Read Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie Bob Mayer Online


Mary Alice Brannigan doesn't believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she's been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there's a guy she's falling hard for—and there's something about him that's not quite right. But rocky romances and dMary Alice Brannigan doesn't believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she's been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there's a guy she's falling hard for—and there's something about him that's not quite right. But rocky romances and demented demons aren't the only problems in Dreamland: Mab's also coping with a crooked politician, a supernatural raven, a secret government agency, an inexperienced sorceress, an unsettling inheritance, and some mind-boggling revelations from her past. As her personal demons wreck her newfound relationship and real demons wreck the park, Mab faces down immortal evil and discovers what everybody who's ever been to an amusement park knows: The end of the ride is always the wildest....

Title : Wild Ride
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312533823
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wild Ride Reviews

  • Mel Spenser
    2019-05-03 02:42

    If you are a fan of Jennifer Cruise, you may or may not like this book. This is evident by the wide swing in reviews. Since she has begun writing with Bob Mayer things have changed a bit. Some like it, some don’t.First let me say up front that this was a very well written book. It had an absorbing plot that kept me guessing to the end. It had an originality of ideas that is just not found these days in much of what is being published. The characters were well written. The dialogue was real. So the one-star ratings are really not deserved for this book; and are really not fair.We tend to pigeon hole our favorite authors. Often, we want to see the same kind of work from them and then ironically complain when we think they are rehashing the same characters. But what is an author to do? The Crusie name practically guarantees a bestseller. If she were to write under a nom-de-plume, would the books be bought as readily? It’s a tough decision for an author to make to branch out.I have read all of Jennifer Crusie’s books, and eagerly look forward to each new thing that she puts out. While I’m not a fan of chick lit, per say, she is the exception. I really enjoy her style and writing. Her characters are usually real people. Her dialog comes across as real and not trite. And above all, I enjoy her humor. I love her use of an animal, even one that is purple and green velvet, to convey her humor. I also love her throw away ‘thoughts’ that her characters have and her character’s self-deprecating humor.I am not as familiar with Bob Mayer. And I’m not sure of how they divided the writing responsibilities. However, I would think that a lot of the weaponry and fighting scenes are probably his strong suit. And this is a great addition, because all of that rings true, as well. It may also help the men in the story to come across as, perhaps, more masculine. This book had an originality of ideas that I found refreshing. I’m an author and a librarian. I read all the time, and to tell the truth, I often forget what I’ve read as soon as I’m done. However, I actually remembered this book, and while I was reading it, wanted to get back to it. That doesn’t happen very often with me these days.I’m not going to re-hash the story, as people can read the blurb and the other reviews to know what it’s about. Using ‘real’ demons (yep, you can look them up) and how they came to be in our modern day world was a great idea. My favorite parts: the conversation between the demons was unexpected and delightful; Beemer; Oliver; and little demons ending up inside of the weirdest things. I especially liked the way that the characters grew and changed because of the events that happened to them.I was delighted with this offering. I think that Mayer and Crusie have hit their stride as a writing team.

  • Lakshmi C
    2019-04-22 00:54

    This story is one of the best things I've read this year. And it was difficult to find - so definitely worth the effort.The story is set in an old amusement park which is about to be reopened. It also acts as a prison for 5 demons from hell. The Guardia are demon hunters who are jailors for these demons.This story was like discovering a new planet because the blurb doesn't prepare you for the Wild Ride. (The title is apt. Major frappe points)The Guardia is going through some changes but the new recruits dont have the time to be excited, bothered, invested or scared. They have their own dreams and baggages weighing them down, isolating them. The demons are not their concern and they won't think twice before walking away.Mab is an art restorer with a detatched existence. Ethan is a former Green Beret with a bullet in his heart. Both of them have roots here but this is not where they would choose to be.But what happens when the prison gives you hope, perspective, possibility?The picture I've painted sounds depressing but these are just the lead characters and this book handles heavy issues with a lot of humor and an excellent plot. Even the leads don't feel bad about their lives but work with odd coping mechanisms.Add some escaped demons for adventure, action and an adrenaline rush - you still can't imagine how incredible this was.I'm not telling you the plot points, twists or best scenes because you deserve to experience this on your own. All I can say is this book made me introspect, dig deep, feel a little blue, very happy and oddly inspired.Give this a try when you're looking for something different ;)Can you defeat demons with ice cream?”“If anybody can, you can,”“You have no choice -”“I always have a choice.”“So there are two empty trailers, but you're sleeping in the woods.”“1 like the woods - you never know who might show up there.”“We were attacked tonight by possessed teddy bears. A couple dozen of them.”“Although it's also irrelevant because you're a demon.”“Don't be a bigot.”“I am drowning my sorrows,” Mab said, enunciating clearly.“How's that going?”“Not too well.” She gazed at the empty cups sadly. “The little suckers are buoyant as all hell.”“Remember how you always wanted me to bring home a nice girl?”Glenda looked past him to Weaver, dressed all in black with her gun under her arm.“This isn't her,” Ethan said. “This is Weaver. The man in black.”“A low bar benefits everybody,

