Wild Flower
by Cheryl Anne Porter, historical (2001)
St Martin's Press, $6.50, ISBN 0-312-97716-6


Where shall I start? The irritating wimpy heroine? The hero who seems to be stuck in permanent adolescence? Plot twists that just don't make sense? The horribly corny dialogues? The pace of the story that can give imsomniacs the snores?

Wild Flower is the story of Taylor James, half-breed heroine, and Greyson Talbott, drunk lecherous pig. Taylor is in trouble - what else is new? - she is about to be hanged for crime her outlaw boyfriend committed. But her people help her break out of jail, and get this - they leave hardcopies of evidences that she is innocent behind in the jail. Great. Why can't they just hand them over to the judge? Oh yeah, those White judges are all corrupt anyway. Moving on.

Taylor's Grand Fugitive Adventure leads her to drunk, profligate Greyson who is a guest at her father's house. He decides that she is lying about being a white rich man's daughter, and invites her to stay with him while he investigates. Naturally, everyone wants to kill Taylor.

Taylor may not hesitate to shoot baddies, but she is pathetically clueless when it comes to men. She loves an outlaw who is so obviously villainous, and then she loves a man who acts like a petulant six-year old. When she finally sits down and wonders what the heck is going on, I am not surprised. When you let yourself be led around in circles by men you stupidly trust, you'd probably be confused too.

Then there is Greyson who is content to whore, drink, and gamble away his life. Naturally, he is a complete twit when trying to handle Taylor's situation. Most of the time he is just standing there with "Duh... err... oh my..." as his way of decision-making. Naturally, when a doormat heroine allows herself to be led by such a nitwit hero, the result in a frustration trip. Accidents happen and everyone just stands there and say, "Arr... was that an accident?"

It is as if everyone's lights aren't working upstairs. I get really exasperated after a while because most of the labyrinthine plot twists that go on and on in one laborious, downward spiral are unnecessary - all they need is half a brain to think. I feel like a schoolmarm in charge of a bunch of unruly three-year olds after a while. With a plot that seems to be made up as the author goes along and ultra-annoying characters, Wild Flower is a headache read.

Rating: 40


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