My Angel
by Christine Young, historical (2000)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-6643-0

This book is a mess. It is full of clichéd characters that don't even try to stand out of their mould mired in a muddled plot that is as coherent as a two-year old's artistic rendition of the Eiffel Tower.

Angela Chamberlain is a heroine in a Western novel. Well, guess what? She's rich, she's thinks lady arts are nonsense, and all she wants to do is to go shoot outlaws and ride horses! Whoopee. Daddy wants her to go to a finishing school so that she can be the perfect Society Daughter and later, Wife, but no way, our heroine decides to run off for adventure.

Hee-haw. Let me try not to yawn and turn the page. Maybe there'll be a gory train wreck somewhere in here.

By the way, can someone tell me how this lady can learn to shoot and ride a horse so well? Never mind, I don't want to know.

The hero in question is Devil Blackmoor. And no, he's not a horse, he's all homo sapiens, so fans of kinky stories please sit down. He's also a Russian prince, and I'm still a bit vague as to why he is running off the dirty ol' West instead of living in decadent opulence. But, for some reason, our hero goes chasing after someone called Dakota Barringer (and no, that one is not a horse or a cow). Dakota is supposedly Angel's bosom buddy, so Angel decides to stop Devil from getting his princely paws on him.

But they end up in a brothel, where Devil mistakes her for an easy lay. Gee, where did he get that idea from? Later, when things are cleared, he decides he can't marry her since he's Royalty and she's a mere commoner. (I don't get that part either - if I'm a Prince I won't be mucking around dirt in the West.) So he'll ask her to be his mistress.

She refuses - no, she will be his wife!

Shades of Sweet Savage Love minus the jolly good parts that make SSL a dirty, guilty read, i.e. the rape scenes, I think at that point.

Whatever. The plot is a mess, the characters are all nothing but cardboard figures - let's just say one shouldn't bet one's life savings that there won't be an Evil Other Woman in this story unless one loves bankruptcy - and My Angel relies too much on common misunderstandings and non-stop bang-bangs to keep the story going.

Well, at least Sweet Savage Love fulfils some reader's rape fantasies as well give others lots of vicarious thrill despite its campy, badly-plotted premise. My Angel can only wish to be that campy to be good.

Rating: 42

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