Whirlwind Wedding
by Jacquie D'Alessandro, historical (2000)
Dell, $5.99, ISBN 0-440-23551-0

Whirlwind Wedding is actually a pretty fun romance novel. I'm sure readers who don't mind that WW being a potpourri of all Regency London clichés would appreciate the comedy and laughter. Readers who don't mind pushover heroines whose raison d'etre seem to be Serve all but thyself would love it even better, I bet.

Me, excuse me while I ogle the butts of those Russian gymnasts on TV.

Our heroine Elizabeth Matthews is a psychic. That means she touches people and - kazam! - she sees visions related to the person's life and a glimpse of that fellow's future. Wonder what happens if she touches the hero's Mr Wonky. Oops, too touchy for a romance novel.

Anyway, with such a gift, does she run off and buy lotteries and stuff? No. Our heroine decides to be an unpaid superheroine, out to Right The Injustice Of The World. Never mind, I tell myself after a deep breath, "Xena doesn't get paid, but she hee-ha her way through most wonderfully." Well, no such luck with Lizzie here. She's a complete pushover.

In the spirit of the Olympic Games 2000, I shall now announce, "Let the clichés begin!" You ready? Here goes!

London titled hero Austin Jamison is bored with the current batch of flirtatious but empty headed debutantes and flirty easy widows. He spies an unusually spunky (read: American) lass saving a cat from danger in his house garden. Lizzie touches his hand and realizes that Austin's dead black sheep brother may not be so dead after all.

Lizzie, the American lass, dislikes English rules and such. She has no life except for an elderly aunt, whom she would die for. But now, she decides she would save Austin. After Austin is shot in a midnight shenanigan, she finds him and nurses him back. (Psychic heroines and healing abilities go hand in hand).

They are compromised. Wedding time.

No, she cries, I want to marry for love!

Yes, he says, marry me or your aunt will face Ruination and Embarrassment!

What can I do, I'm doing all this for my aunt, Lizzie laments before launching into I Dream A Dream.

She believes he doesn't love her. He can't tell her he loves her. Then Lizzie does some stupid things in the name of Martyrdom and Misguided Courage - all for hubby, all for auntie, all for love, all for all but herself! - and in the name of sacrificing all for love, readily conjures up a big misunderstanding scenario.

Oh, the poor gal. Hmmph! Never can stand wimps like that woman. Guileless, spineless, and bumbling all her attempts at world peace, she only proves that superheroine antics are best left to the smart, brawny, and devious. Xena shouldn't worry.

Lizzie, can you clean my garden? Please, it will help save the world and make me and a thousand senior citizens happy. And while you're at it, I believe it will further the cause of world peace if you'll clean my fridge too. And do the laundry. By the way, I'm really sure your hubby and auntie will love it if you'll walk my dog Colin? Here's the shovel in case he does the doo-doo on the sidewalk. Can you also wash the car? Hubby and I need time to find the cure for cancer, you know how you washing our car will hasten the discovery of the cure!

Rating: 78

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