Zebra Splendor, $4.99, ISBN 0-8217-6466-7
Historical Romance, 2000
For a rollickingly hilarious good time in a cheesy B-grade Indiana Jones setting featuring comfortably familiar characters, don’t hesitate to call Arielle Gardiner and Captain Stephen Lightenfield. You won’t find exploding volcanoes and hair-raising plunge down the wild rapids of South America anywhere but in Her Only Hero!
Arielle wants to see if her fiancé Caleb is still okay in Nicaragua. She packs her damsel-in-distress outfit and heads off to demand that Stephen gives her passage to Nicaragua on his ship Lady Song. Stephen balks, Arielle manages to persuade the all-wise first mate who knows that his boss is interested in this wildcat (the usual), and when Stephen sets sail, he finds the wildcat gleefully grinning at him.
Lots of on-deck bickering and petulant pouting and mad yearning follow, on both their parts.
They reach Nicaragua, but no Caleb. Our two main stars then trek the hot, steamy jungles, avoiding traps, surviving exploding volcanoes, plunging down ravines and waterfalls, and look! There’s a madman! Can they find Caleb and The Great Treasure? Would they boink under the glorious canopies of the rainforests to the music of the crickets and howling monkeys?
Who cares if Arielle sometimes act like a totally ninny, rushing headlong into danger? Or that Stephen is hardly two-dimensional as a hero? Or that both characters aren’t at all memorable?
Just bring on more Adventures of Stephen and Arielle in the Jungles of Dire, Unforetold Perils. I’m too busy having a whale of a time. Never let it be said that I can’t enjoy a hokey, campy story. Popcorns, anyone?