by Mimi Riser, historical (2003)
LoveSpell, $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52561-5
I Do is a "don't ask" book. Which is to say, to enjoy this book is to not ask any questions. Or, if "don't ask" isn't descriptive enough, I can also call I Do a "Gee, what else can the author pull out of svelte and shapely behind?" book. This book jumps scenes and inserts and forgets about subplots, it is as if I am stuck in a particularly glaring kaleidoscope and I have no idea what is going on.
It starts out like a crappy romance starring an idiot heroine. Fair enough, but it gets worse. Our heroine Dorcas Jeffries is a companion accompanying her charge to a Scottish castle built in the middle of Texas. Don't ask. This charge is going to marry Alan MacAllister, our half-Scots half-Comanche laird of Texas - don't ask. Unfortunately, Flora MacAllister loves another and wants to escape this marriage. Our heroine that doesn't want to marry but finds love romantic insists that Flora runs away and Dorcas stays back to pretend to be Flora so that the lovebirds can get away in time. I guess it never occurred to Dorka here that she's paid to ensure that Flora reaches the castle safely instead of running away from arranged marriages.
The MacAllisters don't care whether Dorka is Flora or the other way around - don't ask - and imprison her - don't ask - so that Alan can come and marry her. Dorka climbs down the window and meets a Comache guy whom she then asks for help. He turns out to be Alan and takes her back to the castle where she learns that her aunt's good friend Dr Earnshaw is also in residence - don't ask - and from thereon, the story plunges into pure insane mayhem. Mimi Riser doesn't hold anything back here - there's a Disintegrating Gun Plot, The Magic Cat That Only The Heroine Can See, a rape attempt, ghosts, traumatized children, noseless Comache Scots (not the hero, in case you're wondering), and so many other don't-ask-just-plug-nose nonsense. Subplots come and go, as if the author can't make up her mind what her story is going to be all about.
Along the way, Dorka proves to be a truly demented and abusive weirdo. She sees conspiracies away, she's sure that everyone is out to get her, she sees things nobody else can see - in short, she's probably one bread slice short of a loaf. She also physically abuses the hero more than once in this book, and I guess I'm supposed to find it funny, which I don't, to be honest. It probably doesn't come as a surprise that she is also too stupid to live, constantly getting into trouble only to smack and screech at the hero when he saves her.
I Do could have been a campy read, but it's too painful and the characters are too over-the-top in an exaggerated and forced way to be campy. I Do is a very incoherent and schizophrenic book with a heroine whose antics act like a grater on my brain. I Do? I really don't and I'd rather not, sorry.
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