RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl


Title: A Little Bit Wild
Author: Victoria Dahl
Publication Info: Kensington 2010
ISBN: 9781420104837
Genre: Historical: European

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.This RITA® Reader Challenge review was written by ReadinginAK, who, contrasted with the other review for this novel, didn’t enjoy the book entirely. This novel finaled in the Historical Romance category.

Book CoverPlot Summary: Jude Bertrand is not an excellent dancer. Nor does he wear the most fashionable coats. But when Marissa York’s brother approaches him, desperate to preserve Marissa’s tenuous reputation, Jude does prove heroic enough to offer to marry the girl. In fact, the union should more than make up for his lack of social graces and his own scandalous past. . .

Marissa knows that betrothal to the son of a duke, even one as raw and masculine as Jude, will save her from ruin, but that doesn’t mean she’s happy about it. Soon, though, she finds that Jude has a surprisingly gentle touch and plans to use it to persuade Marissa that their wedding day cannot come soon enough. . .

And here is ReadinginAK’s review:

It took me about six weeks (and the deadline passing) to write a review for Victoria Dahl’s A Little Bit Wild. The book was so meh to me (verging on annoying) that I couldn’t really stomach thinking about it long enough commit something to paper. I really like Dahl’s contemporaries and I usually love historicals, so I was optimistic.

Then I was disappointed.

What this book has going for it is that the heroine has already been “ruined”. That is to say, she’s had sex (disappointing, natch, since it was not with the Mighty Wang of Her Destiny). However, she’s not put off sex, she remains curious and excitable. Improperly so, of course, and much to the chagrin of her brothers who promptly betroth her to a friend of theirs with his own exceptional past. (That’s not exceptional in the good way, but that his past has something with which the ton would take exception.)

What I didn’t care for is that she’s a little giggly and vacant (not my kind of heroine). The plot is thin (to say the least) and he’s neither alpha nor beta, but ho-hum. I imagine this is the kind of book that people will either really like or really be unimpressed with (like me). It’s not bad, just not good. A solid C.

Recommended as a lovely sorbet between heavier reads or as a leave-behind beach read.

This book is available from Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Kobo | Sony | AllRomance

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Rose says:

    I loved ‘His at Night’ and really enjoyed ‘A Little Bit Wild’, so I guess I won’t be following ReadinginAK’s reviews too closely.

  2. 2

    It is so funny to me that it’s all “romance” and yet there’s like a hundred different categories of romance and then subcategories within each of those categories so just because someone likes romance doesn’t mean they like any of the same books that someone else who likes romance likes. I personally liked A Little Bit Wild but thought that Dahl could do better (One Week as Lovers, To Tempt a Scotsman, A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure), but haven’t had much luck with Sherry Thomas‘s books so didn’t read His At Night.

  3. 3
    ReadinginAK says:

    I really, really like Dahl’s contemporaries, but A Little Bit Wild came right on the heels of a long Kleypas historical reading streak and it just didn’t do it for me. We’re all different. I might feel differently if I revisited it now.

  4. 4

    I haven’t read any of Ms. Dahl’s books so I can’t offer an opinion about this one. I can say that I agree with the reviewer that I like my heroes and heroines to be very, very – something.  My preference is for alpha heroes and bright, feisty heroines. But if they’re not alpha and feisty they should be – something.

    Of couse, I also tend to dislike “arranged” relationship books unless the arrangement gets unarranged first. Only later, when it’s a choice and not a necessity, do I want ‘em together.

    I’ll have to read Ms. Dahl’s to see if I find “something” in the hero/heroine or not. It’ll be an investigation of sorts – the fun sort.

  5. 5

    @Mary Anne- I’m not a big fan of feisty heroines, but I think you’d definitely find something you’d like in other Dahl books so definitely check them out.

  6. 6
    kkw says:

    I’m right in the middle of these two reviews, I’d give it B.  I loved that Marissa had had sex, even if it was uninspired, and that there were a handful of other men with whom she also would have been compromised if she’d gotten caught previously.  That alone put it above average for me.  And I thought Jude was a good character, even if he was excessively patient with her shallowness.  Her shallowness was stressed a little too much for my taste – she’s not your average heroine, got it, yup, thanks.  But all the same, I’m grateful she wasn’t.
    Also the secondary characters were blah – I didn’t get her brothers at all, for example.
    I’d also agree that while the book was entertaining, Dahl’s contemporaries are better, and that’s an unusual stance for me.

  7. 7
    Carin says:

    I fall in the “love it” category.  I love Victoria Dahl’s contemporaries.  I’ve only read 2 historicals by her.  The first was One Week as Lovers, which I HATED.  Mostly because the back cover blurb led me to believe it would be light and funny and instead I was caught off guard by the hero’s horribly scarring past, which dominated the story.  That’s as it should be, but it was so far away from what I was expecting that I never really recovered to enjoy the book.

    So, after that experience I was wary going into A Little Bit Wild.  Maybe the low expectations helped, because I loved it.  I thought it was funny throughout.  The heroine started out horribly shallow and I enjoyed watching her mature.  In the middle of the book when they discuss how many men could have been blackmailing her…  I still laugh remembering that scene in my head, especially the hero’s reaction to it!

    I guess there’s something for everyone, and this book was it for me!

  8. 8
    Susan says:

    I’m 49 and haven’t met up with the Mighty Wang of my Destiny yet.  (Love that phrase!)  Guess I haven’t tried hard enough.  I haven’t tried out a true random sample, either.

  9. 9
    Bronte says:

    I’m another that falls into the loved it camp.  I thought Jude was very patient with Marissa, but appreciated that he drew a line in the sand and wouldn’t compromise his own self respect even though he loved her.  I liked that Marissa was a bit of a brat and curious about sex.  To me she matured throughout the book and she’s a heroine that springs to mind when people talk about liking the unlikeable heroine.  I liked her because she wasn’t perfect. To me it was hot, occasionally funny and just a little angsty – three of my favourite things in a novel.  To me one of the best historicals I read last year.

  10. 10
    Michelle R. says:

    Victoria Dahl is my favorite contemporary writer. She can slug it out with Courtney Milan and Tessa Dare on the historical front. I love that her heroines are bawdy. Either sexually experienced or sexually curious. And I love that the heroes like that. I love that they’re flawed. I love that if I were in their world I would want to be their friend. I love that they’re not afraid to talk dirty or that they have been known to drink too much wine.

    In this particular case, I love that the hero watched her making note of well-shaped male legs, saw what was barely hidden in her, and instantly wanted to marry her. I love that he didn’t slut shame her over the list of men she’d flirted with and more. I love that she grew from shallow to deeply loving a man who was more beast than the handsome prince. I also loved that her aunt basically called her a witless tart.

    I’m 43—I can like a heroine who looks like an adult but never had a tingle in the nether region before the hero showed up, but I can’t relate to her. Give me the bad girl heroine any day.

  11. 11
    Linsalot says:

    I also really enjoyed this one and found it a nice, light read.  I liked that the characters were not typical and seemed like real people.  I think that Dahl’s strength, for me at least, is in writing characters that are ‘real’ in both her contemporaries and her historicals.

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