Prickly Pear
by Ronda Thompson, historical (1999)
Leisure, $4.99, ISBN 0-8439-4624-5


Spoilers are present in this review

I've heard so much about this author's contemporary title Isn't It Romantic?, which I've searched up high and low in every bookstore in Singapore but to no avail. Hence when I saw this new title from her, it goes straight into my book basket without any hesitation on my part.

Bad move. I want my $4.99 back. This book is populated by people in severe need of brain cell booster supplements. Period.

The prickly pear in question is Camile Cordell (don't call her Camile, call her Cam). Cam is suffering from a major dose of guilt: hoyden that she is, the stupid girl attempted to ride an untamed horse years back in order to prove that her lack of a male ding-dong is just an oversight. As a result, her brother died when he pushed her out of the horse's way, and her father, in trying to help, is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. So in order to make up to her Dad and prove herself worthy of becoming ranch foreman of Circle C, she poses as a guy and cheats at cards in the local salon, and causes her reluctant bodyguards to be embroiled in unnecessary brawls and shoot-out's. It is at one of this imbroglio that our so-called hero Wade Langtry steps in to rescue the stupid girl. Wade is no gem himself - he is supposed to force the Cordells to sign over Circle C to a shadowy figure from Town. He gets hired as a foreman under false circumstances and teaches Cam the pleasures of having womanly organs. They get caught, forced to marry, and came the Big Misunderstanding.

Wade riles that the stupid chit set him up. Here, I actually shocked myself by spatting Who the fonk this retard son of a birch thinks he is? It's not as if he is so pure in his motives himself! Ass-orifice! I assure you I only start using expletives - mild ones - when I'm really riled. And Wade gets my vote as Retard Scum Of The Year. He cruelly throws Cam away and then, since that the Ranch is deeded to Cam and hence now his, he intends to sign off the Ranch to the bad guy and walk out of the Cordells! Wow! What a hero!

Officer, may I plead temporary insanity? That kitchen knife protruding from that idiot's stomach is a result of a lapse of good sense. Oh go ahead, arrest me. The press would probably make me a martyr for stabbing such a loony.

Not that Cam didn't deserve what she got. That silly hoyden wants to seduce Cam to get her paws on the Circle C, so I guess both are using each other. And while in the process of trying to seduce Wade, she strips and waits in a carriage. Any wonder she gets mistaken for a camp follower and hence starts a brawl among the men? And Wade has to rescue her yet again? Well, be assured that Cam ain't Marie Curie.

A stupid heroine who is one-dimensionally shrill, shrieky, impetous to the point to stupidity, and suffering from a major bout of penis envy. A hero who is slimier than Swamp Thing, as noble as gutter refuse, and has no redeeming feature whatsoever. Well, that's a death knell as far as I'm concerned. Fail!

Rating: 09


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