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TO LOVE AND TO CONQUER by Joyce Verrette



Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 1984
Publisher: Dell

In this goopy 16th-century romance, a young Spanish woman is brought to Peru--where the conquistadors (""the dregs of our society"") are doing their worst to the Incas . . . one of whom will cause ""little fires to spread along her nerves."" Beautiful, golden-haired Rianna Alava has had a dreadful time of it in her native Madrid: parents burnt at the Inquisition stake, two brothers and a sister killed--all (unbeknownst to Rianna) the dirty work of aristocrat Alonso Falla, supposed friend of Rianna's dead brother Francisco. (Francisco, a cavalier with the invading Spanish forces in Peru, came home revolted by Spanish cruelty, full of admiration for the noble Incas and their culture.) So now Rianna is brought to Peru by Alonso, who's less interested in her than in the gold Francisco had talked about. In Cuzco Rianna pleads for the life of an Indian woman who becomes her maid--and turns out to be none other than Queen Coraquenque, wife of King Manco Capac, who's hiding out with his followers in the outpost of Machu Picchu. Then, disguised, the King and his general Salikuchima come to Cuzco: Rianna and ""Shali"" ignite in passion--while conquistadors are knocking each other off and being beastly to Incas. Still, Rianna and Shali find ways to share the lustful thunderbolts and shorted fuses of verbose passion; learning the truth about Alonso, Rianna stabs him and disappears into the jungle. But Coraquenque, after explaining in Spanish to Rianna's horse that they must find Rianna, rescues her--after which there'll be a dangerous mission, happy news from Madrid, and Rianna's commitment to cross-cultural True Love: ""The magnitude of the emotions rising in Shali was a radiance that burst into his eye."" Estupido.