Violets Are Blue
by Ronda Thompson, historical (2002)
Leisure, $5.99, ISBN 0-8439-5029-3


Violets Are Blue has promise, in that the author tries to tackle the romance between a selfish me-me-me kinda guy and a bank-robbing heroine. But this book flounders horribly for two reasons: one, the author's deliberate dumbing down of the heroine Violet Mallory so that there is never any doubt that she will be trounced, stripped naked, and rogered by the hero ten minutes into her entrance and two, Violet's incessant bombarding me with her guilt. You don't see selfish Gregory spending every other paragraph telling me how guilty he is, so why should Violet get the luxury to do so?

Since she is therefore a whiny Western birdbrain with a gun - run for your lives, people - Violet is dumb, not blue.

Violet is the daughter of an outlaw - "I'm so ashamed! And angry! I want revenge!" - and she decides to avenge herself and her sibs on her father by robbing banks and then having the blame shifted on no-good-Daddy - "But I'm so guilty, because I left my foster daddy behind who cares for me, and I am robbing banks, mind you, and oh, my hand shakes when I am holding a gun because I'm actually a nice girl who doesn't want to rob banks but it is something I must do - I MUST - but oh, I'm like so guilty so don't hate me people - ummmph!" - anyway, so here she is, running around robbing banks and all. It's as believable as Daffy Duck becoming a rocket scientist.

Her foster Daddy asks Gregory Kline, whom he knows to be an irresponsible no-good selfish drifter kinda guy, to look after his precious, beloved foster daughter and bring her home. It's like asking an alcoholic to drive a car and pick your daughter up from the liquor store, but hey, that's just me. Gregory finds Violet, has her guilt-ridden and trussed up ten minutes flat, and since he is humoring her, helps her rob more banks and all. When it becomes apparent that Violet's plans are as birdbrained as the malnourished vultures in the deserts, I feel so sorry for Gregory. Here he is, risking life and all for this... this... thing. This is what happens when you let your Wonky do your thinking, guys.

I'm pretty sure Violets Are Blue will be more interesting if the author doesn't operate under the mistaken belief that stupid heroines given free rein to arm themselves with guns and run wild is something precious and cute. There is no suspense in this story, no romantic tension, nothing. Violet is so obviously an intellectual inferior that it's only a matter of time before Gregory divests her of her clothes and what left of her common sense. Since Gregory takes his time to indulge that birdbrain, I'm hardpressed to decide who's the bigger idiot of the two in this story.

Rating: 68


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