by Elizabeth Mayne, historical (1998)
New Concepts Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-891020-39-0
This book has everything, and I do mean everything. There are a shrill, impulsive, and rather old-fashioned Don't touch me, I mean it... I MEAN IT! Ooh, that's good heroine and an alpha, headstrong, arrogant, and always in-command hero. There's anti-slavery crusade, heroine in boy's costume playing Robin Hood, forced abduction, and even a game of Sheikh and Houri thrown in somewhere. It's all rather overwhelming.
The heroine is Laura Madeline Dunois, an 1850 Louisiana slave liberator in the making who dresses up as a boy to raid on slave carriages with the two nephews of our hero Lionel Templeton. One day a raid goes awry and they are thwarted by brave Lionel, who subsequently unmasks Laura.
Poor Laura. Her two cohorts are arrested and flogged and now she panics. Silly girl, now that she has to face the consequences of her silly, reckless antics, she panics and screams that flogging, along with slavery, is barbaric and evil. Predictably, no one listen to her and Lionel steps in. He kisses her and forces her to either marry him or face the flogging.
Laura predictably shrieks that marriage is cruel, a shackle to all womanhood yadda yadda (is there anything this woman is not against?), but succumbs under Lionel's masterful fingers, tongue, and er, you know. But Laura is a strong lady - no kisses can sway her from her righteous path.
So Lionel has her confined to a nunnery.
But willful, brainy Laura walks out and gets captured by an Arabic Sheikh and becomes his love slave. Guess who the Sheikh really is. They make lots of love, she gets pregnant, came the Big Misunderstanding when everything is revealed, and then have make-up sex, left and right, before the words THE END comes up on my computer screen.
Frankly, the whole story is so absurd and farcical I can't help but to enjoy it tremendously. The story is overblown, the hero ridiculously overbearing and the heroine overacting, that I can't help but to... well, like it. I laughed (for the wrong reasons) and had a hoot reading about Lionel's well-endowment. There was only so much his fingers can do. She needed his shaft is a particular line that had me giggling in fits. I quoted it to my hubby and he choked on his food.
Yes, this book is fun. It's ridiculous and overly bloated, but it is so, well, bad that I can't help but to like it. Quite a contradictory notion, but then again, life's funny that way.
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