thought put stars in my eyes.
"I think that’s the basis for real love. Letting it burn you up from the inside out until you can no longer contain it."
I loved the dual pov and the time changes. The transitions were seamless. It was just a really well balanced book. It was a nice and sweet love story, but it still had so much depth. There was some really heavy subject matter, but it didn't drag the book down. It was just bursting at the seams with romance.
The only negative I really have with this book is that it was a little too easy of a resolution, but just a little. But that's just me. Overall, I thought it was great. And I can't wait to revisit this world! Brothers? Yes, please!
I am WILD over this book!
Whenever Karina announces a new book I get excited, you know why? Because her words flow so beautifully on the page that it makes it hard to stop. I aso feel like instead of reading her words, I am visualizing them so clearly that it seems like I am looking at some massive painting of the story. Her character development has depth, there is such a beautiful chemistry between her characters. She has the ability to make you laugh and crying the same chapter. And when you finish the book you were anxiously awaiting you realize that the book far exceeded your expectations... Yep that pretty much sums up WILD CARD for me. And now bring on book two!
A Second Chance at First Love
I never know what to expect with a Karina Halle book, and that’s not a bad thing at all! Because Halle writes such diverse stories in multiple tropes, none of her texts follow a straightforward plot line; the story lines are always layered and intersect at the perfect moments, illustrating exactly what her characters wanted her readers to understand about their lives and what it would take to claim their happily ever nows or even afters.
Wild Card is an interesting title for Shane and Rachel’s story because neither of them seem to have personalities that could be defined as someone whose influence is unpredictable or whose qualities are uncertain. In my opinion, it’s the people around Shane and Rachel, especially when they were teens, who were unreliable…whose impact changed their lives in profound ways - ways that destroyed who they were and how their lives would be led.
But now that Shane and Rachel’s pasts have resurfaced due to her return to North Ridge six years after she left it and everyone behind, both she and Shane are a bit more unsure of how to move forward…of how to act around each other after Shane decimated Rachel’s heart…of how to let go of the demons that still taunt them, reveal/face the truth of what happened all those years ago, and figure out if the wishes they wished when they were younger have even a minute chance of coming true.
It’s in Shane and Rachel’s attempt to co-exist at Ravenswood Ranch that throw their present lives into a constant state of upheaval, and as Karina Halle slowly introduces the events of their past that irrevocably changed them, both individually and as a couple, it’s clear that nothing is certain when it comes to what the future holds for Shane and Rachel, especially when what she thought happened is not close to the reality that Shane was forced to face the last time they show each other.
Wild Card is one angsty second chance romance story. There’s so much pain and so many secrets that Shane and Rachel must wade through to gain enough perspective in order to understand why the events of the past occurred how they did and that still doesn’t mean that they’ll find a way back to one another as anything more than one-time lovers and perhaps new friends.
Karina Halle does a great job of illustrating just how raw Shane and Rachel’s feelings are for one another and the way their relationship imploded. Self-loathing is something that both of them know a lot about and even though neither of them should feel that way about themselves, it’s not something they’ve learned to let go of, especially with how things drastically changed when some of their demons were revealed.
The supporting characters are pivotal players in allowing Shane and Rachel to heal from the heartbreak from their pasts, but they can’t fix everything that’s broken…that has to come from Shane and Rachel themselves and that seems like a monumental feat for most of the story, especially because Rachel plans to continue to run away from the town that haunts her, never completely investing the time or the effort to make things right with those who still mean something to her.
But as Shane and Rachel's broken and weathered parts are repaired and healed, Rachel realizes that her heart has always been in North Ridge, and she learns that coming home just might allow her to become the person she wants to be with the man who allowed her to be free and wild even when she had no control of other people’s actions.
4.5 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)