Wrecked Without You

A Town of Deer Crossing Novel: Book 1

Romance - Contemporary
313 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2021
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Author Biography

Renee Shelbey writes culturally diverse romance featuring smart Southern women and thoughtful strong men. She’s a wife of 15+ years, mother of a pre-teen daughter, dog mom to a 75 lb. puppy, and an overworked full-time employee. Her alter ego writes steamy, contemporary happily ever afters, full of ethnically inclusive main characters. She hopes you indulge in her stories which have a dose of reality but can still transport you to the world of romantic sexy-time fantasy. Her own indulgences include hot lattes, a mason jar of pear preserves, and British murder mysteries.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Wrecked Without You is a work of fiction in the romance genre, and is the first book in A Town of Deer Crossing series. It is aimed at adult readers owing to steamy romance scenes and the use of explicit language and was penned by author Renee Shelbey. The book follows the arrival of Dr. William Mason in Deer Crossing and the profound effect that he has on the women of the community, in particular with Nat, the leader of the scout troop that Will’s stepdaughters join. The attraction is instant, but the secrets the pair hold could destroy their relationship before it ever has a chance to soar.

I adored the town of Deer Crossing, even with just this first entry in the series. The book creates an idyllic environment for lost souls to inhabit as they search for love and fulfillment in their lives. The author, Renee Shelbey, clearly has an eye for what makes an attractive world for her characters, and her descriptive prose certainly does an incredible job of bringing that world to life. On the subject of bringing things to life, I’d be remiss to talk about the book without praising the characterization of Will and Nat, both of whom are dynamic and complex with their difficult pasts and current-day struggles, but both of whom managed to stay relatable enough for me to be rooting for them the whole way through. Wrecked Without You is a brilliant piece of romantic fiction for someone to get lost in, with a wonderful backdrop, engaging characters, and a relationship story filled with twists, turns, and drama.

Jennifer Ibiam

Mitch thought that Dr. Natalia was not good enough, so he divorced her. They co-parented their daughter, Caroline, as friends until he had to visit the ER. There they met Dr. Will. It was a war of words and wit between him and Natalia. She didn’t want to lose one more person after her Mama. However, the sparks flew, but there were obstacles between both of them. Nat had a lot to deal with, from her professional obligations to parental commitments, volunteering, and more. Will also had his hands full with a broken heart, stepdaughters, and work. As if those weren’t enough, something happened that could keep them apart forever. What will it be for the duo? To fight or let go? Find out in Wrecked Without You by Renee Shelbey.

This contemporary romance novel locked me in from start to finish. The plot was laid back, yet had outstanding quality and depth. Renee also developed the characters so well that they were original, relatable, and consistent. I loved the refreshing and creative writing style, which helped the dialogues flow. The story was also engaging and easy to follow. I loved the sarcastic remarks, witty sentences, and the humor spread throughout. The emotions displayed were real and not exaggerated. I learned to take time out for myself and give myself a chance. I deserve happiness, love, and the best, just like you do. Renee Shelbey has written a beautiful book in Wrecked Without You, and I hope to read hard guy Hudson and Ella’s story.

Rylanne Burdette

Wrecked Without You by Renee Shelbey is a heartwarming contemporary romance about Nat and Will, two individuals who have been through hardships in their lives and often struggle to let people in. When the two meet in less than comfortable circumstances, there is most certainly a spark between them. They decide to take things slowly in their budding relationship, wanting to enjoy each other’s company without making any huge commitments, but it’s hard to deny the chemistry between them. Both Nat and Will had been previously married and divorced, which brings scars and trust problems into their newfound relationship, so they must learn to open up and give each other everything.

Once I got attached to the characters and plot of Wrecked Without You, I adored it! The pacing felt a bit confusing to me at times; it was hard to tell how much time jumped between many of the chapters—it seemed like quite a bit of time passed without there always being clear transitions. However, after I got used to it, I enjoyed watching Nat and Will grow closer and learn to trust each other. The overall plot of the story kept me very interested, and I was rooting so hard for Nat and Will that I grew to really, really dislike their previous partners whenever they appeared in a chapter. Renee Shelbey created a fun and emotional story in Wrecked Without You, and I would recommend it to all contemporary romance lovers! This book goes so much deeper than just romance; it also includes themes about grief, growth, and standing up for yourself.

Steven Robson

Wrecked Without You by Renee Shelbey is a remarkably authentic and explicit exploration of relationships, muddied by the myriad complexities of human emotions, societal expectations, and demons of past failures. Demons that Dr. William Mason and Professor Natalia Erikson carry with them when they first meet in the ER room of Deer Crossing’s local hospital, where first impressions are far from favorable. As so often happens in life, chance throws this couple together again, and when they get past the sparks of their initial encounter, sparks of another nature form as they find attraction building. Into this growing relationship comes the realization that things may not evolve as they hope. Only by confronting the issues that target their future commitment will they be able to move forward; issues that are incredibly difficult to take on and often prove insurmountable. The future, as always, is uncertain.

Renee Shelbey’s Wrecked Without You is a moving and well-written adventure into the human soul, suitable for those not afraid of the occasional explicit sexual encounter; something which is part of everyone’s life. The players were very likable, realistic, and each possessed a certain depth that made them easy to empathize with. What was more impressive for me was that this depth even allowed a certain level of empathy to build for Mindy, who by rights was the one character meant to be the bad person. I was amazed that I couldn’t feel negativity towards her, and this was obviously due to the way her character was constructed and the history built around her and Will. If you are looking for a warm, emotional read that lays bare the important matters of the heart, then Wrecked Without You is it.