Her Wild Oats by Kathi Kamen Goldmark

Her Wild Oats by Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (169 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Myrtle

A smart young woman, Arizona Rosenblatt, leaves home and her role as assistant to a high-powered Hollywood executive when she discovers her husband is having an affair with a woman from Jews for Jesus; and thirteen-year-old Otis Ray “Wild Oats” Pixlie, boy genius harmonica player. In the end, Otis Ray learns what it means to be an adult, Arizona discovers the life she wants, and they both figure out the true meaning of love and family.

What could a thirteen-year-old boy harmonica player and a beautiful twenty-eight-year-old executive movie assistant have in common? You wouldn’t think much, until their paths cross.

Arizona Rosenblatt is the lady running the show in this non-stop story of love, loss, betrayal, and everything in-between. Convinced her husband is a dangerous, unfaithful, lying, and cheating man, Arizona packs up and hits the road. With nowhere to go, or no place she really wants to be, Ari ends up in a most unlikely place … Murphy’s Corned Beef ‘n’ Cabbage Emporium in the middle of nowhere off California’s Highway 5. And she just can’t seem to leave. She spends her days at Murphy’s and her nights across the street at the Sleepy Time Motel. Hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks, but there is never a dull moment.

The downside to this tale is that it often has a confusing storyline. There were so many lives playing out simultaneously, it was difficult to stay focused. In the beginning, the reader is led to believe this is a story about Arizona and her husband Jerry, but the attention they deserve must soon be divided amongst a whole cast of characters. One person after another enters the story and they each have their own dynamic tale to tell. It seemed five or six unrelated novel-worthy stories were rolled into one. I think this book would have hit its mark had most of its secondary characters played a more minor role, or no role at all, which would have allowed Arizona and Oats to shine.

The entourage of people who come and go through the doors of Murphy’s Corned Beef ‘n’ Cabbage is far too many to keep track of, but the one who stole my reader’s heart was Otis Ray (Wild Oats) Pixlie, a thirteen-year-old harmonica player. He could easily have won the starring role in this story, but instead he shares it with Arizona. His country personality was realistic and well crafted. He is the solid character who gave this story its staying power.

Country music fans will especially love this fast-moving story filled with Hollywood-style drama!

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