Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-13385-X
Historical Romance, 2002
Irish Gypsy is a pretty readable book, featuring the usual brick-witted heroine, tormented hero, hellion kids in need of our heroine’s innate TLC skills, and oh yes, a big house. This story is set in 16th century Ireland, but it’s pretty much the same as any similarly themed story set in any London countryside.
Our heroine Maura and our hero Eamon Riordan first met when our heroine, the nearly raped damsel in distress, stole his horse, hit him with a rock, and sold off the horse for money. After a few throwaway near-encounters later, they really meet again when she becomes the tutor of his hellion nephews in his house. Come together kiddies: “Edelweiss! Edelweiss! Cut open his gut, tie his intestines to a tree, and make him walk around that tree!”
Eamon is a scholar (did someone say Prof Higgins?) but he is charmed when our Gypsy heroine, after suffering a long, harsh life of near-rapes in her search for her aristocratic family, turns on the super powerful and amazingly nanny-beautiful act. It must be a genetic thing. That or running around all your life from evil men wanting her bum is a good way to learn mothering skills.
Still, so what if Eamon and Maura and the hellion kiddies are all familiar stereotypes? They talk. But they talk about everything but important things. Maura can’t tell him why she’s in trouble, naturally, so flee, Maura, flee!
Really, this book isn’t bad, in a way that it doesn’t compel me to do a Prof Higgins and bark at those two to fetch me my smelliest slippers with their mouths, but while reading it can induce a pleasant lull of heavy-eyelid somnambulic haze over me, it doesn’t exactly prevent the eyelids from closing over either. Somehow those two morph into Joaquin Phoenix and Colin Farrell, both butt naked, in my dreams, fetching me my slippers, and ooh. Then I just have to wake up and give this book an ugly, evil stare.