  • Rose Lerner
    2019-05-08 04:33

    I knew in advance that I would love this book because it was by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer (I really need to finally read Don't Look Down since I loved Agnes and the Hitman and this one so much) and because it was about an amusement park that is also a demon prison. My one minor disappointment is that there were so many characters that no two of them interacted as much as I wanted them to. I especially would have liked to see Ethan and Mab spend more time together, although that's definitely my own fault for assuming that even though it wasn't a romance, it would still focus on the relationship between the two POV characters. I just love buddy-cop-type stories!I adored every character, and the plot was fabulous. I especially loved the way the portrayal of demons started out very black/white, good/evil, and then grew more nuanced. (This is what I wanted so badly to see on Buffy and never did--yes, we got demon and vampire characters who were obviously not evil, or not more evil than humans anyway, but the ideology never changed from "stake them on sight, they HAVE NO SOUL!") I think my favorite character was Cindy, the ice-cream maker. I loved her ice cream and how her subconscious manifests as dragons and how when the demons were acting out everyone's worst fear, they chanted at her "Hungry, hungry, can't feed us!" What can I say, I'm a cook.Plus, I loved the recurring theme of the fortune "He loves you as much as he can, but he cannot love you very much," because my mom actually got that fortune one time. While out to dinner with my dad, I think, but I'm not sure of that part.

  • The Library Lady
    2019-05-14 07:39

    Jenny, Jenny, I've been watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and I get what you've seen in it all these years. But Bob Mayer is no Josh Whedon and if you insist on going in this direction you need a new collaborator. Better still, what about those other books you've been promising on your blog for the last few years? Your own books that are head and shoulders above any other "chick lit" writer out there. The ones I re-read and love every time that I do!This has its moments, but mostly it's mishmosh. The one or two sex scenes are the most boring she has ever written. The funny quirky characters get lost in a ridiculous supernatural plot that goes way over the top as it piles on family complications worthy of Wagner's Ring Cycle and a dull denouement.Please, Jenny. Drop Mayer. Meanwhile, I'm going back to read Welcome to Temptation and the rest of your GOOD stuff....

  • Rachel C.
    2019-04-28 23:34

    Sigh... two steps forward, one step back. Crusie and Mayer have sadly regressed from the success of "Agnes and the Hitman." Although this book had some good laughs and twists, the Mab (Crusie) and Ethan (Mayer) storylines largely ran on parallel tracks and hardly intersected. I also think the story suffered from being overloaded with too many underdeveloped secondary characters.I put this book down about when I was about halfway through and didn't feel any urgency to pick it up and finish it. I finally did, just to get it out of my pile of danglers. ("Audacity of Hope" has been gathering dust on my nightstand for over a year now.) Sorry - no room on the keeper shelf for this one, authors. Better luck next time.

  • Jim
    2019-04-24 02:53

    I'm stretching for 3 stars because it was a lot of fun. This is humorous & goofy, but it could have been so much better if they'd get their realistic parts together. The main character is a gal that is restoring the park & it's obvious they've never fixed anything. And all the extra help is practically invisible. A real shame because the basic idea was quite different & interesting. The major characters were well done & there was a lot of action.Well, if you can just go with it, it is a wild & fun ride. Angela Dawe did a great job of narrating the story.

  • Jacob Proffitt
    2019-04-24 23:41

    On a personal level, this book is a layer cake of fail. I dislike amusement parks only slightly less than circuses. Mab is a wet rag, Ethan is a drunk jerk, demons are possessing all the interesting characters, and those supposedly fighting the demons are an obscene joke. Somewhere before the halfway point, I just couldn't take it any more and gave up. Sad, really. My first Crusie fail... Maybe I'll blame her coauthor to ease my pain...

  • Siria
    2019-05-02 05:56

    I'm a little conflicted—I think I would have enjoyed Wild Ride more if I had been in the right mood for it. I was cranky and down and wanted some of Crusie's blend of comedy and romance and snappy dialogue to cheer me up and give my brain a rest. There is some comedy in here, and some romance and even one or two enjoyable bits of verbal humour, but despite the wacky premise (five Etruscan demon gods who have been imprisoned for all eternity in an ageing amusement park in Ohio are trying to escape and wreak havoc), the tone is fairly serious and the book is tilted more towards the action-adventure than the romantic-comedy. It's a much smoother effort than Crusie and Mayer's previous collaborations—I think you can see the seams less, maybe because Crusie helped to give the male lead a little more personality this time around—but I think oddly that makes the book fall between two stools in terms of genre. It felt neither traditional enough nor subversive enough. There might be too much fantasy wacky (demons and vanquishing powers inherited over generations and possessed stuffed toys—very Buffy) for people who want action-adventure; not enough emphasis on romance for those who want the escape of it. There's also the fact Crusie and Mayer are trying to write against the conventions of the romantic genre—it's not giving much away to say that the male and female leads don't end up together—but those conventions are so strong that I spent the first half of the book, at least, confused and almost reading against the story. Maybe I did just go into this in the wrong frame of mind—I was looking for cosy familiarity and got something quite different—but it didn't engage me as much as I was hoping for. That said, I would love to see this in movie and/or TV miniseries form—I think the change of media might really make it work.

