The Wild Ones by M. Leighton: Review

Format: Kindle Edition, 330 pagesPublished: August 1st 2012 by M. Leighton Books ASIN: B008QYHILGEdition language: EnglishSeries: The Wild Ones
Format: Kindle Edition, 330 pages
Published: August 1st 2012 by M. Leighton Books
Edition language: English
Series: The Wild Ones

Synopsis from Goodreads:

**MATURE CONTENT ADVISORY: May not be suitable for younger readers**

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.
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.
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.

Source: Author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: For no particular reason, I never use passages/lines from the books I read in my reviews.  Today, I am going to throw caution to the wind and lead with a super-awesome excerpt.  Hold on boys and girls, this one is kind of hot.

“Another of whatever Cami is having.”  He turns back to me, a wicked gleam in his smoky eyes.  “Sorry about your drink.  Not so much about your shirt, though,” he admits candidly.

Willing myself not to blush again, I tilt my head.  “So, do clumsy strangers have names in this place? Or are you just called ‘bull in china shop’?”

The lopsided grin comes back.  “Patrick, but my friends call me Trick.”

“Trick? As in trick or treat?  That kind of trick?”

He laughs and my stomach flutters.  It actually flutters.

“Yep.  That kind of trick.”  He sobers and leans in close to me.  “Cami, can I ask a favor?”

I’m breathless again.  He’s so close I can count every hair in the stubble that dusts his tan cheeks.  For just a second, his clean manly scent overrides the cigarette smoke and stale beer smell of the bar.

I lose my voice – again – so I nod.

“Pick ‘treat.’ Please, for the love of God, pick ‘treat’.”

Like an idiot, I say nothing.  I do nothing.  I simply stare.  Like a . . .a . . .well, like an idiot.

He makes a disappointed noise with his lips and then starts shaking his head.  “Too bad.  Woulda made my night.” (Kindle, 1%)

With that dear reader, I was totally and completely head over heels in lust with Trick!  Little did I know this naughty exchange was the first of many throughout The Wild Ones and set the tone for the entire book.  Trick is a bit down on his luck but is in no way giving up on his dream of becoming a veterinarian.  He has come home to help out his mom and little sister and until he can get back to school, he has taken a job as a stable hand at the local horse ranch which just happens to be owned by Cami’s dad.  Trick sure didn’t see that one coming and daddy has already warned ‘the help’ to stay the hell away from his daughter.

Here’s what I liked about The Wild Ones:

*Trick: absolutely, positively, and without doubt one of the best male leads I have come across in quite some time.  For me, the entire plot and novel is carried by this single character.  Trick is just good: he puts his own dreams and goals on hold for his family; he is gifted and passionate about horses – creatures he treats with the utmost care and respect; he is intelligent; he is confident and; he is smokin’ hot and knows how to turn a girl on.

*the almost naughty bits: I have to admit this is one of the hottest books I have ever read that has no actual sex scenes.  Yep, you read that correctly, there are no actual sex scenes but there are some mouthwatering flirtations that leave everyone all hot and bothered.  Trick and Cami do eventually do the big dirty but not before a lot of smoldering and frustratingly incomplete moments.  To be frank, there is a butt-ton of sexual frustration for Trick, Cami, and the reader 🙂

*the plot: this is a novel where the past and present come hurtling toward one another and crash violently in the present.  Cami and Trick’s respective parents absolutely forbid their children to see one another and neither has any idea why this would be so.  Once the past comes to light everything in Trick and Cami’s world comes apart and their tenuous relationship is threatened.  The secrets that come to light are as interesting as they are surprising and certainly enhance the plot.

The only thing I really didn’t care for with this novel is Cami.  I really wanted to like Cami but her fickleness and penchant for secrets in the beginning is as off-putting as her indecisiveness about her actual boyfriend and Trick.  I get it, Cami is young and doesn’t want to disappoint her daddy but her actions with regards to both her boyfriend and Trick are just wrong.  Cami leads both men on while waiting for the universe or someone to provide her with the one bit of evidence or truth that will allow her to make the “right” decision.  In the end, all Cami gets and causes is pain.

The Bottom Line: I really did enjoy The Wild Ones and think it would be a more than acceptable and certainly entertaining read for adults interested in both romance and a tiny bit of mystery.  For me, the entire novel was carried by a single character – Trick – and I am absolutely OK with it.  Trick is a character worth cheering for, the plot is fairly fast-paced, and the almost naughty bits are every bit as good as actual naughty bits.  Pick this one up and I swear you won’t be disappointed.


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