Published by Independent on March 17th 2015
Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the best music programs in the world.
Instead, a nightmare took over.
It didn’t happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly—a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.
Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good things…things to admire.
Things…to love. Things that made her want to be reckless.
And those things…they were the scariest of all.
I always know when I open a Ginger Scott book that I’m in for an emotional and swoon-inducing ride and WILD RECKLESS was no different. While it had a racier and darker tone than I usually expect from her books, I found I enjoyed the change and was totally immersed in Kensi and Owen’s story.
Kensington expected to spend her senior year, hanging with her friends and occupied with classical music, on track for a scholarship to one of the country’s most prestigious music programmes. Instead, she finds herself in the small town of Woodstock, miles from all she knows as her family disintegrates. To make matters worst, the boy next door turns out to be a nightmare, eager to push every button she’s got.
Owen has the bad boy image down pat. He’s had to as the entire town thinks his family is trouble since he experienced a horrifying tragedy as a child that haunts him and his brothers and set them on a path of destruction. When the girl next door threatens to expose the cracks in his hardened exterior and make him feel the things he never thought he deserved to, it’s emotional warfare on the cards. However despite the lumps Kensi and Owen take out of each other, as time passes, they realise the very thing that should warn them away from each other is the one thing they really need.
WILD RECKLESS is a story of first love but it’s also about questioning the status quo and fighting for what you deserve. Both Owen and Kensi have been put into boxes that for years they’ve accepted because it didn’t occur to them that they had the right to say no. As their relationship develops, they both realise that they are more than the sum of their parts. Through their love for each other, they gain the courage to fight the demons that have held them back and follow their dreams.
While at first glance, the bad boy/good girl next door story seems unoriginal but Ginger manages to bring a fresh twist to her version and really makes you root for these characters, both as a couple and separately. I really liked Kensi as an MC; you could really see her growth from a timid young girl to empowered young woman in this book. At times she did frustrate me because she seemed a little too infatuated with Owen at the expense of her own feelings and wants at times and I was worried she was going to sacrifice all her happiness for a guy (major pet peeve) but the faith I have in Ginger’s beautiful writing reassured me. The emotions of first love are truly powerful and it’s easy to forget the “all or nothingness” of that time.
Owen got his claws into me good, right from the start. Boy, was he a buttface at times, lol, but wow what a character. I loved his development and more importantly I loved learning about him through the eyes of those who really knew him, better than he knew himself. It reminded me that appearances are deceiving and you should never write a person off until you know the whole story. Sadly as we see in this book, that’s a lesson not everyone always learns.
The romance was such a wonderful part of this book and I loved the chemistry between Owen and Kensi but I really have to commend the friendships and family relationships depicted in this book. I adored the secondary characters especially Willow and Ryan, I loved how they had Kensi and Owen’s backs unequivocally.
The pacing of this book was great and I never felt it lag or get dragged down by the plot and it evoked emotion after emotion as I cheered, screamed and fell for these characters.
WILD RECKLESS is a heartfelt and honest portrayal of first loves and life in a small town, with fabulous characters, a deliciously steamy romance and a strong message to know when to let go and when to hold on but most importantly to follow your heart.