by Tamara Leigh, historical (2001)
Leisure, $5.99, ISBN 0-8439-4855-8

Oh great. Another "I fall in love with the knight my ancient impotent hubby forced me to sleep with to get an heir" medieval romance. Tamara Leigh, while a good author, is never known for original plots if her backlist is anything to go by. After a long hiatus, her debut for Leisure doesn't seem to break that pattern.

Julianna is the heroine. The hero is Gabriel, a knight who is still bitter about his illegitimacy (and his mother's infidelity that conceives him - WOMEN ARE SUCH BITCHES!!!), who is Julianna's hubby's enemy and also hers. Gabriel finds out that he has been an unwitting sperm donor, and is mad - WOMEN ARE SUCH BITCHES!!! He kidnaps her - yawn. He falls in love with her - big yawn. Evil hubby plots - gigantic yawn.

The sole redeeming point in this mess of deja vu is, surprisingly, the evil hubby Bernart. He's a really good villain in that he actually displays enough human weaknesses that make him compelling and mesmerizing. Get lost, Gabriel the Woman-Hating Doofus and take your Madonna with you. Oh Bernart, you deserve a better story.

What can I say about Blackheart? It's engaging, the author still can write and draw me in, but the characters and plot are so predictable that I can barely remember this story (apart from the villain) after I've finished it. Another medieval Whore/Madonna complex story with all the expected deja vu accessories. Romance readers who love comfort reads will lap this one up. You like reading about how all women are bitches except for our poor heroine damsel in distress? Even better. Excuse me, Gilmore Girls starts in five minutes - outta my way, Blackheart.

Rating: 73

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