Call Me Wild
I haven’t read anything by Robin Kaye since her debut, which I enjoyed very much. Call Me Wild is an enjoyable book, too; However, it fell victim to a number of authorial shortcuts that cheapened the overall quality of the story.
Jessie James is a sports writer who, upon being laid off, relocates to Boise, Idaho, to write a romance novel. She’s never read one, but assumes they’re easy to write and a quick way to make cash. She also doesn’t believe in love. She does, however, believe in lust, which she certainly feels for a local man she keeps running into.
Fisher Kincaid is an orthopedic doctor, and falls for Jessie quickly. She is hesitant, and needs convincing; she has a lot of walls up, and is unapologetic about her lack of faith in romantic love. However, when they wind up together at a cabin in the woods (thanks to the machinations of Fisher’s sister), he offers to be her “research partner,” and romance her. She agrees, but as long as it is strictly research. Of course, it quickly becomes more.
Fisher (brother of Hunter and Trapper, to boot) is too good to be true. I don’t mean to sound cynical, but his perfection is on the far side of ridiculous. An attractive, intelligent man who enjoys cleaning, is an expert cook, knits, is fabulous in bed, reads romance novels and, oh yeah, is the heir to the seventh wealthiest man in the country? Please. My roommate brought up an excellent point regarding these superhuman heroes: It makes it too easy to fall in love with someone. There is no challenge, either to the author or to the heroine, no real personality to this type of character. He’s just perfect.
That said, the book was still hard to put down. Fisher and Jessie certainly had chemistry, and despite being too perfect, he wasn’t annoyingly so. He fit well with Jessie, and was a good match for her cynicism. Jessie, too, was a good character, still nursing wounds from a high school boyfriend who made her skeptical of anyone who was attracted to her. She can be a bit clueless sometimes, but I decided to just chalk that up to a surfeit of insecurity – something a bit hard to believe at times, but which had just enough background to make it understandable.
There are a lot of winks and nudges to romance readers, which made me roll my eyes sometimes. It was a bit cheesy to cite statistics and talk about the draw of romance novels, in a romance novel. It smacked of preaching to the choir. Yes, thank you, I am aware that romance novels are not truly formulaic. I have read one or two of them before.
Like I said, though, despite its flaws, the book was very readable. I had a hard time putting it down, and Fisher and Jessie somehow pulled it all together to make it a book I would recommend to other romance readers. It’s not perfect, but for the most part, it’s fun and romantic.