A Reckless Encounter
by Rosemary Rogers, historical (2001)
MIRA, $7.50, ISBN 1-55166-852-1

I know, I know. Since Michael Crichton started that Jurassic Park trend thing, dinosaurs of all sizes start coming out of the woodwork, and look, years down the road, the dinosaur thing is still around.

Look, no offense to Rosemary Rogers, Queen of Historical Romance Dinosaurs, but come on, grandma, read some Judith Ivory, will ya? Look, the sex-screech-sex thing doesn't work anymore. Your fan base is going smaller because look, grannies grow old one day too, and when the time comes, they go to that nudie bar up in the sky filled with Hugh Jackman clones wearing thongs.

In short, diversify or go bust, grandma.

A Reckless Encounter is one of those stories where there is a plot, but alas, the plot makes no sense. Let me give it to you and you determine the logic of it all.

Celia Sinclair, your American Scarlett O'Hara wannabe, is mad. Her freeman slave, I mean, look, those Negroes are free, okay, but they serve our heroines hand and foot because those poor pathetic, I mean, loyal ex-slaves have no where to go, bla bla bla - where was I? Oh, slave died. Mommy raped and died. Celia wants vengeance, and she will get this by marrying the son of the said rapist and killer. Is it me or has Anna Nicole Smith hijacked this story?

Anyway, our hero, the Rapist's Son, is Colter Hampton (sounds like a brand of beef, which, alas, is closer to home than I thought). Like father, like son, because our hero has an impressive history of use, abuse, and discard. All that's missing is syphilis, but then again, I guess we don't do STDs in romance novels. Only indiscriminate wastage of semen on skanky sluts, I guess. Colter sees Celia with a man in a ship and immediately suspects that our Celia is a slutty spy who is itching to have him stuffed up her gob. Or something.

With men like Colter at the helm of the British Intelligence, no wonder we have so many jokes at the British's expense today, I tell you. Jude Law and Jeremy Northam the exceptions, of course.

Anyway, the author then goes on to describe Celia's London debut (a successful debut, of course), where our hero grabs our heroine like a sack of turnips to some shadowy corner for some sexual grubbing. Colter's conquests puzzles me. This is a guy who uses phrases like "It's time to give you what you've been so prettily asking for." Then again, when I saw his evil skanky ex-mistress, I stop wondering. Trust a genetic garbage hero to consort with fellow genetic garbage bags.

I know I am not making sense, but seriously, I still don't know the actual plot of this story. Celia's plan for vengeance never progresses beyond marrying her target's son, so that's a stillborn. Colter's grand James Bond stint is so convoluted and messy that I don't think I want to even try untangling it. Many people want Celia dead. I don't know why exactly, except that that evil ex-mistress just wants Celia dead because look, Colter is hers, et cetera.

Still, there's a lurid but entertaining quality to this story. It's like unearthing a fossil of a giant warthog in my backyard or something - quite fascinating, really. I don't know why I keep turning the pages, because it's not even fun in the haha sense. I must have some masochistic tendencies I don't even know about.

Rating: 47

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