seton's Reviews > A Little Bit Wild

A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl
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2012809
's review
Aug 10, 10

bookshelves: siblings-bestfriend
Recommended for: No One
Read from August 09 to 10, 2010

Series: #1 in the York series

Setting: England, 1847, but it really doesn't matter since it's a wallpaper historical

Sensuality: PG-13

If you ever read the novels of Marion Chesney, Loretta Chase, or the like, there is a certain stock character: the ribald dowager who ogle and drool over men's legs. Well, if you ever wondered what such a character would be like as the young heroine in a historical romance, then this is the book for you. The heroine, Marissa, is indeed lusty, make that LUSTY, silly, and indulged all her life. As book begins, she is caught in flagrante delicto by her brother doing a gentleman she has no intentions of marrying (but he did have nice legs and it's so HARD not to TOUCH).

To diffuse the possible scandal, Marissa becomes quickly engaged to Jude, a friend of her brother and the bastard son of a duke. The problem as it looks to the dim Marissa isn't that she is ruined and might possibly be pregnant but rather that Jude is a big, ugly, hulking, "blacksmith" of a fellow and she only like the pretty boys with the elegant legs.

Marissa obviously has a lot of maturing to do, and does so over the course of the story. There may be some interesting underlining thread about female sexuality that is germinating somewhere in this novel. If it had been presented in a well-thoughtout manner . . . . Unfortunately, the writing and execution were pedestrian and unfocused. The pacing was TERRIBLE.

I have read all of Dahl's previous historicals and was especially impressed with her last two. I was never fond of the fact her historicals were too wallpaper and anachronistic for my taste but that was offset by her interesting, strong heroines, well-written sex scenes, and smooth writing style. None of her strengths are shown in ALBW. A very disappointing read, one that I wouldn't even recommend to Dahl fans like myself.

Grade: C+/C


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Reading Progress

08/09/2010 page 61
17.0% "The actual prose is bothering me a little. Dont want to say much in case my feelings change." 2 comments
08/09/2010 page 103
31.0% "the western is still kicking my arse"

Comments (showing 1-29)




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message 29: by Beanbag (new)

Beanbag Love Great review, Seton. What a shame it wasn't good, I like the story premise.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Yep, yep... Hopefully this one was a fluke and her next historical will be a winner... Nice review.:)


message 27: by willaful (new)

willaful Oh that sounds so revolting.


message 26: by Keri (new) - rated it 3 stars

Keri Dang, I hate to hear that, because I have loved all of her other historicals.


seton Thanks y'all. Better luck next time (altho the rest of the family doesnt look that interesting).


message 24: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth Great review. I bought this after reading her last three historicals, which I really loved. Oh well..


seton Ruth wrote: "Great review. I bought this after reading her last three historicals, which I really loved. Oh well.."


Thanks, Ruth. Perhaps you will like it more than I did if you really, really lower your expectations? :-)


message 22: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Fab review Seton. Never tried Dahl.


message 21: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim Is it me, or are all of Dahl's heroines perpetually horny? I've read three.


message 20: by Barks & Bites (new)

Barks & Bites I agree, I liked the initial premise but the heroine sounds like a superficial twit.


message 19: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB Nice review seton. Definitely not the book for me.


seton Kim wrote: "Is it me, or are all of Dahl's heroines perpetually horny? I've read three."


Yes. And that is part of their appeal. At least for me. :-)


seton BarkLessWagMore wrote: "I agree, I liked the initial premise but the heroine sounds like a superficial twit."

She is but it's not like I am especially deep either ;-)
It's the author's job to make it understandable somehow.


Thanks, MelB & Scully!


message 16: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth Perhaps you will like it more than I did if you really, really lower your expectations?

Looks like I'm going to have to carefully select when I read this. Maybe on a long flight after a week of boring business, when my brain is well-pickled..

