Sunday, October 6, 2013


Title: Wild Cards (Wild Cards, Book One)
Author: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: October 1, 2013

ARC provided by NetGalley

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?

Book Review

I will admit to only reading one of Simone's books--Perfect Chemistry--a while back. But what I do remember, is that I absolutely loved it. Elkeles has a talent for creating addictive characters that you can't help falling for and a story worth reading in one sitting.

Wild Cards is certainly no exception.

I fell hard for Derek Fitzpatrick, his southern drawl, sexy beanie, and sarcastic wit. He charmed me with his humor, his devotion for his little step-brother, and collection of cowboy boots. I rooted for him to get the girl and to find his goal in life--his passion. He is loyal and has heart. And all of these irresistible traits make Derek Fitzpatrick a hero worthy of adoration. Fans of the young adult genre will want to gobble him up in one bite.

Ashtyn Parker is the girl next door type. She is unique in the fact that she is kicker for her high school football team--as well as the team's newly elected captain. And her boyfriend, Landon, isn't the type to sit back and let his girl have the credit she so well deserves. Landon leaves the team and ends up leaving Ashtyn with a broken heart. 

All her life, people have left Ashtyn. First, her mother, then her sister, and next, her father. Well, her father is physically there, but he hasn't taken an active role as a father for quite some time. The only constant in Ashtyn's life has been her love and passion for football. Something that gives her clarity, something that she excels at, and the something that she hopes will lead her to a college scholarship and recruitment from college scouts. But when Landon left the team, he took with him the possibility of a winning season.  

When Ashtyn's older sister, Brandi, returns home, she brings along a big surprise--Derek-- An older step-son that neither Gus (their father) or Ashtyn were aware of. 

Derek has been kicked out of his prep school and is left with returning to Chicago along with his step-mother and little step brother. Not a move he wants to make, but he is left with little choice. Derek's first run-in with Ashtyn may be a little cheesy, but I did find myself snickering at all the bantering that went on between these two:
..."I bet my left nut you wouldn't even notice if I got your dog fixed."
"Your left nut?" I ask. "Why not your right one? Guys never say they'll bet their right nut, only their left. Why is that?"
"Because all guys know their right nut is the dominant one, so bettin' the left one is a safe choice..."

But to be honest, it was Derek's humor really sold this story for me: 

"I don't like her boyfriend," I say to Falkor. The beast stares up at me with gray eyes and pants, his long tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.
"Next time he comes over you should pee on his leg," I suggest.

..."I'm wearing a skin-tight leotard/bodysuit obviously designed by women who have no clue about men's
plumbing, because the outline of my dick is obscene..." 

And he gives great big-brother advice:

"Julian, sometimes girls are like junk food. They look good, and they sure taste good...but you know they're not healthy for you and cause cavities so it's better to just leave 'em alone. Got me?" 

And he tells it like it is, no holding back:

They kiss, but I've seen more passion when Falkor licks his nuts. 

Another enjoyable aspect in this story was the somewhat haughty, but very entertaining Elizabeth Worthington. She was the perfect secondary character, providing a lot of surprising laughs. 

Mrs Worthington takes one bit of Brandi's cookie and spit it out in her napkin. Dearie, are you trying to poison us, or just break our teeth?"
Brandi laughs. "I admit I'm not the best baker."
"Obviously." She pats Brandi on the cheek. We must get you some cooking lessons, dearie. Before you kill my grandson. 

Although some of the story and plot-lines are predictable, I totally immersed myself in Wild Cards and fell in love with the characters. I cannot wait to read more of this new and exciting series by Simone Elkeles. 

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