REVIEW: The Good, The Bad and The Wild by Heidi RiceWednesday, July 4, 2012 1:00
Wonder why this title and variations on it are getting so popular recently? I have absolutely no idea, but one of you might have some notion.
In The Good, The Bad and The Wild, Heidi Rice has created an uneven story between a wild boy who dislikes disclosing his secrets and a heroine who freely admits she’s a doormat. It’s very well written, but a few gaps in the story and a difficult-to-like couple at the center make it at times a difficult read.
Eva Redmond meets sexy screenwriter Nicolo Delisantro at a San Francisco art gallery in Union Square. She is immediately captivated by him, which isn’t good news, since she’s come to see him on business, the business being that she works for a genealogy company that makes its money by tracking long-lost heirs, and Nick is one of those. She needs to persuade him to meet his grandfather, an Italian duke. But Nick doesn’t need the money. He’s doing very well on his own.
Nick has a boulder the size of Etna on his shoulders. Once he discovered he wasn’t his father’s son, he walked away, although previously his family had been loving and supportive. They are lightly sketched in, but have probably featured in a previous book, since the epilogue features someone who has obviously had her own book. I didn’t get much of a sense of Nick’s dilemma or his reason, and, as a result, he comes across as a sulky boy rather than a sexy man. This is one of Nick’s problems, that he can’t get past it, and he is aware that his behaviour is at times unreasonable, although he doesn’t make any effort to get past that for most of the book.
He takes Eva for a wild ride on his motor bike and then back to his apartment for the inevitable hot night. Unfortunately, Eva is a virgin. Her first time includes two orgasms, but she does show a touching uncertainty that I find endearing. I know 24-year-old virgins exist, but I couldn’t quite believe that the doormat Eva hadn’t been romanced into bed before, particularly since she’s possessed of a spectacular figure. Someone would have guilted her into it.
I also find it difficult to believe in the instant attraction, if Eva is the shy, unappealing girl she thinks herself to be. Her lack of confidence isn’t a particularly special turn-on for men of Nick’s ilk. I did like that Nick is a true bad boy, though, using surliness and seemingly callous behaviour to push people away, and that includes Eva.
Eva has enough belief in Nick to pursue her goal of introducing him to his long-lost grandfather, and their off-again, on-again relationship follows the course. I didn’t find the character development too good, because Nick stays the bad boy nearly to the end, but I like that we get a fair number of scenes in his point of view, so we don’t have to guess what he’s thinking. I’m not sure what his occupation had to do with the story, although I like the idea of a scriptwriter hero. It didn’t seem to factor into the story a great deal.
Much of the characterization and description has been sacrificed in favour of pursuing Eva and Nick’s wild affair. I’d have liked the story to be more expansive, something Rice is capable of doing, and I’d enjoy a longer contemporary from her, when she spreads her wings a little more. What saves this book for me is the quality of the writing. Rice can make me smile and wrench my heart. Her prose flows so well, and sometimes it is so smooth, I hardly noticed the parts of the story I found unsatisfactory, until I actually sat back and thought about it.
One of the good guys? Nick Delisantro is famous – for his scripts, for his looks, and above all for his ruthless bad-boy charm. Eva, on the other hand, has spent her life being an overlooked wallflower! Now she’s got to meet with Mr Tall, Dark and Brooding or her only chance of promotion is over… Nick can’t stop staring at the mysterious blushing girl who’s dressed like a vixen but frozen under his gaze like a rabbit in headlights… He can’t wait to see what’s behind that innocent front! But Nick’s about to get far more than he’d bargained for – not only does Eva have the key to his secret past, but there’s nothing more dangerously addictive than a good girl going wild…
Read an excerpt.