Signet, $6.99, ISBN 0-451-20829-3
Historical Romance, 2003
Before we start, is Impostress a legitimate English word? I can only find “impostor” on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary but dictionary.com suggests that the word is found in the 1998 edition Webster dead tree dictionary. The word is also not in the American Heritage Dictionary (online version). But I guess the brilliant copyeditors of Signet will have never let such a mistake slip past them.
This book can be summed up in two words: irredeemably silly. The plot revolves around three things: stupidity, stupid nasty women, and sex. Normally I’d assume that any author will know that we don’t usually combine all three in a book unless we’re Jackie Collins writing our latest tired book, but I guess I assumed wrong.
Years ago, like all stupid heroines in stupid romance novels, little Kiera of Lawenydd (pay attention to the L and the Y in the names, because otherwise, you may forget that this story is supposed to be set in 13th century Wales) is as usual wearing tomboy clothes and riding her darling horse in some medieval Stepford Barbie coming-of-age ritual. Naturally, she loses the horse, laments about how guilty she is because she lied to everybody (then why even do it?), and then gets manhandled by a nasty man. Her sister Elyn saves her, so now Kiera owes her sister a debt forever.
Today. They’re grown up now. Elyn, the pretty one, is spoiled, stupid, and indulges in pre-marital sex, and because the almighty divine punishes women who choose their own lovers and act on their sexuality, her man is so using her. Keira, the stupid one, is the sweet, all-giving doormat they use to make the castle so pretty. When Elyn is married off to Kelan of Penbrooke, she demands that Kiera takes her place for the wedding day. If I owe my sister a debt and she asks me to go marry a stranger who could easily turn out to be the new David Koresh, you can bet I will suggest she take a rain check instead, but no, not Keira. A debt is a debt.
In case you’re wondering how two non-twin sisters can switch places like that, the father is the absent-minded idiot with bad eyesight while Kelan has never met her or her sister before. Now all Kelan, no, I mean Keira – jeez, the names are confusing – has to do is to keep her husband in the bedroom, drug him if necessary, and wait until Elyn comes back and takes her place once more in the bedroom. Of course Elyn doesn’t come back. Guess who has won the biggest sucker award in all of Wales.
Desperate, Keira decides to offer her almighty hymen to save her sister. She’ll boink Kelan until Elyn comes back! Our Looney Toon Mata Hari thus jumps at the hero and boink-boink-boinks him until he doesn’t know what hits him. By then, half the book is gone. Since his mother is dying, he drags her protesting and screaming back to his place, where they continue to shag like Welsh bunnies until Elyn inevitably shows up, along with the nasty shrew that is Elyn’s boyfriend’s woman (bear with me, please), and every nasty woman scream at the other in the “exciting” penultimate scene. Keira is unmasked, he forgives her, they resume shagging like bunnies, and on behalf of Lisa Jackson, the ghost of Chuck Jones drops the red ballroom curtain down (ta-da-da-da ta-da-da-da ta-ta-ta-ta!) – “The End.” That’s all folks, hope you enjoyed the show, now go buy Lisa Jackson’s next book.
What the hell was that all about?