Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Little on the Wild Side by Robin Kaye

The Basics:
A Little on the Wild Side by Robin Kaye
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Contemporary Romance
Book Three in the Wild Thing series
Published January 6, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

The cover looks cute, I liked the blurb suggestion of a strong woman getting help and I like the publisher.


A woman who gets what she wants...

Bianca Ferrari—ex-supermodel turned successful business woman—seems to have it all: beauty, brains and a career she loves. And she did it all by herself . . . through sheer force of will and ruthless determination. So when her life is suddenly turned upside down, it's hard for her to admit that going it alone may not be an option...

A man who knows what she needs...

Sexy, rugged and down-to-earth, Trapper Kincaid has a knack for attracting all kinds of women—mostly the wrong kind. When he finds out that the exhaustingly independent and drop-dead gorgeous Bianca is in serious need of help, he knows he's the man for the job. But Bianca isn't going to make it easy...

My thoughts:

A Little on the Wild Side was very nearly a DNF book for me. Unfortunately, the very specific reasons why are going to be a wee bit too spoilery. So I'm going to try to talk around my issues with the book as much as possible.

First, let me be clear, this book is well-written. It's easy to read, the story is clear, the pacing is good. In terms of craft, this is a great book. My problems all stem from the fact that I did not enjoy or like the content of the story itself. So, yes, I think this book is for some people - just not me.

And if you're still with me, you must want to know why this one isn't for me. There's a point early in the story in which Trapper makes a very significant decision about Bianca's life without consulting her about it - in fact, he makes it despite knowing that she's not going to be happy about it. A physical copy of this book would have been tossed at the wall at this point in the story - particularly because I was *enjoying* the book up until that moment. It all goes downhill from there.

While Trapper acknowledges his mistake and is somewhat remorseful for it.... *sigh* Yeah. I felt very uncomfortable reading the book. His family features heavily - which is great for fans of the series, I imagine! - and they are extremely pushy. Constantly coming and going, invading personal space, ignoring normal boundaries - honestly, I wanted Bianca to tell the lot of them off more than once. Yes, she's lonely, and she doesn't know how to be loved, I get it. But having love and attention and family crammed down your throat constantly, regardless of your comfort with it? Ugh. Again, I was made to feel uncomfortable.

Additionally, there's a lot of "well, he's a man, so X, Y and Z" or "she's a woman, so of course she's Q." It wasn't once or twice, or even a specific character or two - everyone in this book has all of these notions about men and women and how they behave (all stereotypes), and I found it really hard to read at times. I also was put off by all the talk about how to manipulate and manage each other - I didn't come away feeling that the relationships in the Kincaid family were actually all that healthy, for all that they were loving, to be honest. 

My last issue was with Bianca. I felt that at times she was more a caricature or a stereotype than a character. I also couldn't get past the treatment of her - she's steamrolled into so many things, and even when it comes to making major life decisions or health decisions, it felt like not only was this time of upheaval not the best time to pressured into anything, but also that sometimes she wasn't even given a choice.

Bottom line:

Ultimately, A Little on the Wild Side simply wasn't for me. I read some really traditional undertones that surfaced in really uncomfortable ways as well as some pretty heavy gender-based stereotyping. I have to recommend taking a pass on this one (but I do realize that lots of people will like it!)

2 stars
For fans of contemporary romance with some very traditional undertones

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of A Little on the Wild Side. There are lots and lots of positive reviews out there!

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