Oct 27 2006
Dear Ms. More,
“Allegiance” caught my eye as I’m always looking for a good western and it’s harder and harder to find them in print anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll like to read my opinion of it.
Amy Baker and her brother Jeb are headed downriver to New Orleans on a Mississippi River boat. They plan to sell the furs that Jeb and their now dead father trapped for trade goods to haul to Santa Fe. Along the way they met up with Major Tyler O’Donnell who tries to help Amy get Jeb out of prison after he’s arrested in New Orleans for attempting to prove a gambler was cheating him. Tyler doesn’t have time to help this young woman yet he can’t turn his back on her. When she discovers his plan to buy muskets and transport them to the newly independent Texas to help fight off the Mexicans who want to take parts of it back, she finagles her way in on the deal. After breaking her brother out of jail, they head back to St. Louis, get the of their cargo, hit the long trail across the wild west, fighting their passions all the way.
The style of “Allegiance” is kind of a throw back to the overblown, passion filled 80s meaty historical. Lots of exclamation points, lots of sentences such as, “Never had she seen such a place” “Poor Jeb! She had to rescue him…soon!” “How annoyed Madame Arcenaux had been at first over the request for something to be worn the next day.” Amy’s the type of heroine to charge head long into a situation without thinking or shrug off Tyler’s exasperated attempts to get her to see reason then rely on the him to get her out of trouble. And all Amy really has to do is bat her eyelashes or let her eyes fill with tears (something that happens a lot) and Tyler is ready to charge to her rescue, all the while thinking she’s so persuasive.
She looked from one to the other of them, tears forming in her blue eyes; her voice was almost a whisper. “I have to try once more.”
Houston was right: this girl’s persuasive powers were unrivaled. It was beyond Tyler how any gendarme could resist her plea.
She throws herself at Tyler and gets him to take her virginity while under a wagon on the trail, then gets huffy when he offers marriage because he doesn’t tell her he loves her. She’s then baffled as to why he’s annoyed with her and blames him for playing hot and cold. I skimmed about 25 more pages after this but quickly realized things weren’t going to change and that I might as well pack it in.
“Allegiance” had an interesting time period and plot. I’m just sorry that it didn’t work for me.