  • Brownbetty
    2019-05-11 04:45

    This book is going to be really confusing for a lot of readers who found it, as I did, in the romance section. When you find a book in the romance section, you sort of expect that if there are two pov characters they will end up together. Instead (view spoiler)[one of our pov characters finds the man she is (narratively) meant to end up with, only after being knocked up by a demonic clown. (But don't worry, he's the nice kind of demonic clown, and they have amicable child-rearing arrangement by the end of the book.) And while she is clearly destined to have some kind of romantic relationship with her new fellow, the book ends not with them riding off into the sunset, but with her going on a road-trip with her mother.She does not end up with the other pov character, which is probably lucky, as it eventually turns out he is her sort-of half-brother. (hide spoiler)]The thing is, this is actually a quite decent book, which I think I like better than any Crusie/Mayers collaboration so far, but whatever it is, it's not a romance.

  • Karen
    2019-05-08 03:32

    Ok - I'm going to do something I don't normally do and stop reading this one in the middle because I feel brain cells dying and I have an entire stack of books waiting to be read that I think I will actually enjoy. I saw this one at the library and it had similarities to A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore which I just finished, so I figured "logical jump". However, A Dirty Job was a clever farce - this is just excrutiatingly dumb. I'm on page 174 and I've had it, so back to the library it goes.

  • Georgie
    2019-04-22 23:54

    I love Crusie's writing, but this was too high-octane for me. I needed the pace to let up slightly from time to time.

  • Katharine Kimbriel
    2019-04-30 04:39

    Jennifer Crusie finally gets around to the supernatural in WILD RIDE, and Crusie lovers may be amused. The wildest ride at the Dreamland Amusement Park isn’t the roller coaster, but the truth is way too much for Mary Alice Brannigan (AKA Mab) to believe. Mab doesn’t believe in the supernatural, despite her mother telling her she was demon spawn. But the truth of the matter is, Dreamland is actually a prison for the Five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world.Mab is a professional restorer of vintage amusement parks, always on the move, proud of her work and her reputation. But at Dreamland she finds herself becoming more involved with the natives than usual, plus there’s this guy she’s falling for despite the fact that something about him feels odd.If you like Evanovich, you will probably like vintage Crusie. Mab is coping with demons, weird suitors, a crooked politician with Deep Secrets, a preternaturally smart raven, a secret government agency, an inexperienced sorceress, an unsettling legacy, and some mind-blowing revelations about her past – and her future. And when a psychic whose predictions always come true pulls out the True Love gun, and Mab finds out the geek may be a dragon, well – if you think there may be something for everyone, you’re right.I enjoyed this book, and read it quickly. It was not as belly-laughing a send-up for me as it might be for readers who don’t usually read serious fantasy. I was smiling at how information was being leaked here, but of course I knew it all meant something important, and I was waiting for the other penny to drop, so to speak.I should mention that I wasn’t sure about Crusie teaming up with Mayer in Don't Look Down, their first book. I liked the heroine, but got tired of the hero’s inability to think any other adjective other than the F bomb. Agnes and the Hitman was a lot more fun, and the partnership jelled better. Wild Ride is entertaining, and Mayer’s soldier returning home to die (he thinks) is a lot more original and interesting than the first Mayer hero.So I hope Crusie is working on something of her own, or that there’s one out I haven’t heard about, because I've missed her dynamite, humorous touch. But this is sure to please people waiting for a good parody of the supernatural market. Have fun, ride a carousel pony, and always look twice at the fortunes on those penny cards.

  • Jill Dunlop
    2019-04-20 04:49

    Mary Alice Brannigan, who goes by Mab, has come back to her home town to restore an old amusement park. Strange things are happening in the park. Clown statues seem to come to life, people are being shot at and friends talk of demons. Plus, a handsome man is fawning all over her and she can't figure out why. He is irresistibly handsome and shouldn't be interested in a boring, drab woman like her.I really like Jennifer Crusie, but this book was a major dud for me. If you continue on reading this review be prepared for a rant, for I feel one coming on. I was disappointed with Wild Ride. I was looking for a romance and what I got was slap stick horror. That is definitely not my cup of tea. Yes, there are traces of Crusies's signature style. There is quite an interesting ensemble cast, which offers up great dialogue. But that in my opinion that is about all this book had to offer, unless of course you like comedic horror, then you might enjoy this "Wild Ride".Have you ever seen the movie Army of Darkness, or some other horror flick that was more for laughs than for screams? That is what Wild Ride reminded me of. There were stuffed teddy bears, the ones that people try to win at carnival games. These little buggers came to life and tried to kill people. Mab as a choice of heroine was definitely unusual. She dresses like a bag lady and wears a minor's hat on her head. It has a light on it so she can see when painting in the dark. Umm... okaaaaay...The romance is a big fat let down. Romance? What romance? It was about two pages towards the end of the book. Really the only thing that kept me reading was because it's Jennifer Crusie. I just kept hoping it would get better. Unfortunately, it never did. I give it points for being original, but I can't recommend this one.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-23 01:45

