Barbarian’s Lady, the fourteenth and newest entry in Ruby Dixon’s Ice Planet Barbarians series (Amazon), is on the lighter side of life on Not-Hoth. The heroine, Kate, is tall for a human woman, and muscular, and feels awkward and unsure of herself. Add in the fact that she was the object of teasing and bullying on Earth, and the usual cruel stunts in high school where a hunky athlete would pretend interest in her only so he could laugh at her later with his buddies, and the reader can see why she’s suspicious and touchy when anyone shows interest in her. Herrec, the blue barbarian in question, delights in teasing her and sparring with her and unfortunately in the early going makes remarks he thinks are funny but which hit Kate in the most sensitive parts of her wounded self. Comparing her to a mountain may not have been his smoothest opening line, you know?
Well-meaning friends try to explain to Herrec that he’s pushing too hard. “People two galaxies over can tell you’re interested,” as Mah-dee says. She attempts to suggest he back off a bit and give Kate room to breathe. He takes it that he needs to provide Kate with a challenge, instead of trying to make her laugh and appreciate him. Uh oh, anyone else see disaster looming ahead? Herrec is also endearingly clumsy, which isn’t good when you’re a seven foot tall warrior out for a walk on a glacier with the object of your affections.