My Hero
by Glynnis Campbell
(Jove, $6.50, PG) ISBN 0-515-13333-7
My Hero is the third of the de Ware Knights stories. It is unfortunate, but the heroine and the hero are both weak, whiny people. Hence, you have a book that is tiresome and the opposite of compelling. Ah, you get the picture.

This long story has a pretty brief plotline. Cynthia le Wyte, widow to the master of the Wendeville manse, is a healer. The twist here is that she rubs her hands together and as she lays her hand on the sick person, she gains a vision as to what herb to use to cure them. Sometimes, she sees their death or some other future event.

Garth de Ware has turned to the religious life and has been assigned as the new chaplain/priest to Cynthia’s estate. It seems that Garth met up with a nasty nymphomaniac who was able to convince him he was not “Man Enough” for her. He took her to heart and decided the church was the only place for him. The old chaplain hates Cynthia because he thinks she convinced her late husband to lessen the chaplain’s earthly reward, giving him a lowly, rundown manor rather than the riches he had hoped to receive.

Due to having met Garth when they were both children, Cynthia decides that Garth is not meant to be a priest, but should be a husband and father. She sets out to convert him to see his “true self”. The fact that she lusts after him has nothing to do with it. Her kind heart just makes her need to do this.

So, we have a tortured Garth, trying to deal with his “sinful” feelings of lust for women, a kindhearted Cynthia going about tempting him (in her own innocent way) while healing everyone of a dreaded plague, and the Abbot trying to gather evidence to get Cynthia branded a witch so he can inherit the keep.

I had to force myself to keep trudging through this, chapter after chapter. First the two recognized their feelings, and then they denied them. Cynthia sacrificed for Garth, and then Garth decided to sacrifice for her. This went on and on and on. Both whined their way through the story, lamenting the difficulty of their lives. Yet the people loved them.

The Abbot would pop up every few chapters, using his spies and feeding them lies of everlasting life and doing God’s duty. He even allowed one woman to perform oral sex on him as her reward. Of course she thought he was sharing a bit of God with her. Talk about a truly dim-witted peasant.

The angst in the writing was overdone. The self-sacrificing by Cynthia and the ridiculous lack of control from Garth occurred much more often than I could handle. A sampling:

[Garth] fought that lusting animal before and won, just barely. But it had grown since then into a snarling, raging beast, blotting out the quiet voice of reason.

Never had she lost control like that…She’d completely neglected Garth. She should have helped him find fulfillment. It was her duty.

There is an attempt at humor, if one could call it that, when they finally consummate their relationship. Cynthia, having never experienced an orgasm, thinks she has sinned when she had one. Garth, thinking she should be having more than one if he is really a man, is sickened when she turns from him after just one. How silly a misunderstanding can we get here?

Finally, we have the Abbot carrying out his threat and having Cynthia arrested. The rescue by Garth’s brothers and sisters-in-law is grand. If the whole book had been as fun as these 25 pages, I would be writing a much different review.

My Hero is a poor ending to the series of the de Ware brothers. Save your money and leave Cynthia and Garth in the Middle Ages.

-- Shirley Lyons

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