Author: Meredith Wild
First published June 13, 2014
284 pages, Kindle Edition
Sophia has always been frustrated by her mother’s unexplainable illness. But when she gets the chance to travel with her mother to the scorching coast of southern Spain to see a reputed doctor, her hope is reignited.
Dr. Gomez employs unconventional methods that seem to defy physical medicine, and as the treatment progresses, Sophia’s curiosity only intensifies. But as she delves deeper into her mother’s condition, she realizes that her own desires are also surfacing, and she finds herself unraveling the mysteries of her own life in this enigmatic desert community.
About the Author
Meredith Wild is an accomplished author who has made a name for herself in the literary world. Her first book, Hardwired, was published in September 2013 and quickly became a bestseller, earning her the #1 spot on the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestsellers lists.
With her background in tech entrepreneurship, Wild used her expertise to expand her reach beyond self-publishing and establish relationships with major retailers, resulting in her books being stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstores across the country.
In 2014, Wild took her publishing game to the next level by founding her own imprint, Waterhouse Press. Under this label, she achieved even greater success, reaching #1 on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists.
Her talent has earned her appearances on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, and features in publications such as the New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Publishers Weekly, and The Examiner. Her works have been translated into over 23 languages and sold around the world.
In Meredith Wild’s 2014 novel “Hardline,” we enter the world of the elite, powerful and dangerous, where desire and ambition can bring you down just as quickly as it can lift you up. Wild, who has made a name for herself as a bestselling author in the romance and erotica genres, delivers another steamy, page-turning read that will satisfy fans of the genre, but may leave others wanting more substantial fare.
The plot follows the love story of Erica Hathaway, a tech entrepreneur, and Blake Landon, a billionaire investor and former hacker. Erica is poised to launch her start-up company, but she needs Blake’s funding to make it happen.
Not only do they butt heads on the business front, but they also begin a tumultuous romantic relationship that is fraught with secrets, betrayal, and danger. Set in Boston, the story takes us to high-end clubs, private jets, and the seedy underbelly of the city, as Erica and Blake navigate their complex relationship against a backdrop of corporate espionage, money laundering, and violent crime.
Wild’s writing style is punchy and fast-paced, with short chapters that keep the momentum going. She has a talent for writing vivid descriptions of luxury and excess, as well as the darker aspects of the criminal world.
Erica and Blake are likable enough characters, but they feel like stock characters in the “alpha male” romance trope. There’s not a lot of depth to their personalities, and their chemistry comes across as more physical than emotional.
One strength of the book is Wild’s handling of the tech industry and its challenges for women. Erica’s struggles with sexism, harassment, and doubters in her field give the story a timely feminist edge.
On the other hand, the expensive glamor and white-collar crimes of the elite can feel tone-deaf in a post-financial crisis world. Overall, “Hardline” is an entertaining, guilty-pleasure read that will please fans of romantic and suspenseful fiction.
However, readers looking for richer characterization, social commentary, or a more original plot may find themselves disappointed. It’s a good choice for a beach read or a plane ride, but not likely to be a book that sticks with you for long after you’ve finished.