Wild Card, an all-new contemporary STANDALONE by New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle is available NOW!
Wild Card is a standalone novel and the first book in the North Ridge Trilogy about rough and rugged Canadian mountain men, the Nelson brothers. Canada’s never felt so hot.
She swore she’d never go back home.
She swore she’d never see the man who broke her all those years ago.
But you don’t always get to choose your path.
And sometimes that path is as wild and rugged as the heart.
Rachel Waters thought she saw the last of the small mountain town of North Ridge, British Columbia, when she left six years ago. But while her advertising career blossomed beneath the skyscrapers of Toronto, her mother’s sudden illness has the 26-year old returning to North Ridge to care for her, putting her career on hold while dealing with family secrets, regrets and unresolved goodbyes.
Shane Nelson has always been a bit of a wild card. The youngest of three brothers, Shane’s spent most of his life being underestimated and misunderstood. With his quiet intensity, classic good looks and thoughtful demeanor, he’s an enigma on horseback, managing his father’s sprawling ranch on the slopes of North Ridge.
But while Shane remains the quintessential brooding cowboy, complete with an arsenal of inner demons, all of that changes when Rachel steps back into his life.
She was the girl he pushed away.
Now she’s the girl who wishes she could leave.
Despite the odds, Shane will do everything to convince Rachel he needs a second chance that he doesn’t deserve but when the two of them head off into the wilderness together in search of lost cattle, more than just their hearts are at stake.
Whether it’s love or lives on the line, one thing is for sure: always bet on the wild card.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fG5PnV
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2fGzpcM
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/6WuDjh
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
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
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