Irish Rebel
by Nora Roberts, contemporary (2000)
Silhouette Special Edition, $4.50, ISBN 0-373-24328-6


Ah, the wonderfully pampered life of the rich and famous. Irish Rebel is pure escapism. Superlative characters frolicking in unbelievably wide acres of pure green soil, with horses galloping in the background - how can a woman resist?

Meet Keeley Grant. Not only is she fabulous beautiful and independent, she has also won an Olympic gold medal in equestrian. She now spends her free time rescuing abused horses and teaching abused kiddies to live again via the joys of horse riding (ooh, Freudian, Freudian baby!). How Barbara Taylor Bradford-esque, I may say.

Enter our middle-class but fabulously handsome and intelligent hero Brian Donnelly, who thinks our heroine is one spoiled rich socialite (no way!). She thinks he's some sort of stuck-up pig. But no matter, after all the superficial problems, our two lovebirds finally get down to the main item on the menu - horse riding in all its glory.

While frolicking through the pure green grass, breathing in the pure unpolluted airs of the ranch, our two lovebirds display great emotional depths by rescuing horses and kiddies. The tears in my eyes as I see the kiddies come to life once again, and the once terrified horses now running wild and free through the fertile acres! Okay, I didn't exactly cry, but I did check up the cost of a one-month trip to Ireland or somewhere with horses. The cost remind me once again how much things are better when they are made-believe.

Irish Rebel isn't a bad book, not really. Slow, leisurely, with lots of scenery and breathing space, this book could be therapeutic. It's like a Swatch commercial - everything is beautifully postured and artfully poised, everyone's beautiful and incredibly talented, and no one lives in houses smaller than a mansion in the middle of a ranch land the size of the Amazon rainforest.

I really wish life's more like that, yes?

Rating: 74


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