Wild Child

Coffee Shop Girl, Book 6

“Sweet baby pineapple!” as Lizbeth would say.

Ellie has always been the most mysterious of the Coffee Shop characters. She was very young when she and Lizbeth escaped an abusive home, traveling day and night, to show up on Bethany’s doorstep in the early hours of the morning.

In all of the Coffee Shop books, Ellie has always been in the background. Wild Child puts Ellie front and center. Not only does the reader get to know Ellie better, but Ellie gets to know herself better. Katie Cross breaks through Ellie’s tough façade and shows us who Ellie really is and what she really wants.

Ellie and Devin were inseparable from the moment they met. Devin made Ellie feel safe. He was not just a sense of safety for her. He was her best friend. When Devin leaves to join the Marines, Ellie’s life is turned upside down.

Three years later, Ellie has figured out life without Devin. She has avoided him since the night of his senior prom, when he told her he joined the Marines and would be leaving. Then he shows up in Pineville unannounced – not just in Pineville, but at the Frolicking Moose while Ellie is working.

Multiple deployments to Afghanistan haunt Devin every waking hour. He sometimes has difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is not, forgetting where he is due to flashbacks from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Is Ellie really in front of him, or is he just dreaming of her?

All Ellie can think about is how Devin left her. Her mother always told her men leave. She has to take care of herself, which she has successfully done since Devin left.

Will Ellie be able to forgive Devin for leaving her? For making plans for a life without her while at the same time making plans for their future? Will she even give him a chance to explain why he made the decisions he made without her?

Will Devin be able to explain to Ellie why he left? Will he be able to tell her about the nightmares of Afghanistan? Can he ever get past the horrors of what he experienced there? Can Ellie really rescue him the way she did all those times he was surrounded by death and thought he would not make it back home?

Wild Child, the latest addition to the Coffee Shop Series, is a tale of survival. Ellie and Devin do not want to depend on each other until each other is all they have. A very unfortunate turn of events makes what should be an easy hike guiding clients into the mountains for a few days into a literal fight for survival. Losing their supplies makes Ellie and Devin turn to each other to make it out alive. How can they survive the unpredictable weather, bears, and unfamiliar territory with no food or supplies? Can Ellie saver herself and Devin? Can they save each other? They both are longing to be rescued on so many levels.

Anyone who follows Katie Cross knows how much she loves the mountains. She shares that love throughout the Coffee Shop Series, especially in Wild Child. The mountains are Ellie’s escape. They bring her peace. That peace is shattered, however, in Wild Child. Nonetheless, the imagery takes the reader to the mountains. Katie Cross describes the mountains in such vivid detail because she has been there. She uses all her senses to experience the mountains, and she takes her readers on that journey with her.

Every book in the Coffee Shop Series tells a different love story. However, they are so much more than romance novels. They are also adventures novels. Pineville is a beautiful mountain town that offers refuge to all who visit – the characters and the readers. I visit Pineville often, even when I am not reading one of Katie’s books. Hopefully, Katie Cross will take her readers back to Pineville to get to know more of its residents and see what other adventures await and what love stories are yet to be written.