The Shadowing
by Joan Overfield, historical/paranormal (2002)
LoveSpell (Candleglow), $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52458-9

I think Joan Overfield should check her contract. Is Candleglow a Gothic line or a Spastic line? The Shadowing - which refers to the encroachment of insanity on the hero - is so lurid and over the top that the whole story feels like MacBeth on crack.

In the beginning of the story, we have a butt ugly sorcerer cackling hysterically as he is burned alive. From hereon, let it be known - a curse, a Curse, capital C, people, on the male line of McCairn! Every McCairn man will do the loony until finally, it's down to Ruairdh, the last of the McCairn loonybins. He will, for the sake of Mankind, remain single and die childless. Thus the McCairn will be wiped out from the surface of the Earth *insert spastic villainous laughter here*.

But when Ruairdh is throwing a mega garage sale of stuff from his castle and all, he is horrified to discover that the daughter of the man he hired to catalogue his various stuff is a lovely babe! Oh no, he must drive her away, before the overwrought passions and turmoils of his crotch, er, heart burst free and turn him into a loony, savage beast! The horny beast must not win! He must not let it win! He must not! No, no, NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Heh heh heh. I kinda like the over-the-top melodrama of this silly story, really.

Of course, Anne and Ruairdh will have horny dreams about each other. As our hero broods as he overlooks that giant windowpane every scary castle must have, as thunder crashes and lightning flashes outside, as rain pours in an unholy tempest, our hero rails at his fate. Oh, how wicked is the curse! How can he fight it, when he so badly wants to be a horny beast and do the nasty with Anne!

Meanwhile, we also have what seems like a million dour-faced sillies popping in and muttering cryptic phrases that don't make any sense unless heard through an LSD-induced haze. Lurid and ridiculous, really. William Shakespeare himself will cringe in shame if he reads this.

Anne, our intrepid heroine, understands that the hero's treating her like crap is all bluff. He is Cursed! Let her run along dark corridors, a storm raging outside the window, as moonlight renders her gown transluscent - wait, maybe I'm confusing this book with a bad B-grade horror schlock I just watched recently - anyway, whatever really.

The hero is too tormented and his actions and behaviors are too exaggerated to be even annoying. He's just hilarious. Same with Anne. Surrounded by cartoony Scooby Dooist melodrama, she is like Velma on an investigative vengeance. I half expect Scooby Doo to pop up and say hi.

The Shadowing is crap, but crap in a good way, if you get what I'm saying.

Rating: 64

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