Simply Wild
by Shelby Lewis, contemporary (2004)
Arabesque, $6.99, ISBN 1-58314-326-2


Holly Hunter and Jake Fishbone are in love despite not knowing much about each other. Boy, is Holly surprised when she learns that Jake is a prime suspect of a murder case. But she throws caution to the wind and decide to help Jake as he tries to clear his name. And, er, that's it for the plot.

This book has no sense of chronology. Time passes slowly, or fast, or not, I really don't know. The author just cranks out the words here. There is no sense of structure in the story either. Be it a few days have passed or a few hours, the pace of the story remains the same. Needless to say, the author hasn't put much effort in characterization either. I don't know who Holly and Jake are because they are so underwritten. Forget too much telling and not enough showing - I'd be happy if the author actually tells me more, come to think of it. There's not enough telling, much less showing, in this book. And it doesn't help matters when the author chooses to focus on the predictable and badly-structured mystery instead of the romance.

Rich with rambling narrative and unnaturally stilted dialogues, excruciatingly slowly paced and utterly devoid of momentum and characteriztion, Simply Wild simply blows in all the wrong ways. This book is just a string of words rather than a story in its own right. The only good thing I can say about this book is that it is short. Is this how the author always writes her books, as if she's under duress to complete the book when her heart is not into it at all? Maybe she ought to step back and do what she needs to do to get her momentum and passion back before tackling another book.

Rating: 43


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