Rescue Me
by Jaci Burton, contemporary (2006)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-006-1


Jaci Burton's Rescue Me features a city gal getting her hands dirty in a ranch. Yes, it's that kind of story and the hero is predictably one big baby constantly sulking and even throwing a fit or two because some bad woman has pricked him a little. In the immortal words of that crybaby Big Brother contestant James Rhine, "It's a harm, a small one, but still a harm." Cry me a river. Needless to say, I have no idea what the heroine sees in this fellow apart from the usual good looks and what-not.

Sabrina Daniels decides that she should pick up her life after her divorce by letting to be more assertive and finding her real self. She had been a beauty queen until she married at the age of eighteen and now that the marriage is over, she has no clear idea what she's to do with herself. Because she always likes horses and cowboys, she decides to invest her money in the failing Rocking M Ranch. She also decides to spend three months learning the ropes at the ranch. It will be fun, right?

Not according to big baby Kyle Morgan who comes with several Band-aids on his shoulders (at where all those huge chips have fallen off). His ex... wah, wah, wah. His parents... boo-hoo-hoo. His little buddy likes what it sees in Sabrina... sob, sob, sob. So he starts throwing sulks and being deliberately unpleasant to Sabrina. I don't know why. Shouldn't he be grateful that her money is saving the ranch? Oh, probably not, since only the Morgans should own the ranch so oh, this makes Kyle feel like a failure, how sad, so he's just going to show some sulky faces to Sabrina some more.

I'd probably feel like hitting Kyle in the head with a heated pan if I can take him seriously. Instead, he reminds me so much of a silly little boy throwing all kinds of fits because his parents refused to buy him some Harry Potter underpants. Sabrina is pretty sensible as a heroine although there are some really cringe-inducing contrivances the author pegs on the poor dear, such as Sabrina's wholesale buying of her ex-husband's claim that she's infertile. The story talks about how "true independence" is learning to give and take love freely, or something like that, which isn't a bad message at all if the hero doesn't spend so much time behaving like a sulky kid with soiled diapers. As it is, I feel as if Sabrina has just signed herself up to be the nanny to this big baby.

Rescue Me romanticizes Kyle as this hurting and lost alpha male in need of a very patient woman's true love to rescue him but that fantasy will work better on readers who like the kind of heroes that Kyle is. I personally think Kyle needs a time-out more, with all his candies confiscated until he agrees to behave.

Rating: 67


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