Two Brothers
The Lawman & The Gunslinger
by Linda Lael Miller, historical (2000)
Sonnet, $7.99, ISBN 0-7434-1154-4


There must be an interesting story as to why this book takes two years before it is reissued in paperback. If I'm the author, I would not only beg and kiss Sonnet's toes to delay this book, I'd buy every single copy in existance and burn them all in a ritual cleansing ceremony. Hopefully then, Two Brothers and my name will never, ever appear in the same sentence in the future unless didn't write and deny everything pop up as well.

Two Brothers tells of twin brothers separated after their momma gave birth to them while attacked by Indians, wrote a whole freakin' entry in her journal about giving each brat away to different family (talk about endurance), and then died of blood loss. Momma is smart to bail from the sinking ship, I give her that.

Now, one is a lawman. Shamus McQuillan, Jr, Shay to everyone, is Suffering. He Blames Himself for his girlfriend's death and now drinks and drinks and drinks to past the time. His twin brother, Tristan Saint-Laurent, is the owner of the stage coach Shay's girlie was on when it exploded. Both brothers work to solve the Unabomber mystery. In The Lawman, dumb Shay finds romance with dumb Aislinn Lethaby.

Aislinn is the stereotypical woman-in-distress. But she's a damsel-in-distress type pervalent only in bad romance novels: she has the duresses, but she ain't got a brain or a spine to deal with it. In real life, women like this would have turned to drinks and recreational drugs. In romances, they cling to the heroes like barnacles and do Stupid Things to make me worry about her future children.

The prize has to be our heroine dressing up as a tart to enter a ballroom just so that she can check on our lawman hero. Predictably, horny, drunken, red-eyed perverts started molesting her and the hero (er... his eyes aren't that red, I'm sure) has to rescue her.

There are a lot of things happening, mostly to prove that despite being a drunken lout, our hero's a good catch (he's good looking after all) and our heroine's horrifying attempt at being mother hen (it's like Anna Nicole Smith trying to be Hillary Clinton).

Ugh.

The Gunslinger has a stereotypical hero with a Past and a heroine who can actually not know that her horse is a mare and not a stallion ever after she has the horse for months. Emily Starbuck definitely puts the ass in stupidity.

Tristan encounters our intrepid heroine as she arrives at his ranch. She claims that it's her ranch now, since the dead previous owner of the ranch left the ranch to her dead uncle as a collateral and now she is so poor and homeless, she wants to claim it as her own.

She arrives with her flock of sheep. If she's so freakin' poor, why won't she just sell off the sheep and buy herself a clue? Oh, we're talking about a woman who doesn't know what makes a stallion a stallion here. My apologies. On with the story.

Predictable conflicts ensue. He wants her. She can't - she has to think first! (After all, she has slaved for four years for an unappreciative bastard.) Uhm, no. No. No. No. Okay.

Someone is trying to kill them both, and Emily, with her dim lightbulb of a mental state, runs headlong repeatedly into danger with her arms wide open and her bosoms thrust forward. And since this is a bad romance novel, she is lauded as intelligent and courageous.

My dear departed doggie has this nice, sweet habit of sticking her head under the sofa whenever she's scared of something. To her, out of sight, out of mind. Pity I can't apply that to this. Covering this book under a thick lead cover labelled "Hazardous material" just wouldn't eliminate the memory of this bad, really silly, badly written, badly-plotted book with some of the most predictable, stupid, and shrill characters I've read. Where're my dynamites?

Rating: 11


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