by Anna Brooks
“Wilder” is the second book in the ‘Ryder Ranch’ series by Anna Brooks. It’s definitely something you can read as a standalone, so don’t worry if you haven’t yet read the first book in the series.
This is a book with an interesting format. It takes place over the span of a decade. The first time the main characters actually meet, they are teenagers still under the control of their respective parents. Wilder loves his family’s life on their ranch, although abandonment by one of his beloved parents has given him some serious issues about trust and believing in the commitment of a woman to a relationship. Frankie has self-esteem issues not uncommon amongst teenage girls. She has big dreams for her future; she wants to travel and make a name for herself in a particular profession.
Poor communication, lack of communication, insecurity, unexpected interference by other people, and the inexorable passage of time all take their toll but when Wilder and Frankie are together the chemistry between them remains powerful. They are both such well-developed characters that I quickly became so invested in them getting to some type of happy relationship status together. Wilder becomes such an excellent ‘book boyfriend’ that he sets a high standard many others could aspire to reach!
This is a book that touches the heart in many different ways. It’s about compassion and forgiveness, about young love and mature love, about having patience and about having faith. There is family drama and relationship drama. Several revelations and secrets revealed in the story keep the intensity high. The more of the story you read, the tighter it pulls you in. I thought the ending was excellent and I can’t wait for the next book to be released. Book three will be about Wilder’s brother, Maverick, and it was set up so well in this one that I’m already anxious for it.