Review: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Jeanne Laws

Review by Alex Beecroft

Kade Black Eagle is a bounty hunter in the Wild West.  When he is shot by the man he’s pursuing, his one regret is that he never told his old friend, Warren (Ren) Hayes that he loved him.  When Kade unexpectedly recovers, therefore, he decides to finally take the chance of telling Ren, hoping that he feels the same.

The blurb on the book is a great deal more informative than this short summary of mine.  It says: Best friends since childhood, Warren Hayes and Kade Black Eagle worked together as bounty hunters in lawless gold country until Ren quit a year ago. Since then the job hasn’t been the same for Kade. While he had long ago resigned himself to living without Ren’s love, he never thought he would have to do without his companionship.

Having grown up in a brothel, Ren has seen all of the ways sex can destroy. He has no intention of screwing up his relationship with Kade by bring sex into the picture – no matter how much he is in love with his friend. He thought ending their partnership would make dealing with his feelings for Kade easier; he has found entirely the opposite to be
true. The longer he is away from Kade, the more he realizes that there’s no way he can be without him.

But the book itself explores none of these themes.  The two main characters’ backgrounds and motivations (Ren’s in particular) are introduced in throwaway sentences that have no real impact on the way the plot plays out.  There’s never any real doubt shown on either character’s part.

Despite Kade being a bounty hunter and Ren being a star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, I had no real feeling that the story had to have been set in the past.  Make Kade a cop and Ren a rodeo rider, and you would have exactly the same story.  Oh, and the happy acceptance of their relationship by Kade’s mother and Ren’s masseuse (had sports massage even been invented then?) also contributed to the un-historical feeling.

As someone who likes historicals, I was a bit disappointed that the history was just window-dressing.  But if I take the book as a simple tale of how Kade, spared from death, finds Ren, they declare their love for each other and then have fairly protracted and reasonably hot sex, it’s a pleasant enough, undemanding read.  I do have to congratulate the author for the twist at the end, though!  I didn’t see that coming, and it was a really good touch.

Buy from Loose-ID

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