The Guardian
by Barbara Miller, historical (2001)
Sonnet, $6.50, ISBN 0-7434-1229-X

I hate the cover of this book. I must have not been seeing cute guys in my life enough, because I think the cover is too sexy for words. Dang, now my $6.50 is gone and I am stuck with this lousy book. I must remedy my mistake by visiting at least three online sites featuring photos of naked hunks before I go bookshopping the next time.

The Guardian has all the ingredients of a headache read - evil, screamy mother-in-law, passive hero, "innocent" (read: brain cells all died long ago) and stupidly reckless heroines, and the Energizer Villain - and none of the levity or even bone marrow for the main characters to make the whole gloomdoom tolerable.

The hero, Trent Severn, is a drunkard lawyer who sleeps with almost all his female clients. But this is not because he's a bastard, but because he's guilty, that poor man, awww. See, his best friend was injured when the latter was fighting that fat French general, and Trent regretted... er, uh... ah... he just regretted, I guess. I guess because I don't understand why the man is whining. I guess he just needs an excuse to screw around in a drunken stupor.

This reminds me of that saying, which I can't remember exactly, but the gist is this: A good-looking, charming snake has no problems getting laid because women will always excuse his jackass behavior as a sign of insecurity of which they must do their best to cure. What can I say? "Spread them then?"

He has a ward, whom he has neglected for 15 years. Said ward is Amy Conde (anaconda?) who runs a horse farm. All she wants is more money to improve her horse farm, but the money never arrives. Actually, the local agent has been systematically fleecing her and Trent for years. Trent, in a druken stupor (as usual) ends up in Amy's home one day because he can't move on to his destination. He sees Amy, however, and his alcohol-reeking breath must be very sexy on the nostrils, because Amy and he fall for each other right away.

Fenwick, the agent, however, wants revenge on Amy for ratting him out. Trent's mother hates her for stealing her son away. Trent won't do anything much, standing helplessly in his passive-agressive haze of alcohol inebriation because he feels guilty for whatever reason his meagre brain can come up with. And Amy? Well, she's one of those impetuous, reckless lasses who run headlong into danger without much prodding. Tedious babysitting adventures are one thing, but put in the usual too-good-for-me-push-her-away antics, the evil Terminator Bitch Mother, the nasty Energizer Villain, and all the bad plot and character contrivances one can think of, and The Guardian eats the cake for running all over the place stupid and unfunny.

Still, the cover. What a waste.

Rating: 47

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