Midsummer Lightning
by Kate Ivers, contemporary (2000)
Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12884-8

This in an Irish Eyes book. Never mind that I feel the line should be more appropriately called Save the materialistic Yankee illegitimate son-of-female-dogs with our Pure Irish Culture, or that the authors writing for this line, with the exception of a one-off historical that kicked off the line, don't even bother to stray from the above mentioned theme.

Kate Ivers penned her own version of Irish folks saving Americans from themselves. Although Midsummer Lightning, popcorn redemption and preachy Money can't buy happiness, Irish jigs can theme (ah, but there's a realistic twist - more later) and all, is pretty much above, quality-wise, the crop of the preachfest Irish propaganda that are the books in the line.

Irishman Conor O'Meara, who looks like Mel Gibson (blasphemy - didn't the editors realize that Mel is Australian?), joins forces with ignorant townie Yank Kelly Sullivan to save an inn, a castle actually. Of course, Kate is shrewish and frigid, while Conor has an Irish chip the size of - well, Ireland about mingling his Irish pedigree with an American. Hormones overcome prejudice, some usual nonsense like insecurity and stuff come in the way, and then they make up, the end.

Midsummer Lightning is typical, formulaic, and definitely familiar to anyone who has read contemporary romances featuring millionaires and such. It's nothing new, although to the author's credit, she makes it entertaining despite the triteness of the whole premise.

But you know what? Midsummer Lightning is a fake. Underneath the Irish bourgeoise (or however you spell the word) is a beating heart of capitalism. Kate keeps her money, didn't she? And the final denouement drives home the inevitable fact of life: love and muzak may be nice, but it takes a castle and lots of money for love to reach beyond the last chapter to see the epilogue. Score one for the capitalists!

Rating: 61

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