Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Try Something New: Rachel and the Hired Gun

I'm plugging away on the Take a Chance Challenge, and I've knocked off #6 -- Genre Switch-Up. I don't believe I've ever read a western romance before, so Rachel And The Hired Gun (Zebra Historical Romance) by Elaine Levine was a fun read for me. I've read some westerns (mostly L'Amour) and some romances (mostly regency) and the blending of the genres amused me enough to finish the book in a day.

Rachel was a bit of a moron, but her actions made sense so it wasn't too annoying. Hearing her inner thoughts revealed her innate ditziness, but she found herself a western bound wagon train, seamlessly took over cooking for her dad's large ranch population, and seemingly effortlessly parried all the social darts hurled by the region's evil matriarch, who of course was the mother of the man she is supposed to marry. Her seduction of the bad-man-turned-good-by-her-love Sager was accompanied by increasingly silly artless explanations ("I'm lonely! Can you sleep in my tent with me tonight?"), and when they finally got down to the deed she never once thought of pregnancy.

The good people were solid, and the bad people were relentlessly evil. This was handled lightly enough not to be too annoying, but lead to some rather strange scenes, such as the reconciliation between the step-brothers (because they are both decent people). The cause of the strain between them? One man's beloved mother had paid to murder the brother's adopted mother and sister, had him kidnapped, seduced him at age fourteen, spent ten years trying to poison any contact between him and his father, and then hired more assassins to kill him and his girlfriend. On the other hand, he had been a real grouchy presence in the family, and he apologized for being such a downer for his step-brother. They both forgave each other handsomely. And I liked when the western plot stopped in its tracks so the romance could introduce some people to be couples in the sequels.

The writing was energetic, and the plot silly enough to be entertaining. I might pick up another of Levine's books. B.

1 comment:

Jenners said...

This does sound like a silly little read!! I'm glad it amused you enough to read it in one day. Good job plugging away on the Take Another Chance Challenge ... I need to start working on it more too!!