Seaswept Abandon
by Jo Goodman, historical (2000, 1986 reissue)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-6709-7


Amnesia, a heroine willing to give everything and anything in the name of love/martyrdom and a hero who - well, is the usual sort of hero who keeps protecting and rescuing the heroine day in and out. This is my third Jo Goodman novel, and sincerely I can say her style now hasn't changed that much from 1986 - tad epic, quite long-winded, and heroines that tend to have this tendency to accept blame for all the evils in the world.

In short, I need patience for these sort of long stories with paragraphs that seem to go on and on. Good thing I happened to be in a good mood the day I read Seaswept Abandon (self-absorbed irrelevant aside: just discovered a new hunk called Scott Speedman to ogle over). But I am hard-pressed to keep my attention from wandering after yet again another one of the seemingly interminable I'm not good enough for you. I am bad for you. I will walk out of your life without telling you whine from the hero or an It's my fault. I should have been there. I could have done things otherwise. You're too good for me lament from the heroine.

The story is about Rahab "Rae" McClellan being saved from a lynch mob when she is branded a murderer. She is saved by our hero Jericho Smith, a spy who is everything Rae is against. Together, they save the world, smash an evil British-vs-America conspiracy, and propagate more brats for further books in the series. The backdrop and history are always interesting, but I really have not much patience for the hero and heroine.

Yes, Rae has a nice sense of humor and she is capable, but she seems not to know the limit where courage crosses into foolhardiness. Then she'll slide into a long session of bitter I am stupid, I'm to blame session after Jericho rescues her. Jericho keeps thinking of how he must not fall, how he must drive her away, how one day they'll break up - oh get over it! What these two overly-serious and deluded Upbringers of Justice and Forefathers of The Justice League of America wannabes need is a nice healthy dose of Carpe Diem and Hakuna Matata ha-ha medicine. In short, lighten up and relax! No one can save the world, and I certainly don't want to read about two people sulking because they can't.

Seaswept Abandon is a good tale, and it will find a more receptive audience in readers looking for some old-school sort of adventurous romance with heroes and heroines who don't hesitate to flay themselves for whatever perceived faults they think they have. But heck, I can't help wishing maybe these two people should have, well, abandon themselves a little and get swept by the waves of destiny or something. In short, Hakuna Matata!

Rating: 70


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