cover image Sweet Wild of Mine (Where the Wild Hearts Are #2)

Sweet Wild of Mine (Where the Wild Hearts Are #2)

Laurel Kerr. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-4926-7088-9

Kerr’s follow-up to Wild on My Mind (2018) has a darker, thinner plot than its predecessor and follows gruff, reclusive Scottish author Magnus Gray and perky tea shop owner June Winters as they collide in the small town of Sagebrush Flats. After Magnus’s most recent books sell poorly, his publisher insists he return to charming stories of small towns and animals. A book about Sagebrush Flats Zoo’s adoption of an orphaned polar bear would be perfect. But though Magnus loves animals, he detests small towns and their “folks.” His off-putting wild-and-woolly caveman look doesn’t deter chatty June, from whom he flees as quickly and often as possible—until he needs her. June is a former stutterer, and Magnus, who has a severe stutter, asks her to help him create a vlog to boost book anticipation. As their bonding progresses, dark themes of child abuse and abandonment emerge in stark contrast to the diverting, madcap antics of the zoo’s animals. Excessive Scottish idioms make reading this contemporary a challenge, and even animal lovers may find it hard to wade through. [em]Agent: Sarah Phair, Trident Media Group. (June) [/em]