Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart


‘WILD HEARTS,’ BY JESSICA BURKHART. A kind of Romeo and Juliet contemporary YA novel set on a ranch. Text © Rissi JC / RISSIWRITES.COM

After reading an earlier book in this companion novel series, I was really excited to jump into reading this latest novel. First I’ll start by saying that the YA market is my “happy reads” place. I read them to enjoy a lighthearted, easy read and if I discover a story that looks beyond just a sweet love story, then I’m all for it. I certainly did enjoy this novel, but it also didn’t capture my fancy in the same way its peer did. The story follows two teens on the cusp of breaking the feud between their fathers.


STORY: Brie Carter has moved constantly (thanks to her dad’s work as a developer) ever since she can remember. For this reason she keeps her distance from making friends – or having a boyfriend. But that all changes with her latest move to Wyoming. There she meets Logan, a cowboy who’s not just good-looking he’s always dedicated to his family and working hard to make their life work. Needless to say, Brie takes an interest in having the one thing she never allowed herself before. 

Wild Hearts, by Jessica Burkhart | Book Review

With a kind of Romeo and Juliet vibe for the modern age, from the start, I might not have been quite as curious about this novel. But I did have interest in continuing this “If Only” line. I cannot say that it was the characters that I didn’t care for, more some of their actions and the way they behaved. Mainly my points of contention is the latter half of the novel (some of the ideas don’t feel genuine) and then some of the actions are a bit too “young” even for the genre; especially considering other points suggest these two teens are more mature than average. Logan’s sense of responsibility (his work ethic is admirable) and commitment to the importance of family. He could have just as easily been a punk kid who was a cop out (which I realize wouldn’t have endeared him nearly as well). I respected his character for the most part. Likewise, Brie is a relatively responsible girl with a healthy work ethic… but then there is her lying. It’s essential to the story, yes, but also could have been handled differently. Or the events could have maybe happened on a different timeline.

All this said, Wild Hearts is a cute read. It’s full of sweetheart moments and typical teenage shenanigans, but to be honest, this is just the kind of read I need when I need it. I could have read this a lot faster than I ultimately did because it was just that easy, entertaining of a read. That in itself takes some great skill.

If you like that sort of story, this might be one you want to pick up – and for anyone who likes western culture and the cowboys that inevitably follow that kind of hero, you’re sure to enjoy.

About the Book:

Author: Jessica Burkhart
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher ARC
Publication Date: May 2015
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere: Bookshop.org ǀ Goodreads
Series: If Only, 4
Genre: Fiction; Teen Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Content: there is some profanity here and there (nothing graphic). Two teens “make out.” (A lot.) There’s minor conversation about taking a relationship to the next step.  

Sincere thanks to Bloomsbury for the complimentary ARC of Wild Hearts; and my apologies to the publisher and author for the delay in posting a review of this novel.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. You read it! I had the same misgivings as you did, but I'm still going to keep reading this line and hoping for more of those fun, light, romantic YA reads.

    1. I did read it, Tressa! The book started out really cute, but then I didn't love the latter half. That being said, like you, I'll continue on with the series. It seems like an easy, more wholesome set of books which is great. :)

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