LoveSwept, $3.50, ISBN 0-553-44452-2
Contemporary Romance, 1995
Olivia Rupprecht is an author whose stories are admittedly on the cheesy side that make them better guilty pleasures than anything else. However, Pistol in His Pocket has way too many moments of grotesque stupidity that tip the scale towards “burn with prejudice” rather than “prime guilty pleasure”.
In 1898, our hero Noble Zhivago – really! – is an outlaw of sorts in Alaska who is robbing banks as a way to exert revenge on a great wrong done on his family. Alas, one botched bank robbery sees him falling down into a gorge… and become trapped in ice so that our present day heroine Lori Morgan and her team will find him like Encino Man in all his glory. So far, so good, right? Well, there’s no way to go but down into tomfoolery hell from the first two chapters.
Lori is, in a way, a tragedy. She is still unable to move on from the death of her husband to the point that she clings to Noble like an ivy, as if she will actually break apart if he isn’t there to hold her together. She actually decides to keep the ice block and hopefully revive Noble on her own, but that’s just the first of the many “what on earth” moments in this story. We then have her, upon reviving Noble, flying into a panic while worrying whether she should tell him that he has been in ice for a hundred years or so. I suppose she can always try to keep him chained in the basement? Lori also acts as if having sex automatically turns her into the whore of the millennium. She will play along with Noble but when he wants to move past first base, she’ll burst into tears and starts acting like a demented weirdo. Lori is a painfully stupid and even more painfully neurotic heroine to follow. She needs a shrink rather than true love. Or better still, a huge dose of sedatives so that I can wrap her up and call Federal Express to ship her off to Antarctica.
As for Noble, it’s quite hilarious for two seconds that he can actually believe that Lori is a whore and those modern implements that she used to revive him are exotic sex toys. For two seconds, that is, before I begin wondering whether he’s as brain damaged as Lori here. Can someone tell me how he can remain in a room with such implements and with someone who is dressed in modern day clothes like Lori for more than an hour without thinking that something is wrong? Seriously, all he has to do is to look up at the ceiling to get an inkling that he is no longer in 1898.
And my god, Noble is a man from 1898, not a kid born in 1998! That man often behaves like a clueless twit – like not being able to comprehend how any woman who isn’t a prostitute is capable of feeling and responding to sexual desire – that I wonder whether this guy is actually from this planet. For his supposed hardened background, his constant naïveté is astounding and unbelievable.
And finally, Noble’s conversations. Apparently Ms Rupprecht’s research on history is confined only to old Loony Toons episodes with Pepé LePew, it seems, if I am to make a guess.
Noble feels sexy!
“The water grows tepid. My desire for you, however, is quite another matter.”
Noble gets philosophical!
“Whatever fate brought you to ever question it is no less than a travesty. I, too, have been the victim of circumstances beyond my control. And so we do what demands to be done.”
If he spoke like that to the hardened folks in the Alaskan outskirts in 1898, no wonder he had so many enemies back in those days.
This one could have been another cheesy and enjoyable story by the author, but the heroine is way too dumb and needy while every time the hero opens his mouth to speak, he makes me cringe. It may or may not be a Pistol in His Pocket, but I can’t say that I’m thrilled.