Leisure, $5.99, ISBN 0-8439-4763-2
Historical Romance, 2000
The first The Rancher’s Daughters book was saved by a roguish hero. No such luck with The Rancher’s Daughters: Forgetting Herself, which has a hero right out of mule school. Mr Garrison the Rancher’s two daughters so far have proven themselves twits of the first order. Someone call the Social Services on this man.
Okay, in late 19th century Wyoming, sheep farmers and cattle farmers hate each other. Mariah Garrison is the cattle’s, er, cattle farmer’s daughter. She is in love with Stuart MacCallum, a displaced Scotsman who keeps sheep (please stop the redneck-and-sheep jokes). Why? Don’t ask me. I guess it’s because of plot c’est la vie.
So what if Dad hates Stuart, right? Mariah is sure that love will overcome everything and will save the day. She’s a twit. She can’t believe that her daddy will call up men to beat up Stuart, while at the same time, she feels guilty because she obeys Stuart against Daddy’s wishes and Daddy’s wishes against Stuart’s. She frets when Stuart sneers at her when they are wed when she receives gifts from her family – oh, poor Stuart, now he must be so ashamed of his state of finances! Then, she screams at Stuart, stop maligning her daddy!
Mariah is one bag of jittery bones and nerves that I can’t help wishing she is one of those blown-up paper bags. Let me take a pin and pop pop pop her out of existence. Annoying, indecisive, whiny, passive, and utterly clueless, Mariah definitely has a case of forgetting her brain.
Stuart? What a lousy, immature, pathetic creep. He lets his parents make the uncomplaining Mariah miserable, then lash out at her when she finally whimpers a pathetic complain. Moron is too good for this man. Stuart is lousy husband material and a zilch as a romance hero.
And the plot goes nowhere. Sheep vs cows can only go on and on before I get bored. The two main characters are as fun as a major case of migraine, which only makes reading this book a further chore.