Iris, by Leigh Greenwood (Seven Brides #3)

>> Friday, June 27, 2003

In spite of the fact that I didn't like Fern, the second installment in Leigh Greenwood's Seven Brides series, I read # 3, Iris. I didn't like it much either: it gets a C- from me:

Monty Randolph plans to take a herd to Wyoming. He means to start a ranch for the family and one for himself so he can get out from under the irritating and watchful eye of his older brother, George. He's determined that nothing will stop him from succeeding, especially his neighbor, Iris Richmond, who wants him to take her herd to Wyoming along with his. The last thing he needs is a southern belle, steeped in flirting and vanity, on the filthy, exhausting trek over a thousand miles of dangerous, unsettled country. Her kind is strictly for looking at, not for buying. Neither does he need double the cows and double the responsibility. He already as three brothers along to worry about.

Iris Richmond has nothing left of her father's fortune but a herd of cows. And if she doesn't get them to Wyoming, rustlers are going to take that. When Monty refuses to take her along, she puts her herd on the trail ahead of him and mixes the herds together. The continual danger of stampedes, rustlers, and Indian attacks drive the couple together, forming a relationship neither welcomes nor is able to deny. Beset by a thieving foreman and a long lost brother, Monty is the only person Iris can trust. And she means to trust him whether he likes it or not.
Like in Fern, these people make no sense. I was fascinated by the setting and the info about the cattle drive, otherwise, this would have been a D. The book was worth slogging through just for Greenwood's research, but as a romance it was a failure.

The romance was stupid. Iris was stupid, feisty and stubborn and made nonsensical decisions just to further the plot. Monty would have been an interesting character, but his characterization had the same flaw.

The worst part was the end, when a sexist "feel" seemed to take over, with Iris meeting a widow named Betty and realizing she (Iris, that is) wasn't "what a woman should be" i.e. she didn't do all those housewifely things to please men. Blech!

The suspense subplot was even worse, though. It was boring and perfunctory, and I ended up skimming the last 30 pages.

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