Misfits in a Second Chance Romance – “Wild Rebel” by Laurelin Paige

Let me introduce the misfits in a second chance romance. Jolie Stark and Cade Warren were teen sweethearts but she mysteriously disappeared and has now popped back into his life seventeen years later wanting his help in killing her abusive father. If that plotline isn’t squirrelly enough for you, consider the characters.

Jolie is manipulative and needs an infusion of self-esteem seeing as how she offered herself as a stand-in for the bar hookup Cade brought to the suite he was sharing with her. And Cade is a messed up passive/aggressive former henchman turned pseudo-executive with apparently more money than good sense. He’s a head case over Jolie and she’s clearly hiding most of the seventeen years she was in absentia from his life. They renew their physical relationship while people in the background work to get incriminating evidence against her papa, a stereotypical sadistic Headmaster at the academy they both attended. Just as I’m thinking, this can’t end well, it ends abruptly. With a cliffhanger. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s a Book Three so you can most likely figure on Book Two also hanging onto that cliff.

I am a Laurelin Paige fan and generally give her work high ratings but “Wild Rebel” of the ‘Dirty Wild’ trilogy, misses the mark. The plotline is clever enough but the writing doesn’t keep up. When a best-selling author falls back on stale phrasing such as “….with every fiber of my being…” it tells me she’s on auto-pilot, merely filling pages. There are other instances of poor word choices and mixed up idioms that indicate either lazy writing or sloppy editing or both. Disappointing for sure. Three and a half stars.

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