No Surrender
by Nikki Donovan, historical (2002)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-7398-4


You know, I'll be very interested to know why this book isn't released under the Brava imprint. It's raunchy enough to be one, filled with male chickens crowing around the medieval courtyard as giant ooze oozes out of the walls to smear everything into a lovely hue of purple. But readers who cannot tolerate big misunderstanding stories will form a lynch mob to burn the heroine Nicola "Ebola" Mortimer to crisp. She just wouldn't talk.

No Surrender can easily be subtitled "How I married an evil homosexual brute who made a stable boy deflower me and impregnate me, and now stable boy is a friend of King Richard - NOT THAT WAY, PEOPLE, GAY PEOPLE ARE SO EEEEVILLL - and he has killed my husband and married me and is so nice and kind to me but I will NEVER tell him why I really betray him to my dead husband or that my boy is his, never never NEVERNEVERNEVER even if everyone around me tells him that I am evil and slutty and no I will NEVER tell him, NEVERRRRRRRR...!"

Seriously, if hero Fawkes "Fuc - oh, forget it" de Cressy behaves like a tool at times, I can't blame him. Everyone from the Stereotype Horny and Hence Evil Slutty Other Woman to the hero's Obligatory Best Buddy Geezer Who Claims To Never Trust Women Ever warn him that Ebola is the satan's whore incarnate, and Ebola just acts like a guilty nitwit, refusing to give him a straight answer even when he asks her upfront what the hell is going on. He wants to trust her, and he wants to care, so he's alright. But Ebola's stupidity drives me crazy.

No matter how many times bunnies slide down cooks and cause the fizz to gush out of the wine bottles in the story, nothing can redeem Ebola's calamitous stupidity or her pathetic attempts to play hide-my-brain that result in this story being 300 pages too long. Ebola sucks - and I don't mean that in a good way, so settle down, guys.

Rating: 49


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