The Enemy's Daughter
Well, well, well – so Simon the terrorist in The Year of Loving Dangerously mini-series didn’t just spring up as a full blown baddie out of nowhere. About 30 odd years ago, Simon was known as Art Meldrum. He lived in Australia, married and had a daughter, Lise Meldrum. Art/Simon’s wife died when Lise was young and she runs the family business, a cattle station deep in the Australian outback. Simon is seldom at the station and Lise runs it with a crew of loyal cowboys who treat her like one of the gang. One day, a new hand comes in to work for Lise – Steve Trace, who is really Russell Devane, a SPEAR operative.
SPEAR has found out about Simon’s early life and that he sometimes comes to the cattle station. They send Russell in to do some covert work, snooping around on the station and in the computers to see what Simon is up to.
Lise and Russell both clash and connect immediately. Clash, because he pulls a macho man saving the female from danger act when a horse goes a bit wild in the corral while Lise is trying to catch it. Lise is perfectly able to save herself – she does run a cattle station after all – but they connect when Russell constantly flirts with her and treats her like a woman instead of an Aussie mate. Lise is so used to being one of the boys that she is pleased when Russell gets all upset when a man starts to tell Lise a locker room joke – she’s not used to being treated like a lady. Lise is also secretly glad that Russell is a lot taller then she is since she is almost 6 feet tall and would love to be petite and delicate like her late mother.
Russell is rather burnt out by the spy business – he’s tired and frustrated, but since this Australian lead on Simon is the best one SPEAR has had for a long time, Russell goes along with it not expecting to fall in love with Lise.
There is nothing particularly outstanding about The Enemy’s Daughter. Both Russell and Lise are perfectly fine, but perfectly bland characters. I never got angry at them. They never did anything dumb or acted TSTL, but they are not at all memorable either. Lise does obsess a bit about her height – sometimes she thinks that if she were little and cute like her dead mother, her father would not have left her. She obsessed about her height until I got this close to losing my patience, but thankfully, she eventually stopped. Lise is kind, competent and trustworthy, but I can’t really say much else about her. Russell is just bland. He used to work on a farm and during this assignment, he finds himself enjoying the ranch work and thinking about working like this permanently – but he didn’t have any characteristics to make him stand out from the crowd. He isn’t arrogant, he isn’t tortured, he isn’t obsessed. He’s just there and that’s about it.
There is some action toward the end of The Enemy’s Daughter, and thank goodness it does not take place offstage, as has happened in most of the previous titles in this series. Instead of meeting Simon only through cryptic messages, we get to meet him face to face and he proves himself to be totally despicable. All ends happily for Russell and Lise, but not for SPEAR – Simon gets away from them again.
The last chapter introduces the lead characters in the next book of the series which is titled The Way We Wed. It looks like it is going to be a younger man, older woman story. I haven’t read one of those in a while – might be interesting. I’ll see you next month – stay tuned.