*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*
Published: May 27, 2014
Against the Wild — Kat Martin
Unlike some of the other books I’ve been reviewing lately, this author wasn’t a new read for me. I’ve read Kat Martin’s work before, but it’s been a very long time since I picked up one of her books. I think I’ve read three (maybe… four) of her books. I read Desert Heat, Deep Blue and Midnight Sun. They’re connected books, and I remember enjoying them… but it’s probably been four or five years since I’ve read them.
One of my best friends is obsessed with Kat’s books. She own’s the majority of her books, with the exception of her new Against series. My friend is the one that turned me onto Kat’s work forever ago.
So, all that being said, and with it being five years-ish since I’ve read anything by Kat… I liked the book. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed it.
As I’ve said before, I’m a pretty fast reader. This book though, took me two damn days to read. I normally finish a book in a day, so finishing this one in two was a bit abnormal. I did have some personal things happening in my life, which may have contributed to the length of time it took me to finish this one.
It also could have been that I just wasn’t gripped by this one. Yes, I enjoyed the book as a whole, but it didn’t grab a hold of me and take me prisoner until I finished it.
Against the Wild is about Dylan Brodie and his little girl Emily who live in the wilds of Alaska. Emily doesn’t speak, and hasn’t since her mother abandoned both her and Dylan and then died in an accident. As far as Dylan can find out from doctors and therapists, there isn’t anything wrong with Emily. She just doesn’t speak.
Dylan has recently bought a lodge outside of a remote Alaskan village. He’s tried for months to hire Lane Bishop, an interior designer from L.A. that he’s been desiring since he met her, and have her come to the lodge to decorate it before they open it for guests. Lane and Dylan met in California and both were very attracted to the other. Lane’s best friend Haley ended up marrying Dylan’s cousin Ty, so they both ended up knowing each other through Haley and Ty as well. After many offers and probably some begging, Lane gives in and accepts Dylan’s request to come to Alaska to work on the lodge.
Their chemistry is unmistakable. They’re very good for each other, but they both bring a little baggage to the relationship. Dylan is convinced nothing would work between them because Lane would never like living in Alaska. Lane at first just sees this relationship as a fling while she’s in Alaska, but then of course her feelings change.
I loved the relationship between Lane and Emily. The little girl still doesn’t talk to Lane (or anyone) but she’s drawn to her. She’ll willingly hold Lane’s hand, and she’s madly in love with Lane’s dog Finn, who came along with her on the trip north.
From the beginning of the book, there was mention that the lodge is haunted. Dylan doesn’t believe a word of it. Once Lane arrives, things start getting worse. In the middle of the night one night, she sees a ghost and screams. Dylan doesn’t believe her, but Lane is sure she saw something. Everyone in the lodge is awoken in the middle of the night by loud noises more than once, and the rocking chair in Emily’s room seems to be rocking by itself.
It isn’t until later in the book that we find out that the lodge isn’t actually haunted, but someone was breaking in and setting it up to make it look like it was. The people who were pulling off this stunt weren’t the people I had originally thought it would be, but they made sense.
Unlike other books, the background characters aren’t really too in the background. One of the men that’s working on getting the lodge up and running, and who also is a friend of Dylan has a bit of a side story in the book. It took a little getting used to… switching from Lane and Dylan’s POV and story to Caleb’s POV. It didn’t really take away from the story… it was just different.
One of Caleb’s old flames from his younger years finds out that he’s back in town and makes it clear she wants to get back with him. Too bad for her, he’s not at all excited about that idea. In my opinion, Holly (the girl that wants Caleb) was a bit mental. She was obsessed with him. Determined to get him back, telling everyone in town that they were seeing each other and that they were in a relationship. When Caleb tells her that he isn’t interested because he’s been seeing someone else that he really likes, Holly takes it upon herself to seek out the woman and cause problems. Holly some how finds out the restaurant where Caleb and Jenny (his ladylove) are having dinner (stalker much?) and causes a huge stink.
Caleb is furious with Holly and high tales it out of the restaurant with Jenny in tow… and has to repair all the damage that was just done. Holly keeps making trouble for Caleb and Jenny throughout the book, going so far as to calling Jenny and telling her that Holly and Caleb have been dating secretly on the side. When he finds out, Caleb confronts Holly in a bar in town and they argue. He leaves after that.
Later on in the book, Lane sees someone creeping around outside. It’s thought that the person who’d been breaking in to make the lodge look haunted was back…but that wasn’t the case. After Holly and Caleb argue, she turns up the next day murdered. Caleb is instantly accused of the crime, but it wasn’t him. Lane and Dylan go on a quest to figure out who did it, because they know that Caleb just couldn’t have done it.
After some searching, Lane and Dylan make the connection that the mysterious person she saw outside was probably the murderer… which puts everyone on edge.
There’s so many things happening in this book that it was a little hard to keep track of. We have Dylan and Lane’s romance, Holly’s murder, and the mysterious bad guy that is seemingly impossible to track.
Everything gets resolved and tied up with a neat little bow by the end of the book, so you’re not left hanging. I hate cliffhangers, so that was nice.
Overall, I liked the book. I like Kat’s writing style, it’s very smooth. I’m not sure I liked it enough to pick up the next book in the series, Against the Sky or pick up the other books before this one in the against series. I might, but if I did… i’d put the book at the bottom of my to-read list. I just wasn’t gripped by the story. It was good, but not great in my opinion.
I prefer books that wrap me up in the story and don’t let me go until it’s over. This one just didn’t do that for me. Other people may have a different experience.
I’d give this one an 8/10.