by Patricia Gaffney

January 1997
ISBN: 0-451-40536-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Topaz Books
Mass Market Paperback

This is the story of "the lost man", a man believed to have been raised by wolves in the wilderness, secluded from all civilization. Sydney Darrow's father, a renowned anthropologist, is studying him in hopes to write a book about his experiences. However, Sydney can't help but feel sorry for the lost man since he is kept locked up and treated more like an animal than a man - but that is how many view him, as an animal.

Sydney sees beyond his appearance and discovers that the lost man is not ignorant or mute, but is just afraid of men. Sydney finds out that the lost man has a name, Michael MacNeil, and a friendship forms between them.

Michael fell in love with Sydney the first time he saw her and smelled her - he wants to be her mate. Sydney can't deny her attraction to Michael but feels that a relationship between them would never work out for obvious reasons. But just when she realizes the extent of her emotions, Sydney and Michael must unlock the secrets of his past to save him from a life in prison. Unfortunately, what the past reveals just might be the very thing that takes Michael from her.

Wild at Heart is a refreshing change of pace from the majority of romance novels. The hero is not a confident, sophisticated womanizer but rather an innocent of the ways of the world who does not know how to hide his true feelings. The qualities that make Michael different also make him appealing. Thankfully, Gaffney didn't find it necessary to have him change into the typical leading male halfway through the novel, but he remained as sweet and unaffected as he was in the beginning.

One disappointing aspect in Wild at Heart was that Sydney's personality and character seemed to take a back seat to Michael's. No doubt this is because of Michael's unique circumstances and how he was constantly growing and discovering new things. However, no matter how interesting his escapades were, I would have liked to learn more about Sydney's needs and feelings also. Even so, Wild at Heart was an exceptional novel that showcased Patricia Gaffney's talent for heartwarming, touching romances.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Nicole.

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