Harlequin Historical, $5.25, ISBN 0-373-29283-X
Historical Romance, 2003
Once in a while I will come across a “What on earth?” book. Tanya Anne Crosby’s The Impostor’s Kiss is a “What on earth?” book because I seriously have no idea what is happening in this book most of the time.
Let’s see, Merrick Welbourne, the Prince of the principality of Meridian, and Ian MacEwan are twin brothers. Each brother doesn’t know the other exists because years ago, their mother Fiona was forced by her lover Julian of Meridian to give up one twin to be heir to Julian’s throne while the other would remain with Fiona. Ian got to be his mother while Merrick went with his father. Today, Merrick learns of his mother being still alive and travels to Scotland to meet her. Instead, he is robbed by Ian pretending to be a highwayman called the Hawk who really turns out to be Ian. Hawk is robbing rich people to give the poor people money to pay off the nasty Lord Lindley who also turns out to be Ian. Meanwhile, Fiona is pretending to be an invalid, blaming her condition on Hawk to throw the suspicions off Ian. Because Merrick is robbed and is forced to dress up in Ian’s clothes as a result, he decides to pretend to be Ian while Ian pretends to be Merrick. And I am certainly not pretending when it comes to the painful headache I am feeling at that very moment when I realize that I am not going to find any coherent moment in this story.
Chloe Simon is our heroine. She hates the old Ian but she is confused by this “new” Ian. Meanwhile, she is in love with Hawk who is… oh, never mind. Throughout this book she is or has been played like a violin by both twin brothers as well as by Fiona that I wonder how this woman found her way out of her house in the morning without pushing her head into the oven by mistake. Following Chloe being pulled in all directions like some scatterbrained tumbleweed caught in some strong breeze isn’t my idea of fun, not when Ian, Chloe, and Fiona could have talked and resolved some matters easily instead of running around in this charade of theirs. Talk could have been possible too because Ian is one of those nice egalitarian heroes that find power and wealth a gilded cage – those poor things, awww – and he is willing to give everything up to be with Chloe. But he just can’t while Chloe and Fiona are the dim-witted types that will never initiate a conversation unless it’s to make themselves bigger fools than they already are.
So at the end of the day, everyone in this story comes off as very lacking in the brainpower department. I can only hope that Ian’s masquerade as Merrick in the sequel will be more readable.