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Wild at Heart
by Vickie McDonough

Reviewed by Lori Fox

"I finished this book over a month ago, and I still want to keep reading it."

Dime novel writer Drew Dixon has a love for writing exciting adventure novels set in the west and using heroines instead of heroes to save the day. But extensive research still doesn't compare to actual experience, and mistakes are bound to happen. So when a disgruntled reader who just so happens to live on a ranch extends an invitation to the western writer to come visit and learn about how a ranch really works, a refusal doesn't come easily.

There's just one thing the rancher didn't count on--Drew Dixon is actually a woman.

I rarely read novellas since if I enjoy the characters, I like to spend more time with them. And if I don't enjoy the characters, well, then I wouldn't want to read it at all. However, Wild at Heart by Vicki McDonough fulfills nearly every wish that I could have in a novel or novella. True, it could have been expanded in places to fill a length closer to novel size, but simply stating a character's feelings from time to time rather than dragging you through scene after scene to give you the same conclusion was actually quite refreshing.

Adam McFarland is a wonderful artist/rancher. He's sensitive and caring without ever being weak. Stubborn, perhaps, but not weak. And his sister Anna is a hoot! Miss Mariah Lansing, AKA Drew Dixon, is clever and charming. I don't know how most readers would respond to this, but writers and aspiring writers will totally understand Miss Lansing's poorly timed sense of curiosity and preoccupation during normally traumatic events, such as during a train robbery.

Like many romances, Wild at Heart uses the main characters' penchant for hiding information from each other as a way to keep them apart until the end. I actually don't mind this since if they came right out and told each other everything from the start, there would be no story. If you're a fan of romance, this may not bother you either. And to be honest, I finished this book over a month ago, and I still want to keep reading it.

Will Wild at Heart change my preferences when it comes to full length novels versus novellas? Probably not. I still like to immerse myself into a story and the characters. But does it put Vickie McDonough on my radar? Most definitely.

Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.