Accardo, Lauren. Wild Love. Berkley, 2021. ISBN 978-0593200292 pp. $7.99
In this rugged romance, city girl Sydney returns home to the wilderness of Pine Ridge in disgrace, another victim to the “gave up a promising (law) career for a man who ended up cheating on me” theme. The meet cute has to do with her car being in need of repair. She ends up taking over her scattered mother’s failing bookstore (another trope), turning it into a local hotspot and tourist destination that specializes in romance novels that I would LOVE to visit.
Meanwhile, Sydney is wildly attracted to and trying to avoid falling for the bearded hottie she dubs “Mountain Man” who has a pile of baggage—Sam’s been supporting and parenting a former lover through her addiction struggles and needs to present a front that Liv has a support system or she’ll lose her kid.
The novel seems like fluff at first glance, perpetuating stereotypes about calorie counting women, but sucking down beers and chili burgers and still throwing on her running shoes while cleaning up the books develop Sydney into a well-rounded character. Solid female friendships further strengthen the novel as Sydney makes friends with the (shop)girl next door Jorie, repairs her relationship with her mother, and creates a sanctuary for local women. Recommended for larger library collections and romance readers who like their novels trope filled and a little meta.
I received an advance reader review copy of #WildLove from #NetGalley.