After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Simone Elkeles’s books. I loved her Perfect Chemistry series. Naturally, I was excited to read Wild Cards. Though I appreciated that this book had less “boy from the slums falls for the good girl” than the usual Elkeles books, it did still have a little bit of that vibe. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those stories. but after awhile, it gets old. That being said, Elkeles’s writing is still as amazing as usual. Overall, I think I liked this plot better than her other novels, but it also seemed less steamy (and I love steamy).
Though Derek puts on the front of being a “bad boy”, it’s evident to see that there’s more to him. It was easy to get annoyed with Derek. He made confusing decisions that didn’t take anybody into consideration other than himself. A lot of the times, he didn’t treat people fairly, and was quick to judge. However, he did have his moments. Derek was also sweet to Ashtyn and ultimately was driven to do the right thing. Ashtyn is tough. She wasn’t afraid to go out and get what she wanted. At times, she got a little weak- but that’s what makes her more realistic. Though the relationship between Derek and Ashtyn is a rocky one, it is a signature Simone Elkeles romance. It makes you swoon and go weak in the knees.
Though I had problems with some aspects of Wild Cards, I ultimately liked it. The book was addicting, and the romance was to die for. Elkeles stays true to her writing style, and produces unforgettable characters.
FTC- Received for review.