Ben's Wildflower
by Carol Lynne, contemporary (2007)
Ellora's Cave, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-4199-0927-6


I am puzzled by the cover art of Ben's Wildflower at first because I have no idea what the two people are doing in that picture, but once I've purchased this book, I can now see that this woman with a bored expression on her face is apparently using a strap-on on a muscular man's behind. Okay, the strap-on isn't visible but I can tell from the woman's face that she is looking right at me and thinking, "Hey, don't look at me like that - he's paying me well to do it to him!" while the man is gripping her thighs and urging her on.

Ben Thomas, our ex-SEAL hero, met heroine Kate Thomas in a previous book by this author, Branded By Gold. In this book, the two of them are partners in managing Kate's ranch Triple Spur. From what I understand, Kate ran this farm on her own for the last five or six years since her parents were killed. Ben now stays in the ranch, thus marking the end of Kate's solitude. They aren't shagging, but they will be if Ben's "ten-inch cock" has its way. The dimension of Ben's big boy is something we all need to know, by the way, because a very important aspect of this story is how Ben is going to fit his humongous baseball bat into Kate's undersized you-know-what. Meanwhile, someone is running around sabotaging things around the ranch and when these pranks escalate to the point that Kate may get killed, Ben naturally will have to come to the rescue. Were the villain not so obvious in this story, I'd have suspected that Elmer Fudd is behind the nonsense because the villain is really that inept. Naturally, this makes me wonder about the intelligence of our main characters who take so long to figure out things but at the end of the day, intelligence does not factor much in this story, not as much as Ben's jutting penis that overshadows everything else about this story.

Poor Ben. Apparently when he was seventeen his ding-dong-bell caused a girlfriend to bleed down there so he then sleeps with "only big, very, very experienced women". Before you ask, no, I don't know if Anita Blake is one of his ex-girlfriends. I can only imagine that his idea of a date is he slapping those latex gloves and asking the poor woman to spread those legs so that he can gauge how big she is. Because Kate is small and she strikes him as a woman looking for permanence in a relationship, poor Ben can only put his hands to good use.

Benís thoughts of his lovely sweet Kate helped bring him to a mind-blowing orgasm, his cum shot all the way up his chest to land on his jaw. Grabbing the washcloth he now kept beside his bed, Ben wiped his face and got up. He wandered into the shower to begin another day.

What a wimp. Clearly he's not that big or he'd have hit the moose hanging right over the headboard of the bed.

Maybe I've been forewarned by some of the reviews of this book so I more or less know what to expect but I find Ben's Wildflower most entertaining. Oh, this is a bad book if we want to judge it by its merits. The dialogs are stilted and stiff-sounding and the writing has a very sloppy amateurish feel to it.

Kate dressed quickly and went to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. While the coffee brewed she decided to start on her morning chores. She headed out to the barn to feed the horses. Whistling for Charlie, Kate entered the barn. Before her eyes could adjust to the dim recesses of the barn she tripped over something. She landed on her hands, just missing hitting her sore face. Turning around, Kate screamed. Charlie came running to her rescue immediately.

Maybe it's just me, but the clunky paragraphs in this story, like the one above, make me giggle.

But you know what? I am that person who buys Connie Mason's books to read just for the kicks I get from all the unintentional humor crammed inside those books. So, what do you know, this book has, in a way, found exactly the right audience in me. Ben's Wildflower is such jolly good fun to me because of how campy it is. Of course, one person's "campy" is another person's poison, but how can I not giggle when the bad guy gives such hilarious speech like this?

"Look at you. You filthy whore. Struttin' yourself like you think youíre better than everybody else. Well, I've got news for you, slut. Get out of this town. Youíll never make a success out of the shithole you call a ranch and if you send that big gorilla after me Iíll kill him.Ē

The best thing about this book is how it ends up being a pornographic version of a typical Catherine Anderson novel. Kate has been sexually assaulted before and now she needs sexual healing, just like any typical Catherine Anderson heroine, but just like something out of Austin Powers or Scary Movie, the demure little woman in question suddenly produces all kinds of sexy lingerie and toys that make the hero's eyes all but pop out of their sockets. In my opinion, anything that makes fun of Catherine Anderson's bloated and humorless exploitation stories, whether intentionally or not, isn't that bad.

I also like the idea of a woman who doesn't go without some self-love even if she has no man in her life, so in a way I can like a heroine like Kate. She doesn't play the victim in this story, a fact which I really appreciate. Oh, she is a victim, make no mistake, but she doesn't deliberately make herself one. She works hard and while she's not the smartest person around, at least she is a simple person rather than a braindead wretch. Unlike the couples in some of Connie Mason's books, here Kate and Ben are fond of each other without having to resort to cruel acts of stupidity, so there is nothing to stand in the way of my laughing at how ridiculous this story is at times. Besides, it is rather touching how Ben calls in all his ex-Navy SEAL buddies to protect wee Kate from the bad guy.

Some things in Ben's Wildflower, such as Ben's torn-apart girlfriend being called Mary Sue, has me wondering whether there is method behind the apparent madness in this story, because these things seem too much like tongue-in-cheek badness. Some scenes make me laugh because they are so ridiculously over-the-top, such as the two heroes from the previous book Branded By Gold having sex with each other while Ben is on the phone as the woman they are both sleeping with pout because they started without her.

But at the end of the day, I find Ben's Wildflower a most entertaining read. Honestly, I don't feel bored even once since I'm too busy laughing at how campy this story is. Underneath the whole obsession with Ben's size and the purple love scenes that often come off like some invasive surgical procedure in motion, I also find Ben a rather sweet guy who goes all the way for the woman he loves - and I don't just mean the whole ten inches either - and Kate a pretty likable woman. If Ms Lynne is really serious about improving her writing, she has a lot of work ahead of her so I hope she finds a good editor or a writing/critique partner. But if she wants to be just the way she is, I'm actually quite fine with it. Ben's Wildflower fills the niche that Connie Mason's books currently occupy. Some readers genuinely enjoy them, some readers like me find them entertaining because they provide plenty of unintentional humor, and others will recoil from these books in distaste. It's fine, that's why there are many books out there to read.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm eagerly awaiting the author's next book.

Rating: 80


My Favorite Pages

Search for more reviews of works by this author:

My Guestbook Return to Romance Novel Central Email