Berkley, $6.99, ISBN 0-425-17694-0
Historical Romance, 2000
Lynn Kurland’s latest in her de Piaget family saga, If I Had You, is actually an Archie comic masquerading as a medieval. It features one of the most irritating heroines I’ve ever encountered, and a plot so slow that I’m sure nothing actually happened for the first 300 pages out of this 400+-paged non-epic.
The story has a nice prologue though.
Robin de Piaget, he of the mysterious parentage, and Anne of Fenwyck are in love. But Robin goes to war, and due to some petty misunderstandings, Anne is convinced that Robin will never love her. Maybe it’s because she’s lame, I don’t know. I’m hard-pressed to care from her incessant whinings alternated with unreasonable I am independent tantrums.
Robin comes back from war a virile hunka-hunka hunk, and is taken aback to see Anne all grown up. So he wooes her, and after someone tried to kill her, holds her captive in his bedroom. For protection, of course. Anne protests, protests, protests, and protests some more, but too bad they must have run out of gags.
Finally, after an eternity of a 200+ pages, Daddy de Piaget steps in and ends the annoying woo-and-protest circle of futility between Robin and Anne by forcing them to wed. Robin, convinced finally from Anne’s driving-him-away antics that the woman doesn’t love him, protests loudly. Anne then bleeds inside – it’s true, he never loves her, just like she thought! Oh, oh, oh!
Wouldn’t life be easier if Anne and Robin are mind readers? Could’ve spared me the next few hundred pages of more petty bickerings and juvenile antics.
I always thought medieval times are hard and people grow up early. Who would’ve thought the folks actually have time to indulge in prolonged adolescence? File If I Had You under “Medieval Sweet Valley High”.