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ARC Review of “Wild Cards” By Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)“Wild Cards” by Simone Elkeles

Published by:

Publish Date: 10/1/2013

How I got the book: I got this book from an ARC Tour Site – Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review

What It’s About:

*Courtesy of GoodReads

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?

What I thought:

When I saw this book, I knew instantly I wanted to get it asap and read and review for my blog.  I have never read anything by this author, but I’ve seen so many good reviews on her previous work so I was excited to check it out for myself and I always love firsts in a series because I know there is more to tell!  When I started this book, it did start out a little slow – but i really enjoyed seeing the story in “360” – so from both sides. I loved seeing the different interactions and what plays out inbetween for both of the characters. The story was based on amazing characters and it absolutely sucked me in once I got going.  The story was smart, flirty, and fun. I was really drawn to this book specifically  because I really enjoy strong female characters. While both characters had their own flaws, I really loved that Ashtyn was a strong female and how cool was it that she was the kicker for her highschool football team – and captain – and girly – and talented – Can you say awesome?? Not that Derek wasn’t smart, hot, and talented himself but we will get more into that in the character review. I thought the storyline was genuine and not unrealistic — I hate nothing more than a story that is so much of a story i can’t even imagine in my mind this in real life, and this book was very real to me – I thought the story was natural and flowed well – nothing forced or…inconsistent. Basically, I thought the story rocked. Let’s talk about the characters and the romance that sizzed off the page from the first time they met!

The Characters:

Ashtyn is the bada** girl captain of her awesome football team. She’s an amazing kicker, girly, fun, and strong minded – Eckeles definetly knew what she was doing when she wrote this character. Derek is also without exception – deep. He is smart, funny, hot, talented, loyal, and has a good heart. This guy gave up football because he thought he let his Mom down – a teenage guy who loved it more than anything – to punish himself – SWOON! Both characters absolutely suffered from trust issues and honestly struggled with allowing themselves to be happy to some extent. Derek and Ashtyn both refused to allow themselves happiness because they blamed themselves for something out of their control. I loved watching them both work through the trust and just general relationship “learning” as they grew in the story. I loved that Derek was loyal to Ashtyn from day one (even though he might not want to admit that). One of my favorite scenes is the begining where he gets the FB photo of the guys who TP’d Ashtyn’s house in the first few chapters (if you read you will know what I’m talking about) – to me this was both funny and showed his big heart and loyalty – even to someone who was basically –a jerk to hiim.  To say that these two had some romance would be an understatment – I’m surprised the book didn’t combust while I was reading it – it was sizzing! One thing I will praise Eckeles for is writing the romance to be hot/steamy – but still appropriate and not “erotic”. Her kissing scenes and the make out moments were amazing! I love a story that makes you reminiss back to your life at that point – and this did that for me. I loved football games on Friday nights and those “make out” sessions when you could steal a moment alone. I really loved their road trip too – just them getting to know each other. Now, I did have some frustrating moments witht the book, at times i did want to tell Derek to “man up!”. But I digress – and I don’t really want to spoil anything so I’ll get to my overall review now!

My Take-Away Thoughts:

Read this – get it – read it maybe again – and wait for the sequel to come out. I haven’t read anything by Eckeles, as I said before, but I will be reading her work now. I am alreaday looking forward to checking out some of her other stuff now and cannot wait to read this sequel too – when can we expect that?? If you know – share!  The story linked both narrators in a cool way allowing you to see the full story. The main characters and support characters for that point had depth and were full. The story was as funny and real as it was hot and steamy! Overall, I give this a 5/5 review – so I highly reccommend it! If you like steamy, hot, sweet, real romances – check it out. And I also think that it’s a great summer read, while it’s not “deep” with issues, it does have depth to it, a perfect mix (if you know what I mean..).

Overall, I really enjoyed – so get out there and give it a try. Mark your calenders for October 1st and check this out – or pre-order now on Amazon!

Before I go, I have one last thing – AWESOME quotes!! Check them out below and let me know what you think – are you excited to read?? Love feedback!

Awesome Quotes:

“I never believed in love at first sight, until I met Derek. Its all consuming and delicious and wonderful and exciting.  At the same time, it makes me nervous and self-conscious and emotional.  Love exists.  I know it does, because I’m madly, deeply, hopelessly, in love.”

*Swoon – right?? So sweet.. the Love Exists — wow.. Sometimes you get profound stuff from the strangest places and this fun teen romance really hit home for me with that..

“I look at my grandmother and for the first time since my mom died I realize what I want.  I want to be there for Julian and Brandi, the family I never knew I wanted.  I want to be close to my grandmother even though she drives me nuts.  I want to show Ashtyn what it means to be loved unconditionally- because she’s the only girl I want to be with and I don’t ever want her to feel alone again.” – *Again – SWOON!

“Ashtyn Parker, I’d do anything for you.” He cups my head in his hands and leans in close.  “I love you.”

Well that’s it for me folks – hope you enjoyed and love to hear feedback!

Happy Tuesday!


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FridayFinds_bringOntheInkHosted by Should Be Reading @ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/friday-finds-july-19/

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!


I didn’t post Friday finds last week so I want to rave about a new series I found first – I’ve already found and read book one and on to book 2 – amazing if you like a little romance – great writing and not to much heart wrenching let down in the story!

Rule (Marked Men, #1)“Rule” by Jay Crownover – The Marked Men Series

Now – I like a guy with some ink – so this was right up my alley, but if if that’s not exactly your type – the characters are warm and loveable and real.. Rule is my new book boyfriend – and I guess I’m making it blog official…

The second book – which i just got and already started is:

Jet (Marked Men, #2)

Same Author – this guy is a hunky singer and inked – I think I might combust here.. Whoa!!

Now – some finds I had — via the web and that i’ve added to my blog tour participation:

The Infinite Moment of Usby Lauren Myracle – now I’ve never read anything else by her but I’m super excited about this and I literally shrieked when it came in the mail yesterday — yippee!! I”m flooded with good reading right now! SO let’s see how it goes…

Starry Nightsby Daisy Whitney – this is in transit to me right now from the last blogger, so lets see – preface seems good – but keep posted!


Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)by Simone Elkeles – also on the way to me, super excited about this too!


I feel like there have been some others – but I’ll save those for next week I guess – for right now Happy Friday – let me know what you’ve found and if you’ve read anything I have found – Love to hear from some of the Marked Men series fans out there!!

Happy Friday!




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