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They hit the trail solo in search of themselves, and along the way find each other…
Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet R for rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite stretches of the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) through Washington State. Solo.
Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since he was camping in Boy Scouts as a kid —before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, leaves a note, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on his first week-long speed hike through the wilderness.
Except Mother Nature has other plans and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?
4 out of 5 (very good)
WILD AT HEART is the first book in the Wild Love series and we meet Jules and Evan, both consultants, both hiking to put their world to rights.
One thing I want to say straight away is I'm NOT a hiker. I go for walks, yes, but not hikes. So I tip my hat to the author for her obvious love of hiking and the outdoors. Her experience shines through in every word when they're on the trail, which made it a delight to read.
The relationship between Jules and Evan was full of peaks and dips too. Some of which I empathised with and understood. Others just frustrated me and made that part of the book slow down to a snail's pace as I slogged past it. Mainly told from Jules' perspective, I found her to be hanging onto past trauma without making much of an effort to move past it. She was quick to place distance between her and Evan for the most spurious of reasons. He, at least, acknowledged his faults and worked hard to overcome them. He also had the patience of a saint, which he needed with Jules!
The ending is nicely wrapped up with a big bow although it was a bit quick and convenient after all the (sometimes unnecessary) drama.
My rating would be 3.5-stars but I'm rounding it up for both Archaeolibrarian and Goodreads. I would recommend this outdoorsy romance for fans of contemporary romance.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Award-winning author Stacy Gold gave up her day job as Communications Director of a nonprofit mountain biking organization to write steamy romance novels filled with independent, adventurous women —and the men who can’t resist them. After making a living writing all kinds of non-fiction for more than 15 years, it’s the most fun she’s ever had with a keyboard and screen.
Gold has released three ski romance novellas and a boxed set with Wild Rose Press. When she’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dogs.