I do have favorite romance novels, though the existence of which may be doubted considering the content of this blog. In fact, my favorite ones routinely feature the Plucky-But-Realistic-Heroine, who is usually not born under a favorable sign, or is pretty but not pretty enough, or is handed some plate of crap that she has to deal with in a non-pretty manner. Usually the hero tries to court her and she’s all “Hey, I have to DEAL WITH MY LIFE, please excuse me”, but he doesn’t give up, or maybe he gives up temporarily but he decides that her Complete Awesomeness is too much to live without… which is kind of how I wish my life went, which is the main reason women read romance novels ANYWAY…
But I tackled “Rabbit Heart” this week, because I thought it would be a good book, a quick escape from the drear of my life this week.
It wasn’t. Oh, my god, it wasn’t. Be warned: the following review contains a metric ton of SEX and RABBITS and sometimes these two terms are connected. Not for the faint of heart.
Hundred words or so: Nicollette Caron is every man’s ideal mistress. Pity, then, that all of her lovers die trying to satisfy her insatiable appetite. Forced to flee town after town so that no one will discover her terrible secret, Nicollette is haunted by the ghosts of her dead lovers as England’s top crime inspector circles ever closer (seriously, this is what is on the cover).
Renowned for his tenacity, handsome detective Jackson Lang will stop at nothing to prove that Nicollette is a murderess. Powerful Lord Baston is equally determined…to make Nicollette his mistress despite her breathless warnings. A fortune-teller foresees that only one man is strong enough to save Nicollette. But how will she know which man to trust until it is too late?
Author: Colleen Hitchcock
Year Published: 2006
Nicolette, or “Nicole” as she sometimes goes by, is a no-name noble sexing her way through late-1800s England. At birth, she was raised for a few hours (!!!) by rabbits which has inexplicably given her an incredibly fast heartbeat that can inexplicably make other people die just by being near her if she’s inexplicably sexually aroused by something like a piece of paper or possibly a suggestive looking fruit. She’s also ungodly beautiful, “intelligent”, has gobs and gobs of money, and of course has a calm logical mind (amid the TORRID ORGASMS and UNCONTROLLABLE LUST).
However, she’s on to her thirteenth victim whom she’s killed by her first sexual encounter with them. Not only has she hidden thirteen bodies all over England of men she’s killed in the heat of passion, but she’s haunted by their ghosts who all inexplicably try to have sex with her though they’re dead (because yay, ghost party, like zombies only less NUUUHHH BRAINNSSSS). As she moves into this little town in the south of England, she’s inexplicably confronted with the idea that she wants to stay in that town. Sensibly and logically, she christens the town by screwing the mayor to death, and not-really hiding his body on the banks of the river.
Meanwhile, the richest and most elegant and DASTARDLY noble in the land, Lord Baston, is having sex with a deaf-mute in 5426758943 different positions all at once (seriously, I am not even kidding. I am pretty positive I picked this book up out of the “romance” section, not the “halfhearted erotica” section).
The town’s hotelier, Miriam, really loved the mayor named Frederick, but is inexplicably taken with Nicolette (my auto-correct keeps wanting me to type Nicorette so excuse me if it happens) and wants to be her bestest friend evar. Since Frederick is “missing” (i.e., his body is on the riverbank sprinkled with pretty flowers, sporting a ginormous erection, yes, seriously), Miriam convinces Nicolette to go to a seer to try to find Frederick (instead of logically searching the river banks where he said he’d be fishing). The Seer sees Nicolette and calls her into her cave where there are bones and candles and all that seer-like stuff there. Of course, she knows all about Nicolette and her string of dead lovers, but promises to keep mum as long as Nicolette “finds the one meant to be”. She doesn’t say anything about Frederick**, really, but with a bisectioned head and multiple personalities, what can you really expect?
So anyway, despite Miriam’s apparent weeping and sadness, they dress up and go to a ball where, inexplicably, Lord Baston has arrived (sans deaf-mute). There is discussion of cleavage for awhile, then Nicholette dances with every man in the room and makes every man’s pants “tighten” and “ready for love” . There is a fight over her between Lord Baston and one of her suitors, where naturally she uses her logic to scream “No, stop it!” and stand aside. This is, of course, the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to the town, outside of some earthquakes and three headed cows and that stuff.
Lord Baston decides he’s going to court Nicolette. Meanwhile, she’s slept with another gentleman and killed him in a carriage with her ORGASMS OF DOOM, which was an accident, but oh well. So logically she stays in town and accepts her suitor’s invitation to dinner, though by now everyone’s seen the mayor’s body sprinkled with flowers and put 1 and 14 million together, though no one really cares for some reason. Nicolette’s trusty servant, Marie, has inexplicably arrived by invisible plane to chaparone her mistress.
