is a romance community member review
for Wild and Willing
Date of Review: 12/23/02
Determined to throw off her worries for one weekend, to be wild and wanton and willing, Mia Quentin drifted her way through the merry-making crowd that swarmed Tampa’s shored for the annual Gasparilla Festival. A delicious sailor in a pirate’s costume seemed just the thing. Land ho? Well, not for some time. And especially, Mia vowed, not before some serious ravishment occurred. To Mia’s consternation, however, her chosen pirate, Seth by name, was resistant to her seduction. What manner of rouge refused a no-holds-barred, no-strings-attached sexual romp?
Seth obviously wasn’t what Mia had hoped for, but she was everything he wanted. A woman with strong family ties, a courageous spirit, and a sensual side that made his toes curl. Who was she really? The daring seductress or the dutiful daughter-cum-businesswoman struggling beneath a crippling financial debt? Why wouldn’t she let him in? Why was Mia so resistant to the idea of a committed relationship? And why wouldn’t she let him help her family out of a rough financial situation?
The building relationship between Mia and Seth was interesting, spinning forward with a spicy speed and a fun tempo. Body painting? Always fun! (Try not to use the acrylic stuff, it’s difficult to remove.) But, and yes, there’s usually a “but” with me, this book contained two of my personal pet peeves: secondary characters who take over the story and a heroine doing something So Incredibly Stupid.
What’s this “So Incredibly Stupid” thing? It’s when the Heroine conducts herself in a manner that strains credulity to the point that it wrenches the reader—well, this reader—out of the story. Mia’s act? Her refusal of Seth’s financial acumen was absurd. Manipulating funds was Seth’s skill. It was what he did best. He was an investment banker, after all. Owner, in fact, of the institution that held Mia’s note. With one stroke of a pen, Seth could end all of Mia’s financial woes. At the very least, giving her some “breathing space” to work out her issues herself. Mia’s response? Attitude. She wanted to do it all herself and resented Seth’s alleged interference. Stupid. I don’t know about you, but if my bank moved my notes around to my benefit, I would have been ecstatic. Throw an attitude? Heck, I’d throw a party! I certainly wouldn’t have thrown a fit.
And there are the secondary characters that all but took over the book. Did the author come up short for her word count and couldn’t figure out how to realistically expand Mia and Seth’s story? Or did someone feel that Mia and Seth’s story was so weak that it needed to be propped up by Noelle and Brock’s story? Or was it that the Noelle and Brock characters wouldn’t be silenced? Whatever the case, it is a huge peeve of mine to have to wade through a building romance inside a romance-especially with respect to a sexual scene for said secondary characters. Absolutely unnecessary and it took time and attention away from Mia and Seth. Wasn’t this Mia and Seth’s story? Why not give Noelle and Brock a book of their own?
And since I’m on the verge of a raving rant that author Joanne Rock doesn’t deserve, I’ll end here. Evidentially there is going to be a sequel. The author writes in a smooth, tangy manner. I’ll be sure to give it a look