REVIEW & EXCERPT: Wilder by Rebecca Yarros
“When are you going to understand that’s where life begins? Right at the edge of that fear.”
He’s Paxton Wilder. Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades. Five time X Games medalist. The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program. He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class. But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first. Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.
As soon as I read the blurb for Wilder I was instantly intrigued. The moment the preorder was up I clicked that 1 click button. Then Wilder landed on my Kindle and for some reason I didn't pick it up straight away. I blame it on me being an insanely annoying mood reader!
I finished Wilder at 2am this morning and as soon as I finished that last word I was equal parts regretting waiting so long and also ecstatic that my first read of 2017 was such a remarkable read!
I instantly fell for Paxton, from those first few pages I knew he was exactly what I needed to get me out of my book funk! Paxton was all the things I love in my male leads, sweet, sexy, a little bit arrogant... ok maybe a lot arrogant and a dare devil!
Wilder was my first Rebecca Yarros book and I instantly fell in love with the intricate and poetic way she writes. One of the things I loved about her style was how romantic, yet not flowery she wrote some of the more intimate scenes between Pax and Leah. I've never fallen so in love with a first kiss scene before. It was exhilarating and steamy. Kiss perfection!
I’d never wanted something—someone—so badly in my life. Damn the consequences. “Leah?” he asked, leaning down slightly to cup my cheeks in his hands, then swiping his tongue across his lower lip—his nervous tell. My fingers found the warm skin of his biceps, and before I could find the words I wanted to say, I surged on my toes, pressing my mouth to his and kissing him. Our lips clung, the simple pressure lasting far longer than I meant it to. I hadn’t meant for it to happen at all. Not really. Oh God. I kissed Paxton. I’m kissing Paxton.
And that's not even the whole scene! You have to experience Leah and Pax' story from the beginning to fully appreciate how perfect this scene was!
Wilder begins 2 years after Leah has been through a traumatic experience. From the brief insight you get within the first 2 chapters I thought she was dealing with PTSD and once you discover why she's so afraid of what she is you can completely understand her reactions to certain situations.
Leah was an incredible female lead in Wilder. I connected with her immediately, I felt her pain, her loss, her nerves, everything she felt I felt alongside her. She was so strong and far braver then she gave herself credit for but also damaged in a way that only true love could fix. I loved how hellbent she was on succeeding in life and getting through her pain to the other side and living to her full potential.
Paxton is Leah's opposite in every way, he's reckless where she's cautious. Goes with the flow where she plans everything but they balanced each other out so perfectly.
Where Pax pushes Leah to move on with her life and live a little, Leah gets Pax to slow down just slightly and enjoy the little things.
“Because if no one sees the epic moments, did they ever really happen?” Our eyes locked, and my breath became pure energy in my lungs, sending butterflies into my stomach while rushing a strange chill through my limbs. “I think it depends on who you define as no one. Not everything epic is meant for a worldwide audience.”
Pax is the leader of the Renegades, the 4 original dare devils. He's reckless and arrogant with hardly a fear in the world. Except the one thing that everyone is looking for. He's fiercely loyal to those around him and puts everyone's needs in front of his own. But Pax has an agenda, an agenda that could ruin everything for him if he doesn't play his cards right.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I fell in love with Wilder and Rebecca's poetic style of writing. She was so descriptive when describing scenes that I could picture everything perfectly like I was watching a movie that captured every aspect of her words.
I've been in somewhat of a reading slump the past few months and have really struggled to get into anything I've picked up. I haven't connected so well with every character in a book in so long! And gah! Those secondary characters! All I want from life is too be Penna's best friend and I hope like hell that we've got a story about her coming! I'm already counting down the minutes to Nova, Book 2 in the Renegades series!
“Tell her. Kiss her. Pray to God you can make it through the storm you’re headed for, then marry her and make pretty little Wilder babies,” she repeated. “The answer to that question will always be the same no matter what stage you’re in. You are the strongest man I have ever known. So you dig in, you take the rain, and you fight like hell, because that’s what you’re about to go through.”
With one book Rebecca has made me a lifelong fan and become an instant one click author! I've already 1 clicked everything she's written that I didn't already have and preordered Nova! I'm so thoroughly excited to see what she does with Landon AKA Casanova!
“Do I get a good-luck kiss?” he asked after checking for cameras, his hands framing my waist.
“Paxton.” I tried to make it sound like a warning, but it came out too breathy, too wanting. For crying out loud, I couldn’t even control my own voice against this guy.
He squeezed lightly and then groaned. “Did I ever tell you that I love this dress?”
I shook my head. The spaghetti-strap maxi dress had been a last-minute choice, but Penna said she was going to burn all my pants if she saw me in them for the twenty-first day in a row.
He leaned down, his mouth against the shell of my ear. “I can feel every curve under my hands, which makes me pretty damn desperate to slide this up your legs and really get my hands on you. But I won’t. You know why?”
I shook my head.
“Because you haven’t said yes—yet—and I’m a goddamned gentleman.”
My fingers traced the lines of the Chinese symbol tattoos that ran up his neck, simply unable not to touch him. “Do I have to say yes to everything to get to kiss you?” I asked.
His breath stuttered. “Do you want to say yes?”
Our eyes met, and it would have been so easy to say it, to throw my hesitation overboard and jump. But that wasn’t me, and it didn’t matter that I was in a breezy dress under the Italian sun with the hottest extreme athlete on the planet, I was still...me. “I’m thinking about it.”
His forehead puckered for a millisecond before he relaxed and smoothed the line of my waist. “Then I think we can take yeses on a case-by-case basis.”
My heart pounded in anticipation. “Leah, would you like me to kiss you?”
“Yes,” I answered instantly.
Our hips met first as he drew me in. My hands slipped down the edges of his T-shirt to grasp the inked lines of his biceps. Arms like his should be modeled, sculpted, revered... or maybe just outlawed.
“Do you want to kiss me?” I asked.
“Hell yes,” he answered, then brushed his mouth against mine once before settling over me.
I opened for him, and he dove in, his tongue filling my mouth while my ass filled his hands. Gentleman, indeed.
Keep an eye out for NOVA, the second book in the Renegade Series coming in February!
The only heart he wants is the one he already broke...
He's Landon Rhodes. The Renegade they call Nova. Sinfully gorgeous, broody, tatted-up, professional snowboarder. Four-time X Games medalist— Full-time heartbreaker. They say a girl broke him once— That's why he's so reckless, so driven, so careless with his conquests. But I'm that girl. They can call me his curse all they want. He and I both know the truth— He's the one who destroyed me, And I'm not the sucker who will let that happen again.
Meet the Author: Rebecca Yarros
I’m a hopeless romantic and adore all things chocolate, coffee and paleo. No, seriously, I need to have a caffeine IV put in. I’ve adored reading all my life, and writing naturally evolved from my love of romance.
I’m also a military wife. During my husband’s deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I was devouring a romance novel a day, and during his third deployment, I finally wrote my own. With a somewhat ironic timing, I received my book deal for Full Measures during his fourth deployment, and published a month after he returned home.
On the homefront, we have six kids. Yes, you read that right—six. If I’m not writing or playing guitar, I’m usually tying hockey skates for our four boys, or sneaking in John Hughes marathons with my two daughters. We recently adopted our youngest daughter from the foster system and we’re passionate about helping others do the same!