All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Getting Wild – Sarah Barrie

on August 11, 2013

Getting WildGetting Wild
Sarah Barrie
Harlequin Escape Publishing
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Ella Jameson is the editor-in-chief of Australia’s most successful and respected travel magazine. She has dragged the publication up to the success it enjoys now and her reputation as a hard taskmaster precedes her. Now that the magazine has been sold, Ella knows her job is safe – she’s got the readership numbers to ensure that. But she also wants to make sure that her small team, which she put together personally, is safe as well and so she drives them harder than ever towards perfection.

Then adventurer Ryan Edwards walks into her office with a proposition. He wants her to co-host a new travel television show with him, where they go to a location and report on attractions, facilities and accommodation. He will handle the more adventurous type activities and she will stick to the luxurious end of the scale. He thinks it will be ratings dynamite.

Despite being intrigued, Ella isn’t so sure. She’s never even screen tested for a camera before and they’re offering her the job without even seeing if she can perform on camera. It does set off warning bells in her head but she can’t deny the attractiveness of the offer. The only downside seems to be Ryan himself. He’s overly arrogant and self-assured and far too heavy handed. Unfortunately, he’s also sexy as hell and it doesn’t seem like Ella is immune, despite the many walls she has erected around her heart after several shattering betrayals,

Their first adventure is the Ghan train journey from Adelaide to the Top End and for Ella, that poses even more of a temptation. Ryan Edwards is a notorious womaniser and she knows it would be a mistake to allow herself anything more than just a no strings attached moment. But how can they work together when they want such different things?

I have super mixed feelings on this book – love the idea of it, it sounded like so much fun. Ella is uptight and very dedicated. She drives herself to succeed and she also drives those around her to succeed. Their performances reflect on her and failure is not an option for her. Ella kind of has the bitch “The Devil Wears Prada” thing going on and everyone who works for her seems a bit frightened of her because she is such a perfectionist/slave driver.

Enter Ryan Edwards and all of a sudden it’s like Harlequin Presents meets Bear Grylls in here. I don’t really find it cute that Ryan put her over his shoulder in her office and threatened to expose her ass to her colleagues and workmates if she didn’t agree to have dinner with him. Ryan is overbearing, arrogant, heavyhanded and kind of a bully. I think it’s wrapped up in the fact that he “sees her potential” and wants to get her in his bed but for me it just made him seem like a ginormous douche. I hate people being forced to do things they don’t want to do even if it’s “for their own good”. The way that he manipulates and threatens her into having dinner with me so he can lay out what he wants from her (and bully her into agreeing) was annoying. Why didn’t he just put the proposal to her like a normal person? So I was prepared to find Ryan annoying from then on and he didn’t really disappoint me. And then later on it turns out that Ella is some kind of black belt kickboxing whiz so I don’t know why she didn’t just sit him on his butt or nail him in the nads or something. That seemed kind of like inconsistent character portrayal.

Despite the fact that pains are taken to establish her as an uptight bitch (and I think we’re supposed to think “oh LOL Ryan is so funny because he winds her up but really he sees what she is underneath”) I actually liked Ella’s character. Her background was well fleshed out and I liked the reasoning for her Miranda Priestley-type character which made a lot of sense. I also liked that she wanted to stand alone, to develop her own career and resisted her grandfather’s plans for her. She was dedicated and passionate about her work, tough but with a bit of vulnerability. I also liked the way in which she developed friendships with the female crew while they were filming. You could tell she didn’t really know how to be friends properly and that it was a learning curve for her. She was used to just working with people, not socialising with them and crossing over into friendship.

Because I liked Ella so much, it was sort of a shame that I really didn’t like Ryan’s character at all. And if someone had taken me on a “surprise” back to nature camping trip, I wouldn’t have been as good-natured about it as Ella came to be! This one was definitely a mixed bag – good writing and I liked the story of them travelling on the Ghan and exploring the NT but could definitely not get into Ryan, which tended to bring down my whole opinion on the novel. This is definitely a romance for those who prefer the more Alpha type of hero.


Book #200 of 2013


Getting Wild is the 80th book read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013


One response to “Getting Wild – Sarah Barrie

  1. While I’ve always gravitated toward stories that revolve around survival or the man vs. nature element, I think that in this case Ryan’s behaviour is too much of a deal-breaker for me to ever truly enjoy this story. There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of behaviour, particularly in the workplace, and like you, I’m always uncomfortable when a heroine is bullied into making a decision she might not otherwise make simply because it’s ‘for her own good’. I love an alpha as much as the next girl, but there is a vast difference between a strong, confident alpha male and a bully. I suspect Ryan falls into the latter category.

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