    Did not finish. Spoilers ahead.In the first several pages, we find out our Female Main Character (FMC) is working at a creepy amusement park, apparently getting it ready for Halloween. Then a hot ex-special forces guy shows up (our Male Main Character?), just in time for a statue of a clown to be possessed (apparently) by an escaped demon and attack FMC. Then MMC gets shot in the chest, but he's smart enough to be wearing kevlar. Then I skipped ahead to the end. All five of the demons who had been imprisoned at the theme park are loose, and apparently planning on taking over the world/eating everyone's souls. FMC, MMC, and their friends have magically become demon hunters and are trying to imprison them again. Oh yeah, and our FMC and our MMC are half-siblings... and the kids of the demons they are trying to imprison/not get eaten by. They take care of their evil demon dad, but FMC's demon mother is being problematic... until FMC reminds her that she's pregnant... by another demon(??)... And then mom, content with the prospect of grandkids, hops into her genie bottle. And everything is right with the world and FMC is actually in love with another human, and MMC is... I dunno, actually. It's all very confusing and would probably make so much more sense if I actually read the whole thing... It doesn't seem worth the time. I love some of Crusie's older stuff, but have been less-then-impressed with everything she's collaborated on with Bob Mayer, as well as her new supernatural kick. I'm hoping she goes back to traditional romance next. She was good at it.

  • Amy Rosenkoetter
    2019-05-16 23:31

    This was a fascinating book and I loved every page!Imagine an amusement park as a prison for demons. Now imagine what might happen when that park gets a facelift from someone who doesn't KNOW it's a demonic prison. The roller coaster starts here.Odd coincidences are proven not to be, strangers aren't, and those who run the park are really jailers. Sound weird? It is - wonderfully so! I haven't read anything with such a unique premise in a long time, and I enjoyed every minute. It's not predictable in pretty much any fashion.This book also answers the question of many Harry Potter fans about what became of Dolores Umbridge after leaving the Ministry of Magic. Clearly she changed her name to Ursula, and went to work for the FBI. Ursula is a wonderful antagonist and thoroughly dislikeable. A perfect foil, in other words.It's a great, fun book, with great writing from its two authors. I couldn't really tell where one stopped and the next took over, which is not always the case in a dual-authored novel. It was by turns hilarious, suspenseful, and dramatic, but always fascinating. It dragged me right through. I hope to see this collaboration produce a few more pieces of fun for me to read!

  • Ashley
    2019-05-08 00:51

    I am so disappointed. I loved Agnes and the Hitman and was really anticipating this book. Granted, their first book, Don't Look Down, was not as funny, but maybe they were still working the kinks out of the team writing style or something. Anyway, Wild Ride started out very promising (don't worry, no spoilers) - a social misfit female protagonist who restores carnival art is restoring this run-down amusement park filled with the standard kooky characters you'd expect. Then the burned-out, wounded ex-green beret whose mother owns the park comes home. All is developing nicely until we learn about the demons. Then, unexpectedly, the bridge suspending my disbelief collapsed. Although the rest of the book was fun, I just couldn't get into it. Putting the doubtful plot aside, the one "supernatural" element I would've loved was missing - the characters did not become real for me. I just never really cared about them. I wanted to, but couldn't feel their feelings. Actually, I think this book would make a fabulous spoof-horror movie, but the character development was too shallow for me to love it as a book. Good book. Silly book. But not a great book.

  • Mandy
    2019-05-14 06:33

    Another depressing Crusie-Mayer collaboration. Maybe, I should have started with this book before reading the awesomeness that is Agnes and the Hitman...less disappointment that way. Their weird paranormal romance action mix is a miss.In this book, there are demons trapped inside an amusement park and the park workers are a secret society that are tasked with keeping the demons trapped. Well, there's the paranormal part of the book. Of course, the demons are plotting and trying to escape. The entire book is leading up to a big showdown. The ENTIRE book is leading up to a big showdown. Then, the showdown takes up just a few pages. Let down. Well, there's the action part of the book. The leads jump in and out of bed with strangers with little more than a crossing, "Oooh. He's handsome and has pretty eyes. I guess that means we should have sex now" The relationships really don't progress past that very superficial level. Well, there's the romance part of the book. The end.

