Spellbound Summer
by Janet Lynnford, historical (2002)
Onyx, $5.99, ISBN 0-451-41052-1


Meet Angelica Cavandish. She is perkier than a Playmate centerfold wet T-shirt parade, unbearably "understanding", a super psychologist in the making, and she "cares" so much that she butts her nose in every matter that isn't her concern. Everyone knows that she is supertalented, and everyone likes the idea of her and the hero Geddes MacCallum getting naked and making babies. Everyone loves her! If they don't like her at first, all they have to do is to talk to her and wham! Angelica, we love you. We love you!

Drats, I've run out of toilet paper.

Miss Drop Dead Please Sunshine here is in Scotland, happily digging up the banks for clay. See, Miss Perky Strawberry Drops here loves playing with clay, making amazing masterpieces out of them, and now she wants to be independent by starting up her own claymation industry. Or something. What she is blissfully unaware of is that she is digging up at the wrong side of the boundaries - she is digging up Geddes MacCallum's lands instead of the man who had given her permission to do so.

Not that Miss Delilah Delectable here is afraid. There's no way any man will find her ravishable, after all. Ha, ha, after all, who would want a babelicious spinster like her, anyway? Don't be silly, people. The Mighty Maidenhead watches over the feeble-minded women of romance novels, you know. So when Gelded My-Column here tells her that the man who lets her dig for clay isn't a very nice guy, she just blinks. Okay, so she'll take shelter at Gelded's place instead. Later she will grab hold of Gelded's spade to dig for clay some more.

What she soon learns is that Meanie Neighbor and Gelded here are involved in a land dispute, Scottish style. No matter - she walks around, understanding why the sad people are so sad, and she gifts everyone with her radiant smile as she makes everyone happy, happy, happy just with her presence alone. Talented, skilled, daring, lovely, what else does she need? Look, she brings sunshine back to Scotland!

Even Gelded's sister, at first hostile because she knows that Gelded here will eventually make Miss Wonderful Moppet here his doxy (he does, but well... this is different, I guess). But soon she too is Miss Damnably Amazing's best friend, like, ever, and she is starting to show signs that she too will grow up to be Miss Popularity Poppet's clone.

The only guy apparently immune is Gelded. Because if Gelded is like every other simpleton that populates a Scottish hero's estate, this story will be only 20 pages long and Onyx will sue Ms Lynnford for the advance they gave her. So he hogs secrets and doesn't tell Miss Wunderkind Perkysmilies here. Don't worry, all be revealed after the Big Love Scene, naturally. But Ms Lalalee Imsomarvelous here will understand. Because she is Earth Mother, Venus de Milo, Delilah, Virgin Poo, Dr Psychologica Marvelousa, and no doubt, the Perfect Mother, Cook, and Housekeeper, the Woman Whose Breasts Will Never Sag and Whom Menopause Shall Never Touch.

Okay, I confess that the hero's secret, once revealed, makes him a much more interesting figure. I can't say more without revealing spoilers, but he's okay. But damn it, Angelica Perkymama here just understands if he lies to her. It doesn't matter to her. She says that the truth doesn't matter, see, because she loves him, and she senses that inside, he is pure and true, et gag me cetera.

So perfect. So beautiful. So nauseating. Spellbound Summer, to this evil and cynical reader, is as fun as being trapped in a room filled with Thomas Kinkade Appreciation Society members or Cliff Richard fans. Some people will thrive in such environment of uniform cheeriness but me, give me ten minutes and watch my head explode from my elevated blood pressure caused by all the damned sugar invading my bloodstream.

Rating: 68


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