Ride The Winter Wind
by Christina Kingston, historical (2002)
Jove, $6.99, ISBN 0-515-13279-9

Christina Kingston's books for Jove have such lovely titles. Ride The Winter Wind conjures up some rather romantic images in my head, like snuggling up as the ham in an Australasian sandwich where Hugh Jackman and Simon Baker play the bread slices in front of a warm fireplace. Actually, I think that's what I dreamed about - and some nice fuzzy R-rated follow-ups - after I fell asleep somewhere about page 114. I'm certain it's that page because there's a large wet drool patch on that page when I woke up.

Best sleep I've had in ages, really. I'm tempted to give this book a keeper grade just for that. But that won't do, right? After all, Ride The Winter Wind, while pleasantly readable, is also so familiar that it makes me think of, well, more pleasant thingies.

Our usual happy, trippy, clueless Regency "intelligent"/bluestocking heroine Alissa comes complete with an evil homicidal uncle. Not that our in-need-of-daddy-figure heroine knows it. Or cares, come to think of it. She just trips about in her ha-ha-la-la land, wanting to marry hero Michael because her dearest dead granpa insisted on the will that she marries NOW or rot in poverty. Uncle, by the way, is happily killing off her suitors so that she can never marry, la la la.

To stop PsychoUncle, she decides to hire a Runner to get her in contact with some thugs that she can then hire and kill off PsychoUncle, Godfather-style. Oh, who am I kidding? We're talking about romance heroines here. Alissa has to need help. Here is where our war hero Michael, complete with trauma and nightmares and thingies and oh yeah, he has a big chip on his shoulders about that stump where his arm used to be. He saves her and marries her, and oh, now Alissa is so unhappy, because she has fallen in love with him just like that *snaps fingers* and Michael swears he will never love her ever because of his stumpy limb and all. Yawn.

Predictable drama ensues. Or what is passed off as drama. Alissa is already in love, and she is unable to save herself, so the pace and rhythm is set: he must rescue her and she will do her best to let her ignorance, sorry, innocence and purity shine through so that he will love her forever and ever.

What a tedious chore. I think I'll just go sleep and dream of more sandwiches for lunch. And dinner.

Rating: 68

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