Series: Wild Cards, #1
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
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?
Ashtyn and Derek's chemistry was very good-- good enough that I really wanted their romance to succeed from the very beginning, so no problems there.
I loved their alternating points of view, and that they both have such huge crushes on each other, but as I read more of the book, I started to realize something. As much as I wanted them to end up together, I was also desperately hoping that it would be all very dramatic and such-- but it didn't turn out like I had hoped in that regard. Not that there aren't the usual troubles in their tumultuous relationship, but my heart just wasn't breaking for them.
But moving on to the characters themselves-- Derek was a sexy boy, I'll tell you that right here and now. I really liked him. He didn't try to conform to the society norms, or to be someone that he wasn't. He's very aware that he may not be what Ashtyn needs, and that just made him more attractive to me. I liked his wry sense of humor, and that he had a few skeletons in his closet.
Ashtyn has skeletons, too, even if they aren't near so visible. She also went against most society norms, being a girl football player and all. I liked her stubbornness, and I just liked being in her head.
All in all, Wild Cards was a good read, but I feel like it doesn't really live up to her previous works in my mind. Still worth a read, though!