Characters: How a master can change your mind

Independent book review of A Heart so Wild

By Raine Thomas

It wasn’t from page 1 that I hated Callan Murphy. But by the third chapter, I could not stand him.

A professional hockey player, recruited by the expansion team, the Atlanta Siege. Everyone in the hockey world knows how talented, how capable he is. What he could do on the ice.

If he cared.

But Callan does not try that hard. Because he doesn’t have to. A trust-fund baby, he never has had to worry about keeping a roof over his head nor food on the table.

On top of which, he’s handsome and personable. A player in every sense of the word who never lacks for female attention, whenever he wants it. 

You know the type. And you hate him too, now. 

But that’s okay. It’s not the author’s job to make you love every character. It’s to make characters interesting.

Callan is on notice: team management knows he’s not giving the game everything he has. He could do more, on and off the ice. 

A player, on his thirtieth birthday, Callan goes looking for his next off-ice conquest when he meets Roxanne Wagner, a hopeful real estate agent.

Roxanne is eminently loveable. Beautiful, undeniably. Exotic, too many. Long, lustrous dark hair and big beautiful dark eyes. Smart, capable, independent, taking s**t from no one. 

Roxy is ethnically Roma, also known as Gypsy. She comes from a large, busy family with small businesses and lots of children. She’s the only sister of four brothers who challenge her, but also provide a lot of support and love. 

Roxy has had many jobs, and now has decided on real estate as a long-term career. But it’s a struggle, because there are steep start-up costs and ruthless competitors who steal her clients.  Her family is happy to give her what she needs, but Roxy is determined to prove herself and make her own way. 

The ways characters grow

Raine Thomas has again created two utterly believable, compelling and interesting main characters. Two beautiful people who should never even meet, let alone fall in love.

Now all the author has to do is figure out a way to get them together in front of the altar without making her readers hurl the book across the room in disbelief.

Never let it be said that Raine Thomas shies away from a challenge.

The story

Anyway, They’re attracted immediately and irresistibly—this is, after all, a romance—but they have conflicting life interests.

Or do they, really? As the book progresses, Roxy and Callan begin to learn that their long-term best interests lie in each other.

In other words, they both have some growing to do.

The strengths

A Heart So Wild showcases author Raine Thomas’s strength: realistic, relatable characters that quicken a reader’s pulse. Reading this book, you will react to Callan, Roxy, her Daj, her brothers and sisters and co-workers, Callan’s parents and especially his grandfather, the G-Man. 

You will recognize Roxy’s four brothers, her sisters-in-law and their growing brood of children. You’ve heard their voices at your own family gatherings. You’ve felt what Roxy feels when her mother and grandmother help her, when her brothers simultaneously challenge, support and protect her. 

It rings true. 

As we progress through the novel, as we get to know Roxy’s and Callan’s families, readers can see the steep but clear path for both of them, the path to mutual support, happiness and, yes, love. 

The question is: will they see it?

And more important: will you start to see in Callan what Roxy sees?

Should you read this?

If you love romance, or just good contemporary stories about real people—and yes, NHL players can be real people—facing very relatable challenges, then yes, you should read A Heart So Wild. It will capture you, it will make you turn the page, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find your cheeks wet more than once.

About A Heart So Wild

He’s a sexy left winger for the NHL’s newest expansion team, the Atlanta Siege, and he’s a player in every sense of the word.

Callan Murphy’s on a mission: get his teammate laid.

A night out at Atlanta’s hottest nightclub is all he’ll need to find the perfect woman to blow his goalie’s … mind. But when he catches a glimpse of a dark-haired beauty standing across the dance floor, winging for his friend is the last thing on his mind.

She’s perfect, all right. Perfect for him. Now he just has to convince her of that, something he never expects to be such a challenge.

She’s a mysterious bombshell who’s about to teach him what it’s like to play in the big leagues of the heart.

Roxy Wagner’s on a mission: get her best friend laid.

When they head out to ladies’ night in search of Mr. Right Now, it doesn’t take her long to spot the two tall, dark, and stud-lies watching them from across the club. One look at the bearded hottie with the seductive heat in his eyes tells her she’s about to go up against a real player.

She should know … it takes one to know one. And she’s not interested in playing for keeps.

It starts with a night out winging for friends. How it all ends will depend on whether Callan can find a way to tame Roxy’s wild heart.

Game on.

Where to get it

About the author

Raine Thomas is a multiple award-winning author of bestselling romance. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream.

Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Raine loves to hear from readers! You can connect with her at:

1 Comment


  1. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read and review A Heart So Wild! 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.