During dinner, the deaf-mute (who was hooked on cocaine) inexplicably bursts into the room, bedraggled, weeping, crying and trying to hug Lord Baston for god knows what reason, it’s never really explained. She is taken away by a servant. Conversation continues as normal (invisible mute!) with the horde of townspeople Lord Baston has inexplicably invited to his private dinner. Nicolette inexplicably falls in love with him, while inexplicably counting to herself, one plus one is two, two plus two is four, two plus one is three… go away, voyeur! because she is an insane rabbit woman, and maybe that’s what rabbits think.
Meanwhile! there is a (handsome, charming, rich) detective hot on Nicolette’s trail of murders and evil sluttitude. He’s determined to expose her now that she’s inexplicably killed men and left them with their John Thomas saluting the sky (for SHAME!!).
The next day, Nicolette is asked to view Frederick’s corpse by the town doctor. He inexplicably knows about her “condition” with the heart thing though he’s never met her or heard of her and simply by standing next to her he gets dizzy (I personally think that may be her body odor as she inexplicably bathes only once in the entire book). Later, he gets drunk with the detectives and tells them all about “Miss Tweeter’s Thing” which is inexplicably left up to the imagination of the reader. Of course, Jackson Lang, the detective, puts 15 billion and 15 billion together and comes up with a nice sum, so he goes to arrest Nicolette Caron.
…who has gone out on a carriage ride with Lord Baston but he inexplicably knows about the detectives coming to arrest her and intends to spirit her away. Inexplicably, Lord Baston’s servant has fallen in love with Marie for some reason, though it’s unknown why this is important. There is a ferry involved in their “escape”, the deaf-mute inexplicably turns up again and handily drowns, and oddly enough they have to “swim for it” even though they’re on a damn ferry and it’s not like the detective can exactly come swooping in riding a helicopter or something. However, justice does prevail and Nicolette is arrested for sexual perversions and being a crazy rabbit woman.
Of course, she goes to jail and is scheduled to have her head cut off by the inexplicable guillotine, which inexplicably is in ENGLAND and not FRANCE. In a twist that no one could ever expect, her guards attempt to sexually assault her but die in the process, again because of her MASSIVE UNBELIEVABLE ORGASMS OF RABBIT DOOM!!! She writes Lord Baston passionate love-letters and knits the straw of her cell into animal shapes for companionship. There’s a trial, at which evidence is presented that Nicolette just can’t help killing people, but inexplicably its dismissed.
Of course, as Nicolette is led to be killed, she escapes and chaos breaks loose. Inexplicably, one of the townspeople is up on the castle wall (doing what I just can’t imagine) and sees her trying to escape. Inexplicably, it is the detective who was trying to have her killed who is helping her escape. Events unfold rapidly like invisible coffee tables and are thrown about and knock people on the head until it is accepted that Nicolette has died as she flung herself into the sea (really, it was just her dress weighted with rocks) and nothing is ever recovered of her, inexplicably. Lord Baston and Nicolette escape to America and live there after a couple of weeks at sea (invisible spaceship!) happily ever after, presumably having sex in 2039478327543 positions all at once, like he says he likes it. Inexplicably, he doesn’t die from her RABBIT ORGASMS OF DEATH, possibly because he is also a rabbit. It doesn’t say if she has 27000 children because of her rabbit like tendencies, either, which is disappointing.
*Who is homely-looking, as all good servants should be.
**Plot!Device, if you were wondering.
Reviewer’s Notes: This book is just… inexplicable! Full of deaf-mute death and crazy nobles, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s been hit about the head with a cement cudgel and can wrap their 2 brain cells they have left to bang together around the inexplicable plot twists and loose erotica threaded together by the hairy underarms of Justice.
By the Numbers:
“Love” Scenes: 8
References to stolen/misplaced/otherwise lost virginity: -10. There are no virgins in this book. 0. That makes less than one virgin.
Plot “Twists”: Divided into two categories: Outrageously unclever: 10, Inexlicably inexplicable: 45.
Number of Men Lusting After the Heroine: 4 towns worth, an entire jail worth, plus a handful, I suppose.
Number of Mary Sue Incidents: 1
Number of Fights/All Out Wars over the Heroine: 2
Times “Fate” Intervened: 8 times, not including Saved By Rabbits.
Times “Fate” Intervened by 500 or more miles: 2/8
References to the supposed love-book “777”: 15000
Overall Grade: D-. This book needs more deaf-mute.