  • Tara
    2019-05-17 02:35

    So here's the thing. If I had never read anything by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, I would have loved this book. As it stands I liked it. It's just that even when she was writing something a paranormal edge to it, Jennifer Crusie was always at the core a romance writer. And where as during previous collaborations your main characters got their HEA and you were satisfied. In this one, I felt everyone got a HEA but I never really got to know all the people involved and more importantly, I never came to really care about them. It was like they were kept at arms length. Also, I know what parts Jennifer Crusie wrote and they lacked that something that I really love about her writing. The something that made me inhaled every book she ever wrote that I could get my hands on, during last summer.I'm not ready to give up on them yet, but it wasn't a favorite.

  • Cathy
    2019-04-28 01:33

    It was really a 3.5, but I love Crusie and Mayer too much to mark it down. It wasn't as good as their other 2 books (so far) together, but it was a fun ride (ha, ha). Overall it was a clever idea and I enjoyed the crossover of one of my favorite romance/humor authors (Crusie) into the supernatural genre I read so often. But the characters in the book didn't quite hit the mark for me, especially Mab. I liked her, but I didn't love her or want her to be one of my best friends. I think the book got so wrapped up in the premise and plot that the characters suffered a little. Also, I missed having a cute dog in the story, as Crusie's books usually do, but Frankie the raven was an appropriate substitute.

  • Rage
    2019-04-29 03:49

    unlike some reviewers, I was reading this for the supernatural element more than the romance. an amusement park, decorated for Halloween, full of demons? that sounds like so much fun! and the beginning was, with descriptions of the Halloween decorations and Mab's work restoring the park. then everything descends into maudlin chaos, and the "final battle" is a dramatic conversation about a baby. not my jam!(view spoiler)[also, throughout the book, the demons possess people and use their bodies to have sex and commit murder. this is never addressed, but we know from Mab that someone can get pregnant from the sex. it's sort of like how when Mab was talking about the name for her baby, and she was like "not Vanth-Delpha, because that would be VD (venereal disease)" but Delpha-Vanth was option because... the authors didn't connect DV with domestic violence. any story where people are possessed and have no control over their bodies and then do big, consequential things, but then it's treated like a joke is already kind of icky to me, and in this book, it was sort of like, "oh yeah we were all possessed by demons so our kids are demons haha haha now the demons are going to shout at one another because they were cheating on one another." which, for some people, that's fun and carefree? I guess? meanwhile, in the span of two weeks, Mab's character goes from "I hate emotions and distance myself from all people" to "my libido is out of control and I'm pregnant." (couldn't "Drunk Dave" request a paternity test and then be tied to Mab forever, too? that's something the story just doesn't address.) it seemed excessively complicated to have Mab fall in love with one guy, but then her soulmate has been there the entire time, watching her without ever introducing himself, the first guy is a demon, they both call themselves Joe, prophecies, dragons, blah blah blah. I mean for me the reason to read romance is all about the buildup and tension, but in this book it's like, we've made eye contact, now let's sleep together.... demons. (hide spoiler)]basically I wish it had just all been about Halloween and funny dialogue, not left me with a kind of weird icky feeling.

  • Katyana
    2019-04-22 23:52

    I don't know that I would call this a romance, but it is an interesting fantasy... with a really unique core idea. I enjoyed the world and really liked most of the characters, though I had some trouble with Ethan, who felt a little too ... chest-thumping, grunting man-ish to me. ***3.5***

  • Miriam
    2019-05-02 05:32

    This third collaboration for Crusie and Mayer takes a new direction for the authors: demon-hunting. Crusie had already ventured into the fantasy realm in her collaborative (and to my mind, unsuccessful) ventures The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes and Dogs and Goddesses, but those involved less action and a more witchcraft-like type of magic. Mayer normally writes action novels featuring military personnel, sometimes with a science-fiction element as in Synbat: A Novel. Based on this story, I would say both authors would be better off sticking with what they're best at. This book tries to be a romance, a madcap comedy, a fantasy-with-horror-elements, and a guns-blazing action story, and doesn't succeed at any of them. I wouldn't call it an utter failure -- it was mildly entertaining and had some amusing or interesting elements, but overall the book as a whole was disjointed and underdeveloped. Demon-infested amusement park? Not original. Female protagonist who isn't interested in romance and feeeelings (which as we all know from popular culture is just wrong) learning to be more emotional? Not original. Brave and accomplished military hero, emotionally scarred from the deaths of his comrades? Not original. Curmudgeonly-but-wise chain-smoking and hard-drinking older lady who lives in a trailer? Not original. Rich desserts that make those who eat them frisky? Not original (and in this case, not really important to the story). Jumbling all these elements together? Slightly less unoriginal, but still been done plenty of times. Mab, our carnival-items-restorer heroine, is the only really developed character, and she seemed like a weaker rewrite of some of Crusie's earlier spunky women. Ethan, the military hero, seemed like a less-admirable version of J.T. from Don't Look Down. I did like that these two main characters don't end up romantically paired, but I can't imagine the relationships they do end up in would satisfy romance fans. Ethan and his fuck buddy girlfriend get the most relationship development, but Weaver seems to be pretty much a male wish-fulfillment fantasy a la Angelina Jolie in any leather-and-gun-wearing action role. Mab and her True Love might have been convincing, but they get so little face time that their Love seems to come out of nowhere. Unless you buy that there is One True Love and you are Destined To Be Together they have no connection. Mab's relationship with her one-week-stand gets a lot more development, which ends up feeling a little weird when he is revealed to be Not Her One True Love.Supporting characters (human and demon alike) were mostly weak, except maybe Glenda, whom I hated. I didn't understand why Mab, who as far as we know just got hired a few months ago for this restoration project, keeps buying into Glenda's attempt to boss her around and guilt her into things. When someone pays you, you owe them the work they paid for. You are not required to let them interfere in your personal life or demand that you join their demon-hunting brotherhood and live with them for the rest of your life. Unless that was in the contract -- read the small print, friends!And don't get me started on the demons and magic. I'm fine with having those elements, but as a long-time fantasy reader I really expect my magical system to be better-developed. In fact, the whole demon-trapping thing was so ridiculous that it was almost funnier than the bits that were supposed to be funny.Overall I felt that the authors had some good ideas but for whatever reason (publishing deadline, boredom, needing money) rushed them all onto the pages any-which-way instead of working out how they could really play together, polishing the plot, and developing the characters. I know both Crusie and Mayer can do a lot better, and this frustrated me.

