Swear By The Moon
by Shirlee Busbee, historical (2001)
Warner, $6.99, ISBN 0-446-60925-0


Unlike Granny Rosemary Rogers and Granny Kathy Woodiwiss, Granny Shirlee Busbee still has it in her, as she demonstrates with Swear By The Moon. No, it's not a werewolf story, and no, I didn't howl or swear at the moon either. The hero is, well, Captain Cardboard and the heroine is probably halfway to Dumbsville, but who cares? This is a pretty fun romp, unintentional humor and all.

Thea Garrett blames herself for everything. See, when she was 17, she eloped with some guy who popped her before they could say "I do" in Gretna Green. Her brother dashed into the scene to take her back, but he couldn't resist the cherry-popping rakehell's challenge for a duel. They dueled, and look, brother fell! And as he fell, he regained his last strength, Bollywood movie hero style, and look, he thrust the blade into the cherry-popping scumbag!

"No!" Thea shrieked as she ran slow-mo towards dead brother. All that's missing is dead brother opening his eyes and singing a Hindi farewell song for ten minutes before dying again, I tell you. Anyway, she will never, never trust men again! Never!

Today, she blames herself for that. She also blames herself for her sister's lousy marriage to a profligate gambler, hence she pays off sister's money troubles every freaking time. When she knocks sister's hubby unconscious, she doesn't bother to check for pulse or see if he's still breathing. He's dead! She runs.

Thankfully, he really does stay dead, so no "surprise" reappearance at the end. Thank goodness I am spared one mug in the drinking game I am playing with myself since the start of this book. But I have to drink two mugs because she didn't murder him in the end, someone else did. Heroines - bah. Hic.

Meanwhile, hero (rake, of course) Patrick Blackburne (the name alone cost me one mug - hic) is trying to figure out who is blackmailing his mother. He and Thea's paths cross, and now they must clash tonsils, heave bosoms, mash groins, and oh yeah, save the day or something. Down with blackmailers!

The hero is larger than life, he is super sexy, but he is also very nice and gallant. Like I said, Captain Cardboard. As for Thea, well, she will make everything right for everybody by running into dark alleys alone, and I may have to check into Betty Ford this Christmas weekend.

Yes, it's pretty fun in a harmless, good-natured dumb bunny and Captain Cardboard fighting evil way. You know, an Amanda Quick-ian kind of thing, right down to the bad guy who holds everybody at gunpoint for some grand explanation of all his evil plots and designs. Great, I've run out of beer in the house. The characters are endearing in a fluffy dumb bunny kind of endearment, the plot is silly but just too amusing and sometimes ridiculous too, and when all is said and done, Swear By The Moon is pretty much guilty pleasure.

Just take it from me - don't playing drinking games while you're reading this.

Rating: 79


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