Frontier Woman
by Joan Johnston, historical (2001, 1988 reissue)
Dell, $6.99, ISBN 0-440-23677-0

Ah, remember those awful Western romances of the late 1980s? You know, with a screaming, brainless heroine, who has issues with her having a vagina instead of a penis, having loud, immature sex with a virile Half-Indian dude who is, oh, older than she is? Joan Johnston's 1988 book, Frontier Woman, reissued recently, is just one such book. Only the hero isn't an Indian, he's just raised by them.

Anyway, just some background info: Rip Stewart, redneck tycoon, has three daughters. He wants sons, mind you, but what the heck, he will raise his daughters as sons. So we have three really screwed-up sisters. There's Sloan, the overly serious DaddyNMe4eva ninny. That's Bayleigh, the teary-eyed waterspout DaddyNMe4eva oh-daddy-why-can't-I-please-you-boo-hoo-hoo ninny. And then there's our heroine of this book, Creighton, who is the spoiled youngest DaddyNMe4eva ninny.

And to give you a clear idea of this story, do bear in mind that in this case "raised like a son" is clearly an euphemism for "I seriously neglected my daughters' upbringing and I deserved to be trashed and be run down by a Social Services truck". Mind you, Rip was a father who refused to buy her daughter a dress just so that her daughter can attend a birthday party among her peers. Better the daughters make him happy in his perverted way of thinking than to live normal, adjusted lives.

So I guess I can't blame Creighton "Cricket" Stewart, all of 17, for her behavior, right?

I mean, here is a woman who screams at Texas Ranger Jarret Creed for daring to hit a wolf in the head in his defending himself from the wolf pack. After all, wolves are harmless - wolves are her friends! Barbaric bastard! He must be a horse thief! So she has him captured under guard in her Daddy's big place. When Daddy tells her that she has caught a Texas Ranger that he has summoned in the first place, she is outraged. Ooh, that pig must be laughing at her! She will make him pay! She will.. she will... stamp her feet and start shrieking.

I don't know. The best way I can describe this story is "One never-ending squabbling screamfest, punctuated with jailbait hot sex here and there". Actually, hot isn't exactly hot as in sexy, but hot as in there will be a loud blow-up the morning after.

Frontier Woman is such a wrong title for this story, really. My suggestion will be Frontier Pipsqueak. Best recommended to those who love immature, impetuous, don't-think-just-shriek heroines being coddled and pampered, first by Daddy, then by her Sugar Daddy. At my age, I prefer some adult characters in my books, so, sorry, Cricket, but take a hike back to which hole you come from before you annoy me so much that I take my rolling pin to you.

Rating: 41

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