Review of Brave the Wild Wind, by Johanna Lindsey:
Christ, what a bad book. Brave the Wild Wind was a yawn from start to finish. From the premise--an 18 year old girl running a cattle ranch in frontier Wyoming, all the while chumming it up with the Natives--to the pathetic characterizations, this was just bad, bad, bad.
Jessica has been raised by her father, a man who hates her because she's not a boy, and has taught her to hate her mother. Her father kicked her pregnant mother out years ago, after beating her nearly to death because he found her cheating on him (except he didn't). He'd been an ideal husband up until then. His character is one of the biggest problems I have with this book, because his behaviors are so unbelievable. But it's hardly the only one I have.
When her father dies, Jess's estranged mother comes to look after her, and brings an old friend along to help tame Jess' wild behavior. Enter Chase Summers, an old pal who instead seduces Jess and then tries to trick her mother into keeping her away from other men. But as Chase constantly says (though never proves), he's charming. So it's cool.
Honestly, I didn't have a huge problem with Chase. I pitied him, really, because Jess was so detestable. She is a HUGE brat, a total b*tch, and not in a good way. She's no Scarlett O'Hara--she's not selfish, she's just mean-spirited, and couldn't give a damn how her actions affect others. Worse, her character never develops or changes at all. And she has no sense of humor. She and Chase do nothing but fight, and unlike Wulfric in Joining, who is faced with a similar (though less vicious) heroine, Chase hasn't enough will to control/help someone like Jess. Beneath their fighting, I couldn't detect any sexual tension, nor any hint of a good match. They just made each other miserable.
The secondary plots are boring, Jess is obnoxious, the resolution with her mother is poorly written, and this book was not worth the effort of carrying it home from the library. D.