MacKenzie's Mountain
by Linda Howard, contemporary (2000, 1989-reissue)
MIRA, $5.99, ISBN 1-5516-6574-3

I have heard so much good things about Linda Howard's MacKenzie series that I can't grab this book fast enough. Nobody told me this story is bloated with melodrama that sometimes comes off unintentionally hilarious. Oh well, it did came out in 1984... no, wait, 1989! That's no excuse!

Wolf MacKenzie needs a woman. If the name isn't an indication, he is a virile Half-Breed macho hunk with a wonky the size of the Great Lance of Babylon. He is a hermit after being wrongly jailed for rape years back. Now, townsfolk shun him because because he's nothin' but a smelly, stinkin' Injun and he was a rapist once, wasn't he?

Mary Elizabeth Peter wouldn't let such trivial nonsense like prejudice get in the way of her orgasms. No way, this virginal schoolmarm not only teaches Joe, Wolf's son, his lessons, she also takes Wolf in hand (you got that right!) and teaches him to love as well as his ABC's. Not only that, she is Determined To Set Things Right.

The heroine ferrets out the Real Pervert, learns the meaning of jolly forceful onka-wonka-mama-mia's in the talented hands and embrace of our broad-chested hero, and Wolf becomes the Town Hero. The End.

I must admit the sex is hot, really hot. The love scenes can actually melt the polar ice caps. But the whole story is better suited in a historical than contemporary setting. The prejudice Wolf faces smacks of that found in those melodramatic TV Movie Of The Week preachy soapbox stuff, and he growls, growls, growls in exaggerated manners. He also seems in perpetual heat, not that it's a problem, but it just makes him more of a caricature than anyone real.

I do like the fact that Mary can stand up to the alpha man in Wolf. She's not a doormat like many of Ms Howard's heroines, although she is the token white canvas ready for Wolf's.. uhm, paintbrush. She is spunky, smart, and she does enjoy her boinkings, good for her. But after a while, she seems to be doing everything, while Wolf just growls and growls and wags his willie boy, that I can't help feeling tired for our energetic heroine. Poor woman, in between long, energetic boinkathons and exhaustive confrontations in her defense of Wolf, how on earth can she actually stay on her feet?

Sure, I have fun reading MacKenzie's Mountain. Although it's just tad too melodramatic in the emotional intensity and boinking grandeur, a bit too much that it flies right into the realm of fantasy, it's still worth a read or two if only to enjoy the ultimate virility of our hero and the toe-curling steam. Prepare a gallon of iced root beer and enjoy!

Rating: 77

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