I also like that Dahl's heroines are passionate/horny/independent. I'm not a big fan of weak, shy heroines. I've always been opinionated myself (OK, call that mouthy), but I can't identify with wallflowers.

What do you think of her contemporary series (Tumble Creek)?


seton Ruth- I dont read her contemps. If I dont count Harlequins and romantica, Erin McCarthy and Linda Howard are the only contemp authors that I read on any semi-regular basis. I just dont follow authors when they do contemps. This is a good thing because my reading brain is just not suited for contemps.

Right now, the only HR author whose contemp I would ever read is Sherry Thomas (if she ever gets her contemp published). The H/h are supposedly descendants of characters from her first 2 bks and the premise sounds intriguing.


message 14: by Ridley (new) - added it

Ridley I've tried her historicals before and didn't care for them, but I loved her Tumble Creek series. Dahl's voice, I think, is best suited to contemporaries. She's good at sexed up women and can have more fun with it in a contemporary.

Sorry to hear this fizzled in execution. I was hoping to come back to historicals with it.


seton I would think VD's voice is most suited to contemps. She has too modern a voice for HR and that will always prevent her from ever being a top tier HR author to me but since HR still have too few choices when it comes to slutty horny heroines, I'll still keep reading her probably.


message 12: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth I'll give the contemporary series a go. It'll be an interesting comparison.

The whole thing about HRs not having well-sexed women in them is always rather a laugh to me. After all, society was notoriously loose in reality, since as long as the heir and the spare were produced, you could sleep around with abandon, and most portions of England's population didn't bother getting married at all, but just slept with whomever and told their families they were together. It was only the late Victorians which tried to make everyone virtuous, and even then, it was just a veneer, since a lot of them did rather naughty things too.


message 11: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz What's a "wallpaper historical" Seton?


message 10: by seton (last edited Aug 12, 2010 11:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

seton Eastofoz wrote: "What's a "wallpaper historical" Seton?"


everyone has their own definition of it but generally it refers to HRs that seem like it's set in a certain period in name ONLY. You don't get any sense of the historical context or atmosphere and the characters act and talk in too modern, anachronistic manner. Julia Quinn books are usually held up as a shiny example of "wallpaper historicals".

Unlike a lot of people, the term doesn't necessarily have negative connotations for me. The good majority of the HRs published these days are wallpaperish because a lighter, faster read with less historical depth is the current trend.


message 9: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz Thanks for the info :)

Lover of Quinn that I am I always got a good regency feel from her books but different strokes and all that :)


message 8: by Ridley (new) - added it

Ridley I'm with you, seton, on the "not a bad thing" front. Sometimes I want the meticulous detail of Carla Kelly or Meredith Duran, and other times I just want a fun costumed romp a la JQ and the rest of the Avon ladies. It's just another option.


message 7: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee BarkLessWagMore wrote: "I agree, I liked the initial premise but the heroine sounds like a superficial twit."

Oh, you took the words right out of my mouth!:D

Nice review, seton. I had this as a possible 'buy' because I like her contemporaries and wanted to try her historicals but now I'm not so sure...


seton Thanks, Auntee. You might try A Rake's Guide To Pleasure. A lot of people liked that one.
My personal fave is One Week as Lovers. I have a soft spot for the tortured beta hero in that.


Keri Mine as well Seton out of that series.


message 4: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth I'd agree with both of those recommendations. In the first, the heroine is a lying scoundrel, which makes for a nice change and in the second, the hero is tortured but not particularly angsty, if I remember correctly. They are both pretty scrummy in the steam department.


message 3: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra I have lost a "to-read" book. Alas, you've offered priceless insight which would have cost me precious reading hours!


seton Alexandra wrote: "I have lost a "to-read" book. Alas, you've offered priceless insight which would have cost me precious reading hours!"

Sorry! :-)


message 1: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Ah, nothing to be sorry about, dear! It would have been too much to find another good read after the 4 and 5 stars books spree I've been on lately...:)


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