Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-82066-8
Historical Romance, 2002
What’s with all those Native American romances that have the Native American hero acting like five-year old boys trapped in men’s bodies? Pair this child-like hero with a child-like heroine, and this is Lone Arrow’s Pride, a Feather In Your Headgear Special.
Lone Arrow was 16 and Carolyn White was 11 when a whirlwind united them. Alas, I don’t mean that these two were caught in a whirlwind and they bonded over pain as the arid and violent winds rip their skin bloody or something equally wholesome, I mean… oh, never mind. Let’s just say that when it comes to Native American romances, the earth, the star, the moon, the fox, the yaks, the water, the soil, zzzz, oh yeah, the whirlwind is your friend too.
Anyway, what happened was that Carolyn’s family were all struck down from cholera, and in her grief, out of the whirlwind came Lone Arrow. Tall, manly, brawny, he leads her to safety in a cave filled with gold. He told her that the gold was very, very important to spirits of the earth or some other thingies, and to steal one was to unleash a curse on oneself. Never mind, Carolyn accidentally (ahem) took a gold arrowhead for herself.
Cut to today, where Carolyn’s adopted parents now must find money or they will all be made homeless. Instead of applying to be a mail order bride or something, Carolyn decides to go back into the cave to return the arrowhead. See, it’s the curse, and even if it’s painful to give up the only thing to remind her of Lone Eagle (say, is the arrowhead an euphemism for a gold vibrator?), she has to. Then, oh, oh! Lone Arrow! Lone Arrow! Scream!
Lone Arrow, frankly, is pathetic. The scene where Carolyn slowly explains to him like a schoolteacher teaching a very, v…e…r…y slow student, how Evil White Men want gold for Greedy Reasons and will Hurt and Cheat and Murder for that gold is hysterically stupid. Seriously, what does Lone Arrow think he’s guarding the gold all this time from? From hungry cougars?
There’s some issue of mistrust between Carolyn and Loney here, understandable, but still, it doesn’t matter. Pure Native Americans and Good White Girl kick Evil White Men’s pasty doughy asses and live happily ever after in technology-free Luddism, at one with earth, simple and happy, talking in monosyllables. Who knows, maybe if I think too hard, I may still hear them all holding hands and dancing and singing carebear songs around the campfire outside their teepees, happy and abandoned to the music of howling happy wolves, loyal foxes, majestic eagles, and giggling grizzlies in one happy family. And to think I thought Disney’s Little Hiawatha ridiculous. Sheesh.