Sunday, April 10, 2016

Book Review: How To Tame Beasts And Other Wild Things by A. Wilding Wells

An artsy young woman, given the impossible task by her estranged father to score her widowed brother-in-law a wife, instead finds love, self-discovery and redemption.

“My name is Matilda Pearl. My life is a non-stop riddle I hope to one day solve.
I’ve learned to protect my heart; fate has dealt me more than a few shit cards in my twenty-two years. Invisibility tops my list, not to mention tragedy. 

I was yanked out of a Paris-France life by my ass of a father, and thrown into a one year journey on a farm in Wisconsin. I’ve been assigned the impossible: Wife Catcher. 

Simply put, until I replace myself I’m Mary Poppins, the beast tamer, ringmaster of the unruly, complete with twin toddlers and a beast of a man. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my three-ring circus.

“The Beast – Balthazar Cox – is repulsive…as in that sexy, I-just-died-and-went-to-heaven sort of repulsive. He walks the earth like he owns it, with his tatted trunk of a body and chiseled-rough, blazing good looks. The beastly Brit – did I mention that he’s English? – also happens to be my widowed brother-in-law, a man haunted by betrayal and abandonment, and for whom I’m on task to find a wife. If I succeed I’ll be rewarded with my juicy trust fund. And, yes, it will happen. You can keep your diamonds and designer clothes…. With my bag of loot, I plan on becoming the Patron Saint of Lost and Found Animals.

“When the past resurfaces more than once for both of us, all hell breaks loose. Can you be lost and found at once? In other words, sometimes lies can be cathartic. Some people heal us; some of us heal others. 

“This is mostly a love story, an unlikely sexy romance with whiplash twists, boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, and multiple risks of losing everything. It may have more heartache, and drama than some but in the end it’s about truth, discovery and forgiveness. Maybe it was wrong to fall for him. Or maybe the hole in his heart was always waiting for me to fill it. Now there’s a riddle for you.”

Tender, textured, suspenseful and triumphant. A mind blowing, fast paced, sexually-tense passion, that is an emotional ride of second chances, healing and redemption.

Well. Apparently, I'm a big ol' stick in the mud. That's what this book made me realize. I was excited to read this book because I had enjoyed another book by Wells - A Mess of Reason. Let me tell you, what I got when I figuratively cracked the cover on this one was NOT what I was expecting. This is not the type of review I ever thought that I would write for this author but it is what it is at this point. There's no going back!

At the beginning of the novel, I was hooked. The leading lady, Matilda, was a spitfire. I like reading books that have sassy characters. It keeps things exciting even when there's just inner dialogue going on. Unfortunately, even with all of that sass, the book just tanked for me pretty soon after beginning. 

I enjoyed the alternating POV. I think that is one of my favorite things about novels these days. They almost always have an alternating POV. If the author knows what they're doing, then it's a good thing. Getting the inner dialogue from multiple main characters causes the book to get a deeper and more firm hook into me. Wells did great with the masculine POV. I always wonder how female authors can so easily pinpoint and express male thoughts and actions. I never know what in the hell my husband is thinking or why he does what he does so it's always fascinating to get a little sneak peek inside, even if it is fiction. 

Unfortunately, the POV thing was one of the very few aspects of this book that I enjoyed. I must be a crotchety, old prude because everything was (in my opinion) unnecessarily sexual. I never thought that I would ever say that. Just the amount of sexual innuendos was completely too much. I'm a-okay with some perv-y conversations between couples but it felt like it was EVERY SINGLE conversation between the main characters revolved around sex and it just started to feel immature after a while. Like it was something teenager would be saying to his buddies and then snickering about. I just didn't get nearly as amused by it as other readers have. I just kind-of checked out and started skimming. And let me tell you, when you start the skimming within the first half of the book, that's not a good thing.

And then the names for the animals. I will just say that I would not EVER allow my kids to call animals Boner, Dumb Fuck and a vast array of other highly inappropriate names. Come on. Yes, this is fiction. Even though it isn't real that doesn't make it any less irritating. I won't lie ... three-year-olds are the spawns of Satan most of the time. Especially boys. To this day, I don't know how my husband, and I got our two boys out of that age alive. It was seriously touch and go at times because a 3yo has cornered the market on how to be an asshole. And yes, hearing your kid say a bad word can be a little amusing the first time but then it gets old real quick and for a parent just be so okay with it is just ridiculous. Even if it is just a fictional character. 

All around, this book just read at a much lower maturity than the other book I've read by A. Wilding Wells. I'm most definitely in the minority on my thoughts, everyone else has really enjoyed this book. The chance of you enjoying this book is high but only if you're not a crotchety old lady like me. Damn it. I really wanted to love this book. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 11th, 2016

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