  • Punk
    2019-04-22 23:37

    Trigger warning for discussion of rape.Paranormal...romance-ish. This is a departure from the usual Crusie-Mayer playbook, and not necessarily a successful one.As usual, it straddles two genres -- action and romance -- and struggles to make either work. But instead of bad guys, we get demons. And instead of romance, we get, uh, something that's not quite romance.Don't expect our manly hero (a drunk ex-Green Beret who's wandering around Ohio carrying a handgun and wearing a bulletproof vest for reasons that are never explained) to hook up with our heroine. Which is a relief, because, due to his drunkenness and guns, I wasn't initially a fan. Unfortunately, for a long time, this also meant I was seriously confused because he was the male pov character, but it didn't seem like he was meant to hook up with our heroine.Mab, our heroine, starts off as a romance cliche: an unemotional workaholic that needs a man to show her how to love. How original. Both characters grow through the course of the novel. Um...Ethan (I forgot his name!) never gets all that round, but Mab fills out and becomes kick-ass and awesome. I grew to love her, and she eventually has all the characteristic spunk of a Crusie lady.What romance there is is either underdeveloped or shows up late in the book. The hero's romance has no heat behind it, possibly because the characters are kind of lukewarm themselves. Mab's romance(s) have a little more life to them, but still not the stuff of Crusie's other wonderful pairings.The action is good; the demon stuff was well thought out. I liked the mythology of the demons and the demonkeepers. The pacing was good once we got over the constant, and irritating, DEMONS AREN'T REAL I WAS HALLUCINATING denial. This is a post-Buffy world! If it looks like a demon, it probably is!In short! (Too late!) I was annoyed and confused by this book for the first half, but it seems to pull up its pants and get out the door in the second half. Bonus points for a non-alpha male love interest, a non-traditional romance arc, and a support system of chosen (and found) family.Two and a half stars, rounded down to two. It was fun in the end, but it took a lot of work to get there.UPDATE: This book uses rape as a plot device. I should have mentioned it when I first wrote this review; I didn't because Mab didn't seem too put out by it, but that's no excuse because this affected more people than just her. Wild Ride's plot hinges on demonic possession and several characters have sexual contact with the possessed or while possessed themselves. The narrative doesn't identify this as rape, but it is, and it's all the more disturbing when compared to a similar situation in Crusie's Maybe This Time where she has the characters deny that sex while possessed is rape while simultaneously ignoring that the non-possessed partner was just as unable to give consent. Both parties, possessed and not, are having non-consensual sex -- whether they know it at the time or not -- and the authors do everyone a disservice by ignoring that.

