A Likely Lass

probably nothing of consequence

Traitor’s Kiss (Bad Romance Novel Reviews)

Hundred words or less: Nara meets Rolfe Daniels, whom she could have SWORN killed her uncles. They go around the world chasing relatives and fighting tigers and narrowly avoiding both death and sex, and manage to piss most everyone off with their constant shallowness.
Pages: 422
Author: Jane Toombs
Year Published: 1990

Complete Summary: So there’s this girl, Nara. Nara is blonde and blue-eyed, and oh-so-pretty. She’s SO pretty, men will fall all over themselves the instant they see her “corn-silk yellow” hair. She lives (of course) in a mansion on the southern coast of England. Conveniently, she falls for a sailor with Green Eyes. She’s off playing hooky one day, and meets him at the beach. They flirt.  She’s a coy little minx gives him the slip and takes off in a sailboat. She sails along for about fifteen minutes, absolutely ELATED that she gave the Love of Her Life the slip. Then- Oh NO! A squall! She tries to turn the boat but FAILS! The boat hits a ROCK! Oh no! 22 pages into the book and you’re already hoping she’ll die.

She doesn’t die. And that’s just the first time she doesn’t die, for four hundred pages.

So. Her boat hits a rock, and she has to swim for it. Conveniently, there’s an island not ten feet away. But her daddy taught her that her evil skirts of doom would drag her under, so of course she strips down to her cheap negligee and swims for it. However, she gets caught in the current and can’t get ashore. She swims for about ten minutes and then gets tired, and starts to “feel faint and cold”. She’s just drifting off into the netherdeeps, about to die, but she doesn’t. Because her sailor who conveniently got to the island in a raging squall, pulls her out of the ocean. They shack up in a, uh, shack, conveniently located on the island, and you think that the flirting might go somewhere! But it doesn’t happen.

Not only are you disappointed by the lack of Nara being hit by an oar or spontaneous gorillas, but you find out that Sailor Boy is really Nara’s Cousin Rolfe Daniels! The shock!

So Rolfe and Nara get rescued magically by the Parent Brigade, who come into the squall of hormones and repressed desire to bring the two hating-yet-yearning lovebirds ashore, to real land. Rolfe is exposed to be a dirty, lying traitor who killed(!) her uncle and a couple of cousins in a boating accident. Nara knows he’s a dirty lying traitor who just wants to inherit the rights to the manor, stealing away her rightful inheritance (which would have come, of course, from her father)! But no one believes her. And she still loves him. Er, hates him.

Nara’s father decides that what the whole family needs is a relative-scouting expedition to India. Her father hires a couple of shady lawyers to come along, and reveals that his son from his first wife might still be alive in India. That means that Rolfe(!) would not inherit the Big Manor on the Cliff and would be penniless! But they all go anyway, to India. On the five day cruise around the horn of Africa and such in the 18th century, her father mysteriously dies in Rolfe’s arms, proving that Rolfe is a no good dirty liar! But no one believes Nara. In fact, in her grief, she almost has sex with Rolfe, after being accosted above-decks by a fat and sassy gentlemen! But she doesn’t, because she’s a no good tease.

And so it goes. More people die, Nara gets kidnapped and someone tries to kill her (YAY!) but death is ever so narrowly avoided by the quick thinking of Rolfe Daniels! Impostors trying to claim the throne to the manor come forward (because only Nara’s father, conveniently, knows what his son looks like), and try to alternately rape or kill Nara, but they are thwarted by the invincible Rolfe Daniels who swoops in to rescue Nara, feels her up in a temple to the War God (trapped as they are because of a fierce and horrific rain storm) and then takes her home in the morning and leaves her there for a few hours. More lawyers come to dupe Nara out of her supposedly impressive inheritance, plotting to kill her, but Nara only gets kidnapped, and sent to a sultan who plans to use her as his Virgin Love Slave. BUT! She conveniently vomits all over him and he sends her away in disgust. She escapes with a priest and a monkey, into the forest where she is attacked by a tiger. Who rescues her but Rolfe Daniels! In an effort to escape the Evil Sultan, Rolfe takes her deep into the forest and washes the vomit off of her in a crystal clear waterfall (I swear I am not making this up). They become clean and obviously desirous of each other, and Nara decides to finally give up her virginity to the virile Rolfe Daniels. Their hips become magically fused together, and “his hardness” slips into “her softness” and I forget what else happens because I fell asleep at that point and drooled all over the book and I can’t make out the letters anymore.

The point is, they finally got it on. But oh no! They’re chased out of the waterfall by a tiger, and chased up a tree! But everyone knows tigers can’t climb trees, so Nara and Rolfe do the most clever thing and have sex in the tree, because, you know, sex makes every situation better. Rolfe lays claim to her (the dirty lying bastard) by saying “Nara you are mine forever.” Of course, they are rescued again by someone, narrowly escaping the Evil Sultan’s goons who want to bring Nara back to the palace for Day Late Virgin Sex with the Sultan (who has conveniently changed his mind about the whole ordeal and thinks that a woman puking all over him is rather sexy). BUT! They are CAPTURED on their way back to port by an evil lawyer who want to kill them and take the treasure manor and Nara’s mother! But they escape when one of those false “sons” of Nara’s father whacks the evil lawyer over the head with an oar, and he drowns. The “son” leaps off the boat and takes off for jolly old England, leaving Rolfe and Nara to follow.

Rolfe of course proposes to Nara,  and they have a beautiful wedding and *gasp* it turns out Rolfe isn’t REALLY a liar and it really was an accident and who knows what the hell happened to the “son” who came to England and Nara feels just wonderful and they make love on the beach some more and thankfully, after four hundred pages of large print and sheer horrificness, it ends with the words, “He was today and tomorrow and forever. All else was the past.” THE END THANK ALL THAT IS HOLY.

By the Numbers:
References to “stolen/misplaced/otherwise lost/about to be lost” virginity: 25
Plot “Twists”: I lost count after 56
Number of Men Lusting After Heroine: 200,000
Number of Men Lusting After Heroine that Heroine Loves: 0
Number of Mary-Sue Incidents: 0
Number of Fights Over Heroine: 5
Times “Fate” Intervened: 29
Times “Fate” Intervened by about 500 miles: 10/29

Overall Grade: F! God this book was HORRIBLE! Don’t EVER READ IT. If you see it, close your eyes and run away. Who cares if you run into anything, it’ll be less painful than reading this book. Holy god, what a literary trainwreck.

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