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Naked Under the Loincloth (title courtesy of Anne Marble)

By Ima Reviewer, 1999, Indian Romance

Grade:A+
Sensuality:Burnt


I opened Naked Under the Loincloth with some skepticism. What I asked myself could Ima Reviewer add to the tremendous wealth of romantic literature in the 'captive" subgenre? Silly me. Fans of Ima Reviewer know that she can always be depended on to offer another passionate story of Savage/White Woman love.

Our story opens with heroine Doctor Blanche Kildare traveling to a tribal village. The chief's father needs brain surgery. Wolf, the handsome blonde chief meets Blanche at the door of the teepee. Naturally he is shocked that Blanche is a woman. "Open up his head," says Blanche, "there is no time for your foolish prejudice."

Wolf sees immediately that Blanche is correct. She is there to help his father. Deeply ashamed he quickly hands her a scalpel. Blanche is stopped by bad Indian Big Nose. "Squaw No touch old chief." Wolf sees that he must protect Blanche and let her do her work. He beats Big Nose until his name is Flat Nose.

Blanche performs the surgery. Wolf takes her to his teepee. He hands her a cup of Indian coffee. Blanche lowers her eyes. Tears leak out. "You do not desire me? You think I am not a woman because I am a brilliant nineteenth century brain surgeon?"

Wolf, who though an Indian looks suspiciously like John D'Salvo, says. "I thank you. My people thank you. Get'um on the bedroll."

I don't want to tell you much more of this, because it would spoil the story. Suffice to say that Blanche manages to show Wolf that brain surgery is not her only talent. There's plenty more story in this book. Blanche's father spends a good day and a half opposing the match. Blanche is kidnapped by Big Nose. While they are in woods she gives him an emergency appendectomy, without anesthesia. A nearby squirrel goes and tells Wolf where they are.

In the end, of course, Blanche is grateful to give up her career. Who after all, has time what with fulfilling Wolf's "great manly needs?" .

-- Robin Nixon Uncapher
(and to think I usually prefer Regency Romances!)

Dear Laurie:
Robin was kind enough to send me a copy of her marvelous review of Naked Under the Loincloth. May I say, Laurie, that its about time that you brought on a reviewer with Robin's sensitivity and talent!

Unfortunately, Robin did make a little mistake in the review. She left out the best part of Wolf's words to Doctor Kildare in their love scene. The quote should read:

"I thank you. My people thank you. Get'um on the bedroll. I wish to share the seed of life with you."

I hope you will correct that quote.

Once again let me say that you should be honored to have Robin on your staff. As you always say, a review is just one person's opinion. Robin's opinions are correct though which makes a difference. I hope that you will be assigning her many, many books in the future.

Yours respectfully,
Ima Reviewer
Naked Under the Loincloth 1999
Savage Captive 2000
Savage Hostage 1999
Captive 1998
Hostage 1998
Recipient of the Native American Hostage Love Award for 1998

The Virgin & the Elf who Loved Her

By Iwanna BeaCritic, January 2000, Paranormal Romance

Grade:A
Sensuality:Burning


Sick of heroes who sleep around, virginal heroines who sleep around and an overwhelming plethora of babies in your romances? Well, I sure as heck am! Fortunately, although this book has all of those plot cliches and then some, I didn't care!!!

This story starts out with a refreshingly new plot premise and is only enhanced by its surprising plot twists, rich characterization and erotic tension.

In a nutshell, this is a story about soulmates, and one woman who is lucky enough to find two of them in her lifetime. Virginal meets her first hero when he is catapulted through time and comes crashing down on her bed while she is underneath it searching for her lost cat, Cyclops. The hero, Lord Sleepsaround, naturally does the heroic thing and finds the cat but not before they make incredible, mind blowing, toe-curling love. To give much more away of this intriguing plot would be to ruin it. I'll only say that it gets incredibly hot and a second hero, an Elf, enters the picture during the epilogue, giving you double the pleasure for your money! Despite a prickly, mostly unlikable heroine, these heroes alone are worth the hefty hardcover price of $24.00) of the book.

Ahhhh, it's not often that I come across a Desert Isle Keeper! And it's extraordinarily difficult for me to fall in love with a paranormal romance because I'm jaded from reading every paranormal ever printed. There aren't enough adjectives to describe the wonders of this totally enchanting novel! All of the characters are so well thought out and realistic it is hard to come to back to reality when the final page is turned. You will truly ache for each and every character.

Grab yourself an Elf - oops I can't seem to get that sexy little guy off of my overheated brain - I mean a copy of The Virgin & the Elf who Loved Her, because if you don't, you will quite possibly be missing the best book of the millennium.

