I received a copy from the publisher for review
Title: Wild One
Author: Jessica Whitman
Genre: Popular Fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Arena
Published: 24th August 2016/September 2016
Format: Trade Paperback edition
Synopsis: Love, scandal and seduction in the glamorous world of polo
When Katherine ‘Kat’ Parker wrote and directed a blockbuster movie she became Hollywood’s ‘It Girl’ overnight – until with one flop she wasn’t. Now Kat is back living in Florida trying to find the inspiration to write what she hopes will be her comeback screenplay.
Despite being an exceptionally talented polo player, Sebastian Del Campo has never shared his famous family’s intense passion for the sport. He has, however, excelled at other polo-related activities – like partying hard and having liaisons with beautiful women.
When Sebastian meets Kat he finds her down-to-earth attitude refreshing. Keen to get to know her better, he regales Kat with stories of his trailblazing grandmother, Victoria, who was a pioneering polo player.
Kat’s imagination is fired by Victoria’s story and she realises she’d make a great subject for a screenplay. Seb agrees and the pair head to Hollywood to seek out funding for a film that could make or break both their careers – and their growing feelings for each other . . .
Fun, sexy and entertaining, this novel is about taking a risk to follow your passions in life – and love.
Usually, I am not a big reader of romance, at least when it is the main plot. Kat’s story opens with a meeting with someone in the movie business as she is trying to re-establish her name in Hollywood after a flop at the box office. She returns home to help her parents, where she meets the Del Campos, a wealthy family in Florida involved in the polo circuit. Kat’s first encounter with the talented Sebastian Del Campo comes rather quickly, and a relationship begins to build, with Kat trying to focus on writing a new screenplay that will hopefully get her back into the good graces of the film-making industry. This is the plot point that appealed to me, and that I really enjoyed reading and wanted more of. It had a lot of promise and potential to create a great story and evolution of the characters. I also wanted more of the story behind Kat’s story – the story of Sebastian’s grandmother and her time as a polo player. I wanted to see this in action, maybe through flashbacks.
This is the perfect novel if you enjoy romance novels or if you just want a quick read. The length of the chapters had me reading so fast, I didn’t realise it, but the pacing felt right for the novel and its style and genre. It may not have suited my tastes, however, but this is a personal decision. What was refreshing was that the initial description of Sebastian sets him up to be the bad boy trope. He isn’t really a bad boy, however. He doesn’t want to hurt Kat once he has met her, and perhaps this is one redeeming feature – that the heroine doesn’t feel the need to chase him or fix him.
There are other aspects that are good: the characters want things to work out for the best; they don’t want to hinder anyone, or ruin things. As a romance novel, it was refreshing to see that some tropes and stereotypes were avoided, but not all. It would still fit comfortably on a shelf of romance novels, though, and has been properly geared towards the intended audience of the novel.
I would recommend it for avid romance fans, or people just looking for a few hours of escapism – it fits into both of these categories nicely.