The Rich Girl Goes Wild
This is one of those books it’s difficult to review because there’s nothing horribly wrong with it, but nothing about it really stands out either. It’s your basic boy meets girl, boy has secrets, girl is not what she seems, boy’s deceit looses girl, girl goes after boy, and they all live happily ever after. If that’s what you’re looking for, then The Rich Girl Goes Wild may hold your interest better than it held mine.
Ashley Rivers is the social center of her very wealthy family. Having given up on love six years ago when she discovered the man she was engaged to in bed with another woman – and that he was only after Ashley’s money and status to begin with – she has sworn off men. Now, Ashley sleeps with her day-timer. Her schedule is uncompromising and rigid, and so is she. Her prep school mantra was Propriety, Presentation, and Principle, and she lives by those words on a daily basis.
Wilder Huntington MacDougal V has oodles more money than Ashley, but when she meets him, Mac has just returned from mountain biking and is covered with sweat and mud. Mac is in hiding and has been invited by his old Harvard pal, Harrison Rivers (The Rich Man’s Baby), Ashley’s brother, to stay at the Rivers mansion in Oregon until Mac’s East Coast scandal dies down. Since Ashley doesn’t recognize Mac (which, for a cutting-edge socialite was odd), he allows her to believe he’s Mac Wild, a nobody with nothing.
Mac, who is a billionaire from a prominent New York family of Scottish ancestry (Mac wears a kilt on formal occasions and utters “holy haggis” when flummoxed), is being pursued by a woman who wants his hand (and billions) in holy matrimony to the point she’s spread the rumor to the press that she is pregnant with his baby (except he’s never had sex with her, yet Mac does not press the paternity test issue at all and instead chooses to hide out). In addition to this, Mac is a victim of “the MacDougal curse” which means MacDougal men only love once. Mac’s “once” was Kate, who died in a car accident years ago, yet he remains true to a vow he made the dying Kate in spite of the fact he’s attracted to Ashley.
So, we have a woman who has sworn off men, and a man who has sworn off women. They each have different reasons for their vows, but considering the time frame (six years for Ashley and ten years for Mac), this didn’t really work for me. Also, the “MacDougal men only love once” thing seemed more like something I’d find in an historical, not a contemporary, so I never really bought it.
I don’t know when Mac found time to make his billions since he spends most of his waking hours in athletic pursuits. All his self-talk is in athletic metaphors, some of which are cute, others didn’t quite make it. He pursues Ashley because he wants to sleep with her – for her own good. Eh. Sorry. This premise never flies with me, but that’s just me. He knows that when Ashley discovers who he really is, she will hate him for his deceit, yet it never seems to occur to him to just sit down and tell her the truth. Ashley’s character would undoubtedly have been sympathetic to Mac’s situation, having been in a similar one herself six years earlier. Of course, Mac doesn’t know that because Ashley hasn’t told him the truth either. Grrr.
While this book had some nice writing, the plot didn’t really work for me. I liked Ashley, who turns out to be as athletic and competitive as Mac, but Mac’s constant excuses for not being able to be truthful began to grind after a while (as did Ashley’s). Ashley turns from rigid businesswoman to siren literally overnight, which seemed pretty abrupt. And, I must say, if a man who was about to make love to me whispered “holy haggis” or “for saint’s sake” in my ear, I’d either burst out laughing, or seriously reconsider what I was about to do.