  • Lynn Calvin
    2019-05-18 02:59

    ooohh-kay.Well. This isn't a bad book. I liked it ok, (maybe even better than ok) and it had brilliant moments. If I had a way to give parts of it two stars and parts of it five, I would. I really wavered between three and four, and ended up with four because I felt that persisting to the end was rewarding.About 20% in I said "what are Jennifer Crusie characters doing in a horror novel" and I stand by that.Lots and lots and lots of spoilers to come. I don't think I really write reviews, I write reactions.The first thing to know about it, that I think is important, is that it isn't the genre you think it is. It has some romance in it, but it fails a lot of the genre romance tests including some that are important to me. But it isn't much like the previous Crusie Mayer joint works either. Not so much a suspense/thriller.If I had to put a genre on it by the "feel" of the book, I'd say it was a supernatural psycholgical horror novel. Not necessarily a bad thing per se (although it is a genre I hate) but not what I was expecting.If you enjoyed the Dogs and Goddesses book last year with Jenny & Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich this may work better for you, but I liked that a lot better.SPOILERS here on out. The eventual resolution of the romantic stuff for Mab didn't work. As far as I can tell, she never really had any interaction with the guy (probably a good guy) that she will end up with. it was almost like a gothic with an attractive guy who is not the eventual HEA hero.Lots of unexpected WTF moments and I have a pretty high tolerance for them.There were a lot of things that ended up feeling like rape to me. Not forcible rape, but rape by deception - if the person you are having sex with has been possessed, that person, male or female, is being raped, and the possesser is morally guilty of rape. Yes, this emphasizes that demons are NOT NICE, but it bothered me a lot. In particular, I felt for Mab's mother - she had been raped by a demon - and I would wish for Mab to have understood her more after discovering that.Mab's pregnancy totally squicked me, as did her acceptance of it.I liked the secondary (I guess it was secondary) romance - that one totally made sense, although it was mostly somewhat more simplistic characters.So why four stars - well, the main character is totally a Jennifer Crusie person, as are some of the secondary characters, and I'll forgive a lot for that. The plotting is actually pretty decent once I got over what the plot actually was.And the resolution was adequately triumphant and did some things that were more right - including three female characters off on a road trip to the Statue of Liberty (you have to work your way through the book for this to make sense.)

  • Sue Burke
    2019-04-27 04:46

    I've been torn on what to think about Jennifer Crusie's collaborations with Bob Mayer. The first time I read their first book together, "Don't Look Down", I spent so much time trying to figure out who wrote what that I found it hard to get into the story, and it was only after a few readings that the book grew on me. Maybe it was because it came on the heels of Crusie's "Bet Me", which is one of her best books, but "Don't Look Down" has never been one of my favorite books.Their next one, "Annie and the Hitman", was a hit for me from the minute started it. Crusie's humor was there in full force, as was her usual combination of great characters and a great storyline. So when "Wild Ride" came out, I expected something equally as good, and I was tremendously disappointed. "Wild Ride", at first read, just seemed strange, with a plotline involving demons trapped in an amusement park, a cast of characters I had a hard time keeping track of, and a hero and heroine who didn't have the least bit of chemistry with each other .... that was until I figured out they weren't supposed to, because they ended up with other people. Maybe it was the plot .... I'm not a big fan of amusement parks or demons. I'm not sure. But when I finished the book, I tucked it away in a box with a feeling of doubt that I'd ever want to read it again. And if I'd written this review at that point, I would have given it two stars at the most.Having said all that, I dug my copy out again last week to take another try at it, and to my surprise have really been enjoying it. Now that I know the basic storyline and who's supposed to end up with who (sorry, but I need to know things like that), I sat back and enjoyed the ride. This time the characters have really grown on me, I've figured out the whole demon plot and have been able to keep track of who's who, and I'm seeing the humor that I missed the first time when I was muttering to myself about how much I didn't like the book. LIke "Don't Look Down", it's a book I needed to take a second look at in order to enjoy, and I'm at the point now of knowing it will be one I'll want to re-read, and one that deserves the four stars I'm giving it.I'm not sure whether Crusie and Mayer will write another book together .... she's had one out since "Wild Ride" and it looks like she's got another one coming out later in the year (little dance of joy here) .... and I'm not sure I want them to. "Annie at the Hitman" was perfect, and if they can write like that again, I'll love their pairing and buy their books. If they write another book like "Wild Ride", hopefully whatever they produce will grow on me the way "Wild Ride" has, but I have to wonder about books that I have to go back to a time or two before I like them.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-17 02:34

    I don't know how to start my review on this book... I thought well maybe I should give myself some time before I write my review on it. Then decided that no; I would lose my just finished reading feelings on it. I love Jennifer Crusie by herself, I have deeply enjoyed everything that I have read by her so far, but I honestly feel that when Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer sit down together and write a book, that it's as if it was written by a pen tipped in gold. I guess their style just sets well with me. So I was greatly excited about this book because it had been a while since I had a book by them to read.I wasn't expecting what I got though, and found it very hard at first to not compare it to the previous works of the Fantastic Duo (it's my name for them) but once I was able to get past the beginning strangeness and set aside my thoughts of how I thought it should be and wanted it to be. I fell in love with the story.I was caught off guard by the main characters and liked that for a very large portion of the story you have no idea what's going to happen with them. I very much enjoyed Mab from the very beginning and Ethan grew on me as the story progressed. It's not that I didn't like his character because I did and found him very realistic and made me feel for him from the very beginning. He was just so gruff and the drinking even though I understood it may be kept him from being my favorite at first. All the secondary character as well was great to me. I think out of all of them I loved Oliver the most, then Mab, Ethan, and Weaver, and so on. There wasn't one character even the bad guys that I didn't like.This was probably one of the funniest, even thought it had its moments where the story took a dark turn and was funny at all; books I have read this year. What with Mab's sarcastic remarks and Ethan's very little patience with women and their emotions. I truly found so many things great and enjoyable about this book. I hate that I went in not open minded about where the story would be taking me but am very grateful that I finally got my act together and found the greatness of this story. It will make you laugh, feel good, keep you on the edge of your seat, and leave you feeling very satisfied when you finish that last page.

