Thursday, June 15, 2006

Back Away Slowly From The Book

My older sister fears I'm reading too much. I mean, if I'm reading this much I'm obviously not watching baseball and the Detroit Tigers still have the best record in all of MLB. (Skeptic that I am, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not having a winning record since 1993 does that to a girl).

Anyway - I have been watching baseball. Most of my current reading madness has been brought on thanks to quiet lunch breaks at work, and a few stolen moments in the morning before I begin my commute.

Long story short, I finished another one yesterday:

The Angel Of Devil's Camp by Lynna Banning (Harlequin Historical 649) - Banning is another HH author who's a bit hit or miss for me, but I acquired several of her books in my TBR before I figured that out.

It's post-Civil War and the heroine has just managed to wed off the last of her sisters. So she packs her bags and hits the trail for Oregon where she's going to marry a distant cousin who works at a logging camp. However when she gets there she discover her future husband has been killed in an accident. But being the kindly soul that he was, he left her all his worldly possessions, including the cabin he built for them. The journey west taking the last of her funds, she figures staying in that cabin is a jim-dandy idea.

The hero is a former Union colonel who does not want the heroine to stick around. He's running a camp full of uncouth, horny men and doesn't have time to babysit a pampered Southern belle. But she digs in her heels, so the two agree that she'll leave as soon as she raises money for the trip home.

Banning makes the Southern/Yankee conflict work well here. The hero lost his sister in the war, in large part due to a Southern sympathizer. The heroine was head of the household, scratching out a living, protecting her sisters, all the while Yankees were storming the area stealing food stuffs, family heirlooms and burning homes to the ground. So this aspect of the conflict really works well.

However the heroine comes off as a ninny sometimes. She just doesn't understand why the hero is reluctant for her to stay on. Um, OK. She's a single, gentle woman living in a mining camp with men who haven't seen in a woman, let alone gotten their groove thang on, in months. Gee, why is the hero so worried?

But the ending is exciting, culminating in both hero and heroine escaping a near death experience. Although the final happily-ever-after does feel hastily done. All in all, an average sort of read. Final Grade = C+.

No comments: