Review: Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

Wild Hearts

Judging by how much I liked the other book in this series (albeit different author and different storyline!) and how there are HORSES in this book (just like in the other book!!!), I’m so disappointed that I didn’t like this one as much. Wild Hearts bored me, and as much as I tried to like it (HORSES!!!), I just couldn’t. The characters were okay, but the plot wasn’t very interesting. However, there’s nothing majorly wrong with the book, so I still got through it. (It just took a while.)

Title: Wild Hearts
Author: Jessica Burkhart
Series: If Only… #4
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Category: (Young Adult) Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Introduction

Brie Carter’s father’s land development business has taken her family all over the world, but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don’t want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him… and the horses. However, with Logan’s father leading the protests and Brie’s father refusing to budge, it’s clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?

Discussion

The premise of Wild Hearts sounds pretty cool, like a mix of city-girl-cowboy-love-story and Romeo-and-Juliet-family-feud. Brie is a character I can relate with, since she’s had to move often because of her dad’s job, which has caused her to be fearful of growing too attached to places and people. She’s protective of her family and their beliefs – even in the face of resistance from what looks like the entire town of Lost Spring – and can be very stubborn and proactive (as is shown later in the book) when she wants to do something.

Brie’s meeting with Logan is not quite love-at-first-sight (thank goodness!), but their relationship still progresses very fast. I think these two characters complement each other well, and overall, the romance in this story is cute and not too overwhelming.

The plot is where this story failed me. The pacing is very slow, and the climax is not very climatic. The conflict between the anti-hotel and pro-hotel sides is quickly overtaken by another suspenseful (and unnecessary) event, which ends up leading to a somewhat shocking revelation that I never fully recover from. Although the post-climax resolution is drawn out, it’s the one redeeming feature since it’s full of horses and more horses! 🐎

Conclusion

I wish I liked Wild Hearts more because HORSES, but the structure and pacing of the story distracted me.

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7 thoughts on “Review: Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

  1. If you want a good horse story, you should read The Scorpio Races! Or have you already? I used to read tons of horse series when I was a kid, but I can’t think of any besides TSR that are for older age groups.

    • Ooh, no, I haven’t read The Scorpio Races, but it’s going on my list right now! I also read a ton of horse stories as a kid (I need to revisit all the Marguerite Henry books at some point!) so I can’t wait to give TSR a try. 🙂

      • Yayy, it’s such a good book. Have you read anything else by Maggie Stiefvater? I can’t remember if I ever read Misty of Chincoteague, but I went to the island as a kid and took 5 million almost identical pictures of the ponies, haha. Did you ever read the Thoroughbred books or Pony Pals? There were so many!

        • I’ve read The Wolves of Mercy Falls series – I LOVE Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style! BUT WAIT THE ISLAND IS REAL?!! I guess I always thought it was a magical fantasy horse-land haha. I remember reading Misty of Chincoteague, Sea Star, King of the Wind, the majority of Farley’s The Black Stallion series… I’ve actually never read the Thoroughbred and Pony Pals series, only the Saddle Club series! 👀 And then I think at some point I just stopped reading horse stories because there weren’t a lot of horse-related young adult/adult fiction stuff. :/

          • I haven’t read that one! I’m a huge fan of The Raven Cycle, though. She sure knows how to write great characters.

            Chincoteague? Yeah, it’s an island off the coast of Virginia. I think there are more “wild” horses on Assateague Island, the bigger island on the other side of Chincoteague. They’re worth visiting if you’re ever on the East Coast of the U.S. some day. 🙂

            I read a few Saddle Club books, too! You’re right, though, the stories didn’t age too much.

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