by Patti O'Shea, futuristic (2006)
LoveSpell, $6.99, ISBN 0-505-52660-3
Run for cover, people. The heroine of Patti O'Shea's Eternal Nights, Capt Kendall Thomas, decides that she's the only person who can stop a ring of thieves who are stealing and smuggling out ancient artifacts excavated in the ruins of Jarved Nine. Do you want to know how our heroine goes about saving the day?
On page 12, she is researching and downloading top secret information when she realizes that she has left the data displayed in all its glory on the monitor while she's off to the printer to get the data printed. Fortunately for her, a lucky turn of event prevents the wrong person from catching her in action. On page 34, she's knee-deep in trailing the bad guys only to (of course) overhears a plot involving her. She decides that she has to confront the bad guys in all her lonesome and weaponless glory, only to chicken out at the last minute and run right into the guys that she has noted earlier but has since "forgotten" about. Page 82, she gets weird and is nearly crushed by a falling rock. I can go on and on, but I'm sure you notice a pattern by now.
How did this woman get to become a Captain in the Special Ops team again? The only reasonable solution to this puzzle that I can come up with is that Kendall is supposed to be the captain of the coffee-making crew, only something got lost in the transmission from Earth to Jarved Nine. Honestly, this woman is a menace to herself as well as everyone around her because she's a bloody stupid moron. The thing is, Ms O'Shea is aware of this, hence her constantly having Kendall call herself a moron every time something goes wrong. Still, why the author insists on keeping the heroine all stupid and pathetic instead of making Kendall wise up, I have no idea. I don't need to be told again and again that Kendall is stupid. Even an illiterate baboon will know that Kendall is stupid. Just... make her not stupid.
Fortunately for Kendall, Wyatt Montgomery is there to prevent her from accidentally taking out both her eyes when she tries to dig her nose. The romance is pretty bizarre, really, as Wyatt loves Kendall apparently because the two of them have been in close contact with each other's naked body in a past life and therefore they are bound together forever. Kendall decides to spice things up by insisting that Wyatt doesn't love her, he loves her previous life incarnation. Don't ask. I will probably end up as loony as Kendall if I try to think too much about this nonsense of hers.
Fortunately, there is a subplot which allows some page break between Kendall's constant uphill struggle to bluff people into thinking that she's intelligent. Wyatt's boss is having some marital problems as the wife decides that her husband has ignored her and treated her hot and cold long enough so she's flying the coop. Unfortunately for me, this subplot is a cop-out in the end as the wife doesn't really have a chance to make the man grovel. Instead, the man helps to save the day, blowing up a few things in the process, and tells the wife to stay... so she does. Because she loves her and he's so good in the sack. At least she's getting multiple orgasms out of the deal, I suppose. But I will always be happy that this subplot is present in the story, or else I will be subjected to a relentless marathon of Kendall and Wyatt ramping up the cartoon tomfoolery.
I believe the following will sum up nicely what is wrong with this book. Bug, by the way, is the apt nickname the hero has for Kendall.
At her heart, Bug was a warrior. He doubted that she realized it herself, but she didn't back down from much, and when it came to friends, she was fiercely loyal. A man could count on a woman like this.
I look at the number of pages that I have dog-eared because they feature Kendall doing something spectacularly stupid, one of them just ten pages before the above excerpt takes place, and I can only conclude that the word "warrior" clearly has a different meaning in Ms O'Shea's favorite dictionary. Because when I look up "warrior" in my trusty Merriam-Webster, the words "too bloody stupid to be allowed to live" never once show up in the entry.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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