Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Wrecked by Shiloh Walker

Title: Wrecked
Author: Shiloh Walker
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 2 April 2013

In the nineties, Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes were the most beloved sitcom child stars in the world. Then they grew up and left Hollywood behind...

Whatever happened to Abigale Applegate?

She’s been wondering the same thing.

With her Hollywood dreams long gone, Abigale now has a nice, neat, uncomplicated life—until the day her perfect fiancĂ© needs to talk. Dumped, a little more than shattered, and totally confused, Abigale turns to Zach, her best friend since forever, to help her pick up the pieces. He does it with a gift—a copy of Wreck This Journal. She can vent her frustrations, and sketch out a new plan. Zach just hopes he’s part of it. Because he’s been in love with Abigale his entire life.

When the journal falls into Zach’s hands, he discovers Abigale wants a new man. And fast. Nothing more than a hot distraction. Zach has a strategy, too. He’s going to be that man. It’s his last chance. Abigale might be out to shake up her life, but Zach’s out to reinvent it. Now, all he has to do is convince Abigale that life can go as planned.

I first became intrigued with the idea of this book when I heard something mentioned in regards to Wreck This Journal; I've had my eye on it ever since. Finally, finally I read an excerpt and was hooked. I immediately purchased it, and settled in to read.

Wrecked (previously titled Wreck This Life) had me at the beginning with the friends-to-lovers trope - I love this set-up, so much. But what kept me invested was the characters themselves. Both Abby and Zach were childhood stars on a sitcom, both of them got out of the life, and both try to live normal lives now.

Abby's now a caterer, that likes to have complete control through planning every step of her life. She had a life plan from seventeen onwards and when she's thrown off track she's not sure how to handle having her plans so thoroughly ruined. In comes Wreck This Journal, and Abby comes up with a new plan. Not a life-plan, but a for-now-plan. I love how she takes these small steps to becoming more who she is - letting life happen a little and going with the flow. The rewards are well worth it.

Speaking of the rewards - Zach is a fabulous hero. He's been Abby's best friend since they were kids. She's always known she could count on him. What she didn't know was that he's also been in love with her since they were kids. Unable to stand being away from her, he settled in the same town she did - starting his own business, a tattoo shop. And can I just say how sexy it is that he designs and does tattoos? Being completely shallow here for a moment, the descriptions of his tattoos … they just make him hotter. But on top of that Zach's funny and kind and steady - he's comfortable in the best possible way.

I knew from the first moment I saw them together they were meant to be together. They have a great chemistry and it's easy to see why and how they fall in love. Speaking of chemistry - the scene where Zach paints a temporary tattoo on Abby's torso? Smoking hot!! Shiloh Walker has some great steamy scenes in this book.

I had a few minor issues - one of them centering around a euphemism choice that's not really important. The other one was addressed in the story itself. I'm not a fan of misunderstandings and lack of talking about how you feel, but I really liked how these were utilized here. Abby does misunderstand something, but I liked that she came to the (truthful) conclusion on her and went about reconnecting with Zach without him having to chase her down - not that he wasn't trying! And towards the mid-point of the book I was ready to shake both of them so they'd acknowledge what they felt to the other - but how this was addressed later in the book really made me re-evaluate, and when they did declare their love, I was so, so happy.

I'm so glad I finished out 2013 reading this book - Wrecked is a fantastic, sweet, sexy, and fun contemporary romance and I'm hoping against hope that we get stories about Zach's brothers (who make a brief appearance here).

Grade: A-

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