Wild Cards is the first book in the series of the same name by Simone Elkeles. The book was first published in Kindle format on 3rd October with the paperback having a January 2014 release date. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review through NetGalley.
Derek Fitzpatrick has just been kicked out of his private boarding school after seriously breaking the rules. Now, he’s forced to live with his typically blonde stepmother while his dad is away at sea. Not only does he have to live with someone he has no wish to live with, but he’s being moved to Chicago. Derek’s stepmother has a younger sister he knew nothing about but she sure gets his attention when he sees her for the first time. Ashtyn Parker rarely trusts anyone – except for the guys on the football team, her teammates. When her boyfriend betrays her and leaves for a rival team, Ashtyn knows she needs to trust Derek in order to get what she wants but is she willing to risk having her heart broken again?
What I thought
Simone Elkeles has written some of my favourite books, Perfect Chemistry being one I could read over and over again without getting bored.
Wild Cards is something very new and different for Elkeles and centres around Derek and Ashtyn, two people thrown together in strange circumstances. Derek is the bad boy thrown out of school while Ashtyn plays football with a bunch of guys and does her best to not trust because she knows it ends in heartbreak. I really enjoyed the lead up into the story, getting to know Derek and his situation first then throwing him in with Ashtyn straight into the deep end. Derek is a player while Ashtyn wants all or nothing.
As main characters go, Derek and Ashtyn were great and I loved how different they were, not only in personality but in experiences and their pasts. Even though both characters are very different, they are both extremely feisty and fight for what they want. I really loved the passion that each character gave about everything that they believed in. Their feisty personalities meant that there was a lot of banter between the two which obviously ended in a lot of sexual tension. The chemistry between Derek and Ashton was definitely sizzling and I couldn’t wait to see what happened between the two.
Unfortunately, Wild Cards is let down by the plot. There are plenty of good aspects to the plot but not all of them are written to their fullest. For example, Ashtyn has plenty of male friends willing to do anything for her, she plays on the football team and yet, there wasn’t nearly enough of this for my liking. Football is a huge thing in Ashtyn’s life and this wasn’t made a focal point until after half way through the book. Not only that, but Derek has secrets and these aren’t really used/ drawn upon until very late in the book. I think both things would have given both characters much more depth and would have made the development better overall.
The ending was also a bit of a let-down for me. I felt as though it all ended far too quickly. While there is a lot that is wrapped up nicely, and characters given convincing endings, I still wanted more. I wanted more between Derek and Ashtyn, I wanted more between the families and I wanted certain things for certain characters. There could have been so much more to this book and that is why I found it lacking in some areas.
Unfortunately, I just didn’t love this book as much as the Perfect Chemistry series but it was still a good read.
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