Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-678-7
Contemporary Paranormal Romance, 2007
Wildish Things is a story that is… weird, let’s just say. I get this impression that there is something not completely altogether with the heroine or the plot. Beith Molloy, our heroine, often overreacts, for example, to any small situation that she seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The plot is pretty bizarre, with the main characters doing things that normal folks would not do in the same situation. And no, don’t get me started with the hero.
Beith has just arrived in Ireland to take on a job that will restart her photography career after an injury put her out of commission for a while. But she flies into a panic when she realizes that her friend and designated companion is not coming. She wants to go home now but “tour guide” Kellan O’Neill is not going to let Beith go home. Apparently it’s okay to make a stranger stay in a strange land with no money (at least, that’s the impression I get when the heroine flies into a tizzy on page 10 because, and I quote from the story: “Without any Irish money, how could she even tip a porter?”), especially when this friend is clearly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. No, don’t ask me why this woman is traveling without money. Maybe it’s standard heroine protocol.
Beith… well, she feels all these “feelings” that make her feel uneasy all over. She has an accident in the past that shattered some bones in her left leg. She has jet lag. If that is not enough, Kellan isn’t actually her tour guide. Kellan has this great idea that he will kidnap her off for a summer fling that he believes will be good for the two of them. You want me to repeat that again?
It is probably a good thing that this story has Irish fancy mumbo-jumbo stuff like Hags and the standard, possibly compulsory “Oh no, we must have sex to save you from certain death!” scene, because this is one story that really needs magic to justify the crappy set-up. Ms Ivey knows how stupid Kellan is in this story, but frankly, there is nothing by the end of the story to convince me that this silly and spoiled big baby of man is actually husband material. But by the last page, the secondary characters are reassuring Beith (and therefore, by extension, me) that what Kellan did to Beith was stuff women’s wet dreams are supposedly made of.
It does seem like magic has to come into play, along with secondary characters insisting with a persistence that feels tinged with desperation, to force Beith to go back to Kellan. Perhaps that is the best resolution to this story, as some kind of magic is no doubt required as a deus-ex-machina type plot device to make sense of this story.