Leisure, $4.99, ISBN 0-8439-4868-X
Historical Romance, 2001
Tori Light is the pseudonym for Victoria Dark (Victoria Dark, Tori Light, get it?). Ms Light’s debut effort Gambler’s Gold is readable, but it is just too silly (yes, heroine included) for its own good.
Lydia Seaton, who has no personality apart from being the family doormat for Gram (whom Lyddie will do anything and everything within and without reason to protect, oh play the martyr anthem, oh oh oh) and her two stupid twin siblings Bobby June and Billy Fred. When Nick Brown, a Pinkerton agent, comes sniffing around looking for gold belonging to his family as well as to investigate some railroad hijinks perpetuated by the Bonker Twins, Lyddie starts jumping around with her prim panties all knotted up. She likes Nick! Eeeeeek! She must save the family…. ow! She must protect Grans! Eeeeekkkkk! She has her first orgasm! Squeal!
The storytelling is amateurish. If the characters are not “Ay!”ing and “Ack!”ing themselves like a busful of hillbillies fresh down from some redneck county, they are telling me the story in monologues passed off as “discussions”. As in, well, Bobby June and Billy Fred know what they did to the railway tracks, but why on earth must they narrate what they did to each other if they know what they did back then? Characterization is flippant and one-note (Gram – kooky, Lyddie – shrieky and kooky, Nick – befuddled, the Bonker Twins – barney and mad) and the end result is like a bad “Yee-haw! Ay, ay, ack, ack!” overly exaggerated cowboy-goes-cockney dime novel. The sad thing is, Gambler’s Gold is corny and cheesy by accident, not deliberately in a do-you-get-the-joke way, and it shows.