Review: Wild for the Girl by Starr Ambrose

Publisher: Pocket Star
Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: Out now

Horse trainer and stable manager T.J. Grady has little patience for anything that doesn’t involve her beloved animals. She’s been burnt before by men who breeze through Barringer’s Pass and think she’ll be an easy love-‘em-and-leave-‘em type, so she keeps to herself and spends her quality time with her strong, patient horses.

Reese Barringer fled Barringer’s Pass years ago looking to escape the privilege—and scrutiny—that comes with the notable last name. He’s made a life for himself (complete with picture-perfect Daddy’s-girl ex-girlfriend) in Boston, but now finds himself in his hometown to take over the resort while his father—the formidable Michael Barringer—recovers from an illness. But city-boy Reese and country-gal T.J. must work together because notorious womanizer/actor Tad Prescott is coming to town and someone has to teach him how to ride a horse. When Tad takes a shining to T.J., Reese finds himself wishing he could ride the actor out of town and claim the hot-tempered woman for himself.

*blurb taken from goodreads*

I have to admit that this blurb reminded me of the old classics by Margaret Way. The settings were in the Outback of Australia, but a lot of those books featured horses and the ranches. I was hoping for a nice romance, but Wild for the Girl was disappointing on quite a few levels.

There was no back history to T.J Grady on why she was so wary of men and relationships. From the first page, T.J is abrasive but it’s never revealed why she is the way she is. It was the horrible trope of all men should never be trusted. And throughout the whole book I kept thinking why? It was such a broad and sweeping generalisation.

When the hero, Reese, arrives back on the ranch to help out after his father was in an accident, a sudden attraction appears. There’s no build up to it or any sort of development. It’s wham bam, I fancy you ma’am. The romance never really develops properly and there’s hardly any tension. The secondary characters are quite awful. There bunny-boiler, Beth, who was bonkers. Beth is the assistant to Tad, the big movie star on the ranch, and she acts like a deranged person. It was so weird and incredibly off putting. Tad was there solely to make advances towards T.J. There was no development of him and Beth. They were caricature characters involved in a sub-plot that never went anywhere. Beth was insanely jealous of T.J, and the bunny-boiler character had a mousy appearance with asthma which I thought was quite insulting.

T.J and Tad’s romance had no real meaning. They got together, had sex and then the huge big misunderstanding comes into play – with the added help of bunny-boiler Beth, and the evil ex-girlfriend of Reese. I was tempted there and then to stop reading, but I wanted to see how it would play out. Firstly, Tad and Beth completely disappear from the pages. The big misunderstanding involves T.J believing a stranger over Reese’s assertions that the ex-girlfriend is an ex. But because of T.J’s past, she has trust issues. As those past issues were never revealed, I was left utterly puzzled.

There was a lot of horse knowledge that seemed factual, but I don’t read romances for horse information. Wild for the Girl could have been a good read if there was a believable goal, motivation and conflict in the story. Reese had no discernible personality. I didn’t know his likes, dislikes and what drove him for his own motivations.

All in all, Wild for the Girl was a lackluster romance with cliched and overused plots. I give it a D.

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