Shiloh Walker never disappoints the reader in me. Her characters are always intriguing, people you’d like to know. And the way she weaves a story together is imaginative and fun. However, it’s the emotional impact of her work that always resonates with me. It’s a soul-deep impact that pulls me further into the book, has its hooks in me until the very end. So while Wrecked is a very good read, for me the emotional punch I’ve come to expect from Ms. Walker doesn’t hit as deep as it usually does.
In fact, the emotion is mostly on the hero’s side. The heroine takes much too long to come to grips with her feelings, she’s too focused on the past and messing up their friendship and her emotions are all over the place and loses impact. Zach has loved Abigale a good portion of his life. They met as teenagers when they starred together in a hit TV show. After enjoying a number of years of fame, the show is over and both of them get out of the business, but their best friend status has endured. Abigale finally gets out from under her controlling mother’s thumb, and Zach is left following Abby wherever she goes just to be close to her. He opens his tattoo shop and keeps his feelings to himself…until…
Abby’s fiance breaks their engagement. This is Zach’s chance to make his move, but he also knows he has to go slow with her. Trying to help he gives life-controlling, list-oriented Abby a journal to help wreck her life – live a little, let things happen as they may. Abby finally embraces the new book and makes a different kind of list to try to become a wilder, more carefree Abby. On that list is to have a torrid affair with a hot guy. Well, having never seen what’s always been right in front of her, Abby begins looking for a hot guy.
Zach does a great job of moving in on Abby, especially when he discovers her list. All slow and tender, teasing, and so very sensual. Of course, Abby is thrown for a loop, Zach’s never done this before, what’s going on?? Everyone and his brother knows what Abby doesn’t, but everyone goes along with Zach, keeping his secret for the time being. But even when someone makes an offhand comment to Abby about his feelings, she’s still fairly clueless. Then when she does finally find that clue, she’s up in arms about losing the friendship between them, she doesn’t want to ruin that. She never looks at the opposite side, what she might gain by letting go and loving the man in an entirely different way. But that process takes most of the book, and so many times I wanted to shake that woman silly!
When Abby does decide to give it a go, however, the heat between these two characters is molten. Zach is a hungry man when it comes to Abby, and he feasts as often as he can. Though she’s moved past the friendship barrier, Abby still has moments when she’s not sure the fire between them is the right thing, but you can see her leave that mindset behind little by little. I just wish it’d happened a little faster. When she finds that inner mojo, she does let loose, and there’s a lot of fun to be had with her then. And I do enjoy her unique way in letting Zach know her feelings near the end. It’s Zach, though, who makes this book for me. You feel his frustration, his loss, then his joy and happiness, his need and want for Abby. He’s a hero who has it all and he’s a joy to read.
There are a number of secondary characters who are fun and tell it like it is. I like Zach’s family; they look out for him, though he wishes they’d leave him alone. And I really like Abby’s other best friend, Marin, another one who isn’t afraid to let Abby know what’s what and helps where she can. I’m hoping all these characters might mean more books coming our way. In Ms. Walker’s hands, a lot of fun can be had with them all.
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 fiancé 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.