'You stupid ass! Let go of me'. Yes, dear reader, Major Helen Prescott is one tough cookie. 'Wrap your legs around my waist.' Ooh, and yes, yes, Captain Rafe Santiago is so sensual. I forgot to mention, both are 'free-falling' right now through space and are in mortal combat with their faulty parachutes, dropping like lead weights. Why and where are they going you ask? Well, they were on a parachute exercise with the United States military, but something went terribly wrong, so fate intervened and now these two extraordinary characters in Sandra Hillís, Desperado are going on a little trip to the nineteenth century, of course. But, hey, after all they will be just in time to pan for a little gold. Whatís the problem with that?
Stop, you say? The hanky-panky canít start now, not when they've had only three minutes before landing! Yes, Rafe didnít have time to argue with 'a stubborn, born-to-boss female,' much less make a move on Helen, youíd think. But Helen, who is no dummy, quickly wraps her legs around Rafeís waist, exactly as he directed. Ah, and once Rafe put his palm under Helenís buttocks, he smiles and blossoms. What? Yes, right again, dear reader Rafe blossoms into a full-blown erection! So, I guess the hanky-panky has begun. For Rafe itís even more exhilarating as he arranges Helen flush against his arousal, and idly wonders if anyone has ever done it while free-falling.
Under normal circumstances Helen Prescott has her act together. But somehow whenever she comes into contact with Rafe she loses all of her composure. And Rafe, an attorney in civilian life, now serving his time in the National Guard Special Forces to pay back college loans and insurmountable bills, did too. Rafe has secretly carried a torch for Helen, since they had attended college together twelve years ago. Helen, however, an officer in the Army, has been engaged for the past three years and to put it mildly, doesnít seem at all interested in Rafe. Especially right at this moment. She promises him if they survive, heís dead meat.
They do survive and believe me Rafeís meat is far from dead. Once these two truly grasp the fact that they have landed in the year 1850 all the real fun begins. I mean, it is laugh-out-loud, put the book down and wipe your eye merriment.
They soon meet up with a loony bunch of bandits who mistake Helen for the famous prostitute Elena, who specializes in the art of 'corkscrewing.' And they mistake Rafe, for Elenaís lover and dangerous Mexican desperadoóthe Angel. Some of the escapades Rafe and Helen will encounter while making their way back to the future are just hysterical. Sandra Hill, is the absolute Queen of comedy (in my book anyway), no one can write page after page of dialogue, in cadence with the characters and maintain the comedic edge like she can. I sometimes wonder where she comes up with this stuff. I can only determine that what we love so much about her writing is the very fact that we will never figure it out. And that, is the mark of a true genius.