Dell, $6.50, ISBN 0-440-22589-2
Historical Romance, 1999
The Heiress is the third and finale to the Bride Quest trilogy., in which three brothers out to seek wives, a nice theme, only to be marred by Ms Delacroix’s childish and careless plotting and simplistic one-lined characters. In this one, the remaining unwed de Montvieux brother Rowan accepts a dare to wed the richest heiress in Ireland. The silly man doesn’t know who on earth the richest heiress in Ireland is, though. No matter. Our brave, confident hero sets off for Ireland, along the way buying a slave called Ibernia. How convenient that she’s Irish too, and golly gee, she knows the most moneyed lass in Ireland, someone called Bronwyn of Ballyroyal. Can you guess who Ibernia really is?
She wagers with him that he can secure them a ship to Ireland. He wagers with her that she wouldn’t be able to resist him in no time. How old are these two people again?
No Claire Delacroix review is complete without pointing out inaccuracies, right? On page 6, I’m shaking my head in disbelief when Ibernia, – a nice slave girl, I’m sure – starts talking back to her master Rowan, culminating in a terse “Stay away from me, don’t touch me!” command. Only in Ms Delacroix’s beautiful pink-tinted world do slave girls mouth off impetuously and escape the undoubtedly severe consequences. Watch Ibernia act stupid, running right into the villain’s clutches again and again and once again like gleeful kiddies rushing for a candy store. I do adore these sort of women. They make me feel so superior.
And only in this utopia is a slave girl treated like a pampered mistress of the land.
As for Rowan, he’s perfect for Ibernia. The Beautiful Bimbo and the Handsome Beefcake. Rowan loves to take a dare without thinking of the consequences, and he also loves himself too! While I’m all for positive self-imaging attitudes, this man ends up like a third rate Narcissus. I’m surprised he doesn’t prance around the book with a rose between his teeth as that West Side Story song plays from the speaker. I’ve never read about a human Pepe LePew until now.
I know many people love fairy tales. I do too. Miss Delacroix can write well, and her prose sometimes shows hints of lyrical grace. Hence it’s puzzling that she produces books that have such huge lapses in logic. I’m sure with tighter characterization and plotting, she can do wonders. I’m willing to wait for that day, but for now, I’ll turn to other things for better fairy tales.