-- Iwanna Bea Romancewriter

Lust in the Dust

By Authoria N. Akurette

Grade:A+
Sensuality:Broiled and Dusty


Borrowing from Steinbeck's classic, The Grapes of Wrath, this novel has a unique premise: What if Rose of Sharon divorced Connie and stayed behind in Oklahoma rather than going to California with the rest of her family? Ms. Akurette takes this fascinating idea and runs with it, providing a passionate exploration of the Depression Era dust bowl. Although Steinbeck makes Rose of Sharon seem whiny and somewhat self-centered in the original story, here she really comes into her own as she meets a traveling software salesman, has his secret baby, and eventually becomes his bride.

To say too much about this book would truly be a crime, as each page is a stunning new adventure in poignancy and eroticism. Akurette brings the dusty Oklahoma fields to life with evocative scenes like the following:

Rose of Sharon felt the dusty, dusty earth with her scarred hands. Were these the hands that had so recently stroked Burt's masculinity? She savored the thought as the dust swirled, and swirled, and swirled some more, creating a brown haze that nearly engulfed her.

The only flaw in this book are the slight historical errors, which are easy to ignore. Ms. Akurette sets the book in 1922, even though the Depression was actually in the 1930s. She makes other tiny mistakes here and there, like when Rose of Sharon's parents sail off to California in a boat, along Route 66, which the author seems to believe is a waterway. And, Rose of Sharon's cabin has no electricity, and she reads by candlelight every night, but then she heats up frozen entrees in her microwave and sends erotic e-mail to Burt.

But while the author may have slept through first period history, she was clearly wide awake for her creative writing class. Here is another example of her amazing imagery:

Burt crept toward Rose of Sharon, his rampant manroot jerking spasmodically like a metal detector. And Rose of Sharon's wild honeypot was pure metal."

Note how the author juxtaposes rural, earthy expressions like "manroot" and "honeypot" with more modern terms such as "metal detector." Such literary finesse is clearly outside the norm. A book like this just doesn't come along every day, so buy a copy for yourself, and pick up several more for your friends and acquaintances. You won't be sorry.

-- Blythe Barnhill

Reviewer's Note: I was so enthusiastic about this book that I interviewed the author. She told me she wasn't much for dates, but she knew how to make a time period come alive anyway. When asked about her future writing plans, she had this to say:
"I was going to write a book set during the American Civil War, but my agent said Medievals aren't selling that well right now. Instead, I've decided to center my next novel in California, during the War of 1812. The brave Americans there at the time endured many hardships, particularly during the Battle of New Orleans."

Readers, Stay tuned! I know I will.

Baby, I Had Your Babies

By Amnesha Caubouy, 1999 Series Romance

Grade:A+
Sensuality:Simmering


This is the best romance I've read during the year, and I don't say that about very many books. Baby, I Had Your Babies has it all: the ex-rodeo champion, the nurturing heroine, forceful seduction and the beautiful panorama of the West at its best. Add a tad of amnesia and three adorable secret children - now who could ask for more?

Hank Weston has decided to retire from the rodeo circuit, as he suffers from moments of amnesia due to old injuries. He moves in with Maia Nitt, who is trying to support her three children by taking in houseguests. Strangely Maia seems so familiar somehow. Her hair, her scent, the feel of her - everything about her is ringing the alarm bells of his pelvic regions. Gradually Hank regains access to his obscured past, as Maia warms to him, admitting that the children are his.

Hank is the man of every dream. He is ruggedly handsome, handy and with a troubled, if glorious, past. And of course he is a wonderful lover, attentive and thoughtful. When realizing the truth, Hank forsakes all his past being to become what he has always dreamed to be: a doting father. Maia has always dreamed of being a wife and mother, but has only managed to fulfill half of her dream. She lives for others, catering to all their needs and wants. Nursing Hank's wilted spirit makes her realize she wants him in more ways than just as a bed mate. She wants him to be the man he was meant to be, the man sent by fate to take care of her, although she is capable of doing so herself.

While some petty readers may harp and carp about the fact that Maia ends up in bed three times with a happy-go-lucky rover (as Hank is a the time) her motivation made perfect sense to me. The reason for foregoing birth control was perfectly logical, especially the two times she sought him out to solve her financial troubles. At the first instance she was a virgin, of course, so that doesn't count.

The poignancy of this read was almost unbearable. The scene where Maia was begging Hank, drunk on bourbon and victory, for money to buy birthday presents for the baby had me sniffling. And when Maia admitted the truth I cried so hard my husband had to go buy me more tissues. The style of writing is crisp, with the focus on the main characters. There are hardly any space wasted on pointless secondary characters or uninteresting descriptions of the surroundings. This makes the read compact and intimate, and easy to squeeze in among the to-do of everyday life. After all, this is a book you want to re-read over and over.

The publisher, Quagga Romance, has found a true gem in Ms Caubuoy. Few authors can create such a vivid and moving story in a series format. Even fewer can do it well. I am certainly hunting down all her backlist, which I am convinced wil l be keepers in their own right. Baby, I Had Your Babies is surely something special, and I wouldn't change one single word of it. Do read it to weep and laugh with Hank, Maia and their secret children.

-- Imnotta Pickisnobbe (aka Katarina Wikholm)

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