Chase Wilde Comes Home
by Jennifer Ryan
Release Date: March 29, 2022
Book #1 in the Wyoming Wilde series
Number of Pages: 384
Ages 18 and up
CW: PTSD, kidnapping, stalking,
references of drug use, overdoses, and rape
They’re tough, tender, and sometimes tormented; they’re the Wildes of Wyoming, three brothers whose family ties are as strong as their wills.
Chase Wilde never expected to fall in love, especially with Shelby Payne. Years before, one passionate night had drawn these two lost souls together. Then Chase left on deployment with the Army, while Shelby raised their baby alone. Now he’s back, a wounded warrior determined to turn his life around. Shelby knows what it’s like to lose everything, including her own family. So she offers him a bargain: if he can prove himself to be the man he says he is, she will let him into their daughter’s life…and maybe even into hers.
Chase knows it will take a lot to prove to Shelby that there’s more between them than the single night they spent together. She’s everything he’s ever wanted, including the voice of reason he needs to reconcile his past and be the man he wants to be for them both. But just as their lives come together, she’s torn away from him by a dangerous person from her past, and saving her means saving himself . . . because he can’t live without her.
This is a very intense story. There are moments of joy that shine through, plus an HEA and a lot of reconciliations throughout. But it’s still very intense and will gut-punch you more than once.
You don’t have to read any of this author’s other books to fully immerse yourself in this one, but Chase Wilde showed up in the last book of the Wild Rose Ranch series, Tough Talking Cowboy. Again, you don’t have to read that book, but it’s my belief that it will give you a lot more understanding of Chase and the things he’s been through. He was by no means a main character in that story, but his part was very important. That being said…
Shelby and Chase are so good for each other. Shelby is a wonderful friend, mom, and overall human being. She had a rough life, never feeling that she belonged and not willing to open herself up to the world because of the cruelty she knew was out there. Even her grandparents, who raised her, made her feel as though she was a mistake and not worth loving. It’s amazing that she turned out to be the empathetic and thoughtful person she came to be. Too bad she still, even now as an adult and a mom and a successful physical therapist, has a huge chip on her shoulder and doesn’t feel she’s good enough for Chase.
Funny, because Chase feels he will drag Shelby down. He loves her and has always had deep and intense feeling for her since their one-night stand. If he hadn’t been in the military and left the morning after they came together, he would have pursued a romantic relationship from the start. But she left before he could get her number and didn’t hear from her again until she found out she was pregnant. In the meantime, he’s estranged from his father and brothers because of helping his mom die in peace years before, he survived some extreme situations overseas which resulted in the end of his military career and extraordinary pain, which led to him becoming an addict.
I love that this is not a secret baby story. Shelby was always completely up front about the baby and wanted Chase to be involved if that was what he wanted. Other than putting her foot down during times that he was struggling with his addiction (which she should have!) she has been very open with the custody situation and open to co-parenting.
Now that Chase has cleaned up his act and finally had it out with his family, can Shelby and Chase find a way to be a real family? It’s interesting to watch them both deal with and overcome their insecurities. No matter how much “at home” they felt with the other, they just couldn’t imagine it was really reciprocal. This story isn’t so much about the characters not talking to each other, rather it’s about them not really hearing each other.
There’s much more to this story with Chase’s PTSD, Shelby’s biological father, and the Wilde family as a whole. All of it entertaining, some of it extreme, all of it engrossing. I’m not a huge fan of Chase’s family, although they came a long way during this story. Since this author rarely disappoints, I’m sure I’ll end up loving them all.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
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