Monday, January 3, 2011

Range War Bride: The Iliad meets Handmaid's Tale with Horses and Lasers

One of the surprising things about owning a Barnes and Noble Nook is the wide range of tawdry western e-books that are available.  Gay, straight, threesomes, foursomes, moresomes, there are hundreds of them available with a wide range of sexual geometry.  I came across Range War Bride by Lara Santiago, which was described as Erotic Futuristic Cowboy Multiple Partner Romance.  How could I go wrong?  Oh boy.

Range War Bride takes place at the end of the 21st century, when a plague has made most women infertile.  A fertile bride is a prize worth fighting for, which takes us to this odd mix of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Iliad, and Firefly.  Most of the plot is over one set of brothers fighting over their right to marry the heroine instead of the cousins who run the neighboring ranch.  Yes, apparently in this future every fertile woman has to have at least two husbands, and everyone must have sex all in a big pile.  Tastefully, brother / brother incest was not included in this one. 

Sounds like time for a big showdown, right?  The book opens up with cowboys riding fence along some high-tech electric barrier, ready to face off with the neighboring ranch hands using pulse rifles, laser pistols, and sonic grenades.  Mind you they are all still on horses, which only makes sense in a Joss Whedon television show.   But instead most of the action takes place with the lawyers discussing the intricacies of future fertility and marriage laws. 

Oh, and there is some sex, which from the cover appeared to be the purpose of the book, but it wasn’t particularly memorable besides the ick factor of the brothers.  Hardly a western, I’m afraid.  I’m sure someone was waiting for a book like Range War Bride to come along, but it wasn’t me.

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