  • Sara
    2019-05-07 01:36

    It's at times like these when reading the back cover of a book come in handy. It would have really nice to know that the book was a paranormal romance rather than a contemporary one. But once you know that you're not as thrown by Mab getting attacked by a clown statue. I would personally like to applaud Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie on taking a spin on what you would normally expect to happen at the beginning of any romance novel. Usually, the two main characters that are followed throughout the book, the hero and the heroine, end up together. This time, Crusie and Mayer made those characters siblings and kept you guessing, at least for a while, as to whom Mab and Ethan would end up with. The actual plot of the story was pretty entertaining. This is a very original book because I have yet to read about a group of demons being held prisners inside different statues in a themepark. The book is fast-moving and keeps you unable to put the book down, wanting that much to find out what happens next. If you've visited the crusie/mayer site, you already know that this book has the best of both authors: Jennifer Crusie characters and Bob Mayer killing off a few of those characters. This is a collaborations that I would love to see more of. Has you eagerly waiting for their next book.

  • La-Plume
    2019-04-22 23:52

    This is the first time I've been disappointed by a Jennifer Crusie's book. As usual, the book has been advertised as chick lit with paranormal elements so I was expecting a book along the lines of the latest one I had read written by her which was Maybe this Timei.e a book which focused on romance with paranormal elements which would be used to add to the general wackiness that is Jennifer Crusie's trademark.Instead I found a book that focused on the paranormal elements, the action, and definitely not the romance. The thing is I'm not somebody who enjoys humor for humor. I like romantic comedies, fantasy stories which have humorous elements but I don't look for books which don't seem to have any point except make you laugh.So yeah, the first thing is, it should have been advertised not as romance ( although there's romance in it but like any book of any genre which has romantic elements) but as comedy. Because I didn't get what I was looking for, I struggled through the first third of the book hoping for something that wasn't there and then because I had already spent lots of time, I forced myself to finish it. If I could have laughed, it would have been okay, but I must have found myself smiling once or twice at most. I just really couldn't get nor into the story nor into the characters.Definitely won't read it twice.PS: I have to add that I read Agnes and the Hitman some years ago and it was great, so I was expecting great things from this new collaboration with Bob Mayer but sadly it wasn't the case.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-18 01:50

    I can understand why a lot of the negative reviews for Wild Ride are from people who gave up after just a few chapters. The story and, most especially, the characters don't really grab you from the beginning. The two main characters, Mab and Ethan, aren't very likable when we meet them. Mab is antisocial, sarcastic and at times down right rude to people. Her one and only passion is her work restoring carnival pieces and that requires her to move around at lot, never setting down roots or getting close to anyone and that's just the way she likes it. Ethan is an emotionally closed off alcoholic ex-soldier who still wears his bullet-proof vest everyday even though he's in Ohio and plans to spend the rest of his days sitting around drunk while collecting a disability check and most definitely NOT helping his mother with the amusement park. The supporting characters are very heavy on the "quirky" personalities and the demons that supposedly inhabit the park aren't very scary.In short, I nearly gave up on this book after the first few chapters too.But if you stick with it, the quirky supporting characters really start to grow on you and Mab and Ethan both go through significant character arcs that make them much more likable by the end. In between the demon plot starts picking up too and some interesting and unique ideas are introduced. The ending is satisfying on many different levels and there were some twists involved that I didn't see coming.

  • Ambs ❤❤
    2019-04-30 03:47

    I ended up really enjoying this! This was a fun, creep-tastic, and humorous read about a carnival and it's demons.Admittedly, I had a hard time getting into this story. However, once I became intrigued, I was hooked. I think it was a line (something along the lines of) oh hell no minions, you're not touching me or my demon spawn. (Sorry it's not the actual quote, I returned the book before I wrote this review.)This story had everything, romance, fight scenes, death, demons, crazy old women, promiscuity, minions, ice cream, illusions, dragons, clowns, mermaids, stuffed animals, and a crow, etc. Even if these things sound weird together, they were worked out perfectly in the book. I found myself laughing out loud many times and had to pause to just get my bearings before continuing on.I loved all the main characters, and despised the villains. Mab was annoying at first but grew on me, Ethan as well. Joe/Dave was interesting, Glenda & Elfie were a hoot, Cindy was sweet, Ray was an ass, Oliver was everything I dreamed of, Weever was a little intense, and I could just go on and on as there was a last cast (is that the term used for books?)Anyways, I would recommend this book, and will definitely be picking up another by Jennifer Crusie.