Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-380-81963-5
Historical Romance, 2002
Enid McLean has been dumped by her husband Stephen McLean and now she lives a nice, quiet life as a caretaker, nurse, or something like that to a nice but sickly old lady. Then one day comes a man claiming to be her husband’s friend asking her to take care of her husband who is close to dying.
Our heroine, needless to say, Florence-Nightingale-meets-Joseph-Lister that she is, soon has our hero reviving and even groping her kittens. So if you have a sick relative you want to see gone ASAP, don’t call this woman to tend to that sick fellow. But can Enid, uh, what’s the phrase that we usually use? “Succumb to that seductive and dangerous man she barely knows anymore”? Okay, we’ll use that. Can Enid succumbs once more to that seductive, dangerous fellow she barely remembers as her husband (it’s been nine years)?
Of course she can. The author may or may not try to make Enid a strong woman, but she’s all bluster but no bite. She’s all protests, but she obeys everything everybody around her tells her to do. Ikea may be having a cheap sale on doormats, but Enid steals the show. Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn’t expect much from Enid. Even in the first chapter when she is reminiscing about her estranged husband, she is actually creating a romanticized fantasy where she is the Wronged One and her hubby a bad and dark romantic ideal. Not exactly a strong woman, but one who thrives in playing the role of a martyr, if you ask me.
As for that hero, well, what can I say? He’s arrogant. But the author unfortunately forgot to give the hero any semblance of maturity. When he gets well, he acts in a “Me, me, me!” way that makes it clear that the whole world must revolve around him and it better stop when he wants it to. Nice.
But I still don’t find these two characters that annoying. Maybe it’s because I have no illusions about these two – Enid, hi, meet my doormat, and hero, meet my spoiled rotten border collie who behaves just like you. So it’s a romance between two rather immature, silly twits heating up the Highlands with their red hot sexual tension. I know, it feels rather wrong that these two ninnies, with their maturity resembling that of two horny adolescents, are going to be procreating like bunnies on heat, but the sex thing is actually pretty good.
The story starts faltering in pace when these two go back to Scotland where a passel of secondary characters start hogging the limelight. These characters are annoying to the extreme because they bend over backwards to delude themselves into believing that the hero reigns supreme and worse, they indulge that spoiled brat to no end. Seeing an already bratty hero being indulged some more is like watching someone pitching an alcoholic over into a giant vat of whiskey. It’s quite disturbing.
But hey, for a story that’s all about everybody dancing on the heroine’s back (don’t worry, she’s happier that way) while pampering, coddling, and indulging the already overgrown ego of the hero, it’s pretty readable. Lost In Your Arms‘s not Ms Dodd’s best, but the hero, however bratty he is, is not the worst Dodd hero either. Enid could do worse – or better. This book could be worse – or better. All in all, this book fits the adjective “lukewarm” perfectly.