Apache Angel
by Jackie Stephens, historical (2001)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-6763-1

Action overkill raises this romance novel to Super Dime Novelhood. There are plenty of nasty cowboys to make sixty more Chuck Norris B-grade videos in Apache Angel. The main characters are damsel-in-distress Anna Alexander and half-breed hottie Storme Warwaick.

Both characters are tormented by deaths. She has killed a scum in self-defense and convinced that she will hang, she runs. Naturally, like all Heroines Sterotype, she seeks shelter in a boardinghouse run by a kind old biddy. He believes that he is responsible for leading people to kill his father, and like all Heroes Stereotype, he is a bounty hunter who is misunderstood and just two pennies short of being a vigilante.

Like all Westerns Stereotype, this story has Anna nursing injured Storme back to health. Like all Westerns Stereotype Prototype II, the story has our two leads rallying the town against nasty capitalist cattle tycoons who want to drive everyone off prime graze lands. And like Loony Tunes, the baddies keep coming back for more action. Bullets fly, our lovebirds squeeze some quickies in-between shootings and near-rapes and rampages and kidnaps and rescues, and... well, the whole thing is predictable and kinda hammy too.

I sort of like Apache Angel, not because it's brilliant. Okay, it's brilliant. It elevates campy cheese to an artform. The action can be pretty violent (cool) but its excessive recurrence soon makes it hard for me to take AA seriously. Think of it as a slammin' fun Road Runner vs Wild E Coyote episode with sex.

Rating: 63

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