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Saturday, June 11, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Gone Wild by Dakota Madison

HI guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're welcoming a Reading Addiction Blog Tour starring a Romantic Comedy that's perfect for your summer reading.  What makes it unique is in lieu of the twenty-something leads, it's more of a "second chance" story with "midlife" characters capturing the star roles.  Does it change the dynamics of the story?  Do the feels feel any less or more?  Stay with me folks, you're about to find out from THIS reader's perspective as we jump between the epages of today's book of choice...

Dakota Madison

About the book....
Go BACK TO BOOKMAN with USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Dakota Madison's new #LoveinMidlife #ComingofMiddleAge romantic comedy series.

Tenured English professor Bly Daniels believes the short walk from her campus office to the university library is too much exposure to the harsh elements of the outdoors. She would prefer to spend her days (and nights) comfortably seated indoors reading classic literature.

When Bly is arrested for reading one of the great books while driving home, a judge sentences her to thirty days of community service with The Wild Way, a therapeutic wilderness program for troubled teens.

There she meets Turner Wild, the owner and operate of the wilderness program. Turner is everything Bly despises: rugged, unrefined and outdoorsy. For Bly a trip to hell sounds more desirable than spending an entire month with Turner and his band of hooligans as they traverse the woods of rural northwest New Jersey communing with nature.

Bly certainly never expects to form a bond with the troubled teens she's been assigned to mentor and forge an unlikely relationship with their fearless leader, Turner Wild.


~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
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Everything about this man is rugged and outdoorsy. His brown hair is cut in a short, military-style haircut. His strong features look a bit rough and weatherworn. His dark jeans and t-shirt are tight fitting and display every one of the large muscles on his exceptionally masculine body.   
And he’s wearing a very large knife hanging from his belt.  I’m not surprised he runs a wilderness camp. It would be difficult to imagine someone who looks the way he does doing anything else.
Well, maybe serving in those Special Operations Forces in the military. I could picture him in one of those SEAL teams like the one that killed Bin Laden.
I decide there are only two likely vocations for this man: killing bears or killing Bin Laden.
His sea green eyes are like lasers as he stares at me. I’m immediately uncomfortable. I wonder if there is any way I could contact the judge and tell her I’ve changed my mind. Fifteen months in jail is starting to seem much more desirable than a month in the woods with this frightening character.
I extend a hand because I’m not sure what else to do. “Hello, I’m Dr. Daniels.”
He stares at my limb like I’m a leper. Then he looks me up and down. “What kind of doctor are you?”
I clear my throat. “I’m an English professor.”
He laughs. “So you’re not a real doctor.”
I immediately bristle at his ignorant comment. I hate when people say that. “For your information the word doctor is derived from the Latin word doc─ôre which means to teach. The title Doctor has been used for centuries in Europe as a designation for someone who has obtained a research doctorate such as a Ph.D. Thus a person with a medical degree is more accurately described as a physician, not a doctor.”
He pats my shoulder in the most condescending way imaginable, like I’m some kind of pet. “Whatever you say, Doc.”  
“Why are you touching me?” His hand is still on my arm. I can feel the heat from his body move through mine. It’s extremely disconcerting.
“Sorry.” He stares at me for a long moment before he removes his hand.
I try to brush away the tingly feeling flowing down my limb. “Why did you call me Doc? This isn’t a cartoon. You’re not Bugs Bunny.”
He laughs again. I don’t like people who laugh so easily. I’m immediately suspicious of them.
“I’m serious,” I tell him. “There’s no reason to laugh.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re wound up tighter than Dick’s hatband?”
I glare at him. Does that expression even make sense? I have no idea what he means, but it feels like an insult. And he’s smirking, which makes it worse.
He looks me up and down. “You can’t wear that.”
“Why not?”
“This is a wilderness camp, Doc. We’ll be getting down and dirty. Living in the woods. You can’t wear a dress and heels.”
“I’d appreciate it if you called me something other than Doc. Dr. Daniels would be fine. Or Ms. Daniels. Or my first name, Bly, if you insist. Just not Doc.”

“I could call you Community Service. Would that be better?”


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I really found myself in our leading lady Ms. Bly Daniels.  Subtract a few years, delete the jaded love life (because the lack is there but not the jaded), and replace her tenured academic position with a salary role that she works to makes ends meet (and buy books) in lieu of truly growing her passion, and you've pretty much got twins.  Take at least one book with you wherever you go?  CHECK!  Prefer "tree books" to ebooks?  CHECK!  Read like Shakira, whenever, where ever?  CHECK!  I mean her passion for the English language, reading, snacking in the library on the fourth floor just below the "do not eat" sign like a bookish many shades of me you can't believe.  It's no wonder that I fell in love with the book with a connection like that.

Being voiced in first person, THIS person (Bly) in particular, worked wonders for the story to be THAT much more personal, despite being a work of fiction.  It bonded you with the character from the start and allowed you to see the world through her eyes instead of just being told about it.  You were there, an active member...sorta like the feeling committee in INSIDE OUT.  Everything that happened, YOU witnessed.  Every emotional turn, YOU felt it. The ups and downs, highs and lows, were all transmitted from the page to your heart with nary a moment missed.

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When Bly was feeling tragic over the accident, her loss of her good name, and the sentence the judge handed her, you couldn't help but want to offer a hug and a helping hand.  When Jae, a fellow camp counselor, came upon the sad visual story that was Bly's arrival to The Wild Way, her introduction left us feeling burnt, but we grew to love her anyway after a little warming up.  Turner's easy banter, handsome ruggedness, and way with the teens, created a package that was hard to resist...and although she/we tried, everyone has their limits of restraint.  When Kia, one of the troubled teens attending the camp (who is an amazing young lady!), connects with Bly, my heart rejoiced as it lifted BOTH of them in more ways than they understood at the time...making her disappearance later on THAT much harder to swallow.

The story goes from simply of matter of personal redemption and life path awakening to one that extends beyond her own fingertips.  Her life becomes about more than just herself, her career, and her (*gulp*) books.  As she conquers this challenge laid before her, she discovers how much she's been missing, you know that point where alone turns into lonely..and just how much she truly has to give, and it's a lot more than just best grammar practices and the perfect literary quote.   Each piece of the puzzle, every heart touched, every inner door opened, created another link between the reader and the work...and THAT my friends is what helps make a good story GREAT.

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To conclude, a great addition to the genre and introduction to this author's work.  It's a book of many firsts for Bly but the most important one of all would have to be that love isn't just in fairy tales and happy endings, however unlikely, unexpected, or improbable, CAN come true.  If this book is any indication of her talent, I know I'll be seeking out additional reads for my wish list and I think many of you might be joining me as well.  Oh and before I forget, the age of the characters being slightly older in years than the typical Contemporary Romance, mattered not in the least.  Bly and Turner had more than enough potential, more than enough sparkage to light up the whole of The Wild Way...and considering it's not wired for electricity, that's a pretty big feat.  Recommended read for adult readers looking for a quick bookish escape for your summer night.


About the author...

USA TODAY Bestselling author Dakota Madison is known for writing new adult, love in midlife, and contemporary romance with a little spice and lots of heart. Dakota is a winner of the prestigious RONE Award for Excellence in the Indie and Small Publishing Industry. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories Dakota likes to spend time with her husband and their bloodhounds. Dakota also writes under the pen names SAVANNAH YOUNG, SIERRA AVALON and REN MONTERREY.



Special thanks to Cami at Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the ebook for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, THIS TOUR, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it at a virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time....happy reading!

1 comment:

Karen Bryson, Ph.D. said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my novel. I greatly appreciate it!

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