Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
“She was the only star in a very dark night. She was a light that seemed to shine only on me, and the heat of that light —the fire of her attention— had me burning up from head to toe.”
Okay, so let’s talk Laurelin Paige’s Wild War, the newest story in her Dirty Wild Trilogy. In the first book of the series, Wild Rebel, much of the point of view lies with her hero, Cade. It was clear about his animosity for Jolie, the heroine of this series. While we were treated to a little bit of her perspective, it was Cade who pulled the majority of the focus…and an angry focus it was. In fact, I found myself frustrated with him as he vacillated between loving and hating her, and it wasn’t until the jaw-dropping cliffhanger that I felt fully connected to this series.
In Wild War, the point of view is balanced between Cade and Jolie. They have begun their journey into undermining Jolie’s father; however, in order to fully understand the significance of their story, Paige metes out their past. In the first book, Paige set the present stage for Cade and Jolie’s journey, but she needed Wild War to help us understand their past in order to move them forward. At the time of reading Wild Rebel, I didn’t recognize Paige’s genius in pacing. It is in Wild War where it shines. In fact, there is very little of Jolie and Cade’s present; it is focused mostly on their past, helping us understand the fraught nature of their relationship as it is built upon trauma. Laurelin Paige has this immense capacity to engage her reader through her trilogies (a cornerstone of her writing) so that they never lose interest. Instead, you become this rabid reader, frothing at the mouth for more story at her book’s end.
And she does this almost masochistically with Wild War, once again leaving us with a HUGE cliffhanger. However, I need to be honest: I saw this cliffhanger from a mile away. Did that stop me from reading until the end? NO! Because the power of this book lies in the painful journey of Cade and Jolie. There is immense trauma in their background, and each of them has been tediously sculptured by it. With that, there is an impact on their ability to be a couple. Be warned: even at the end of Wild War, there is no promise of that. I am sure Paige will rectify that in the final book of the trilogy, Wild Heart. However, I suspect it will grow rockier before they find their happy ending.
If you’re looking for resolution in Wild War, you won’t find it. Everything is still ambiguous. With the bomb that Laurelin Paige drops at its end, there are guaranteed fireworks coming in the next book. When you read Wild War, just sit and take in the deft ability of Paige to drive a story forward as she takes us backward. Revel in her capacity to create interwoven universes of engaging characterization. Because it’s all here. Add to that some suspense that keeps you wanting to gobble each page so that you can finally watch the villain get his comeuppance. It’s coming soon, but Paige makes you wait…and it’s glorious.
In love and romance,