Review: In Bear Country II Barbary Coast by Kiernan Kelly

Bear and Pride are leaving their home in the mountains, at least for a little while. Pride dreams of visiting the Pacific Ocean, so they’re off to the Barbary Coast, ready to see San Francisco. While taking on provisions in Denver, they meet a man named Beckett who asks them to go on something of a quest while they’re on their trip. He wants their help to find a missing young man named Jackson Dower.

Their search will take them across the prairie and the desert, to the most infamous city in the country. Danger lurks around every corner for Pride and Bear. The past catches up to them, Jackson poses more problems than they really wanted to take on, and Pride ends up wondering if he’ll ever be able to see that ocean he’s dreamed of for so long. Their journey will test their mettle, and their love. Can Bear and Pride survive their adventure? Find out in Kiernan Kelly’s sequel to In Bear Country!

Review by Erastes

I really enjoyed “In Bear Country” and had been looking forward to reading this sequel, and I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed. It takes the story and character from the first book and throws them into a wider scenario, making more of the adventure of the wild west than the first book did.

These are men, make no mistake about it–true, they are very affectionate around each other when they think no-one’s watching or listening (it does my big soppy heart good to hear Bear, a real huge bear of a man call Pride “darlin'” for example) but they come across as onery, horny, ordinary historical men.  The dialogue is impressive and sparkling, never extra unnecessary – and the segments between Pride and Bear particularly, are wonderful. Tender and practical by turns–and sometimes hilariously funny which is something often missing in books.

Any good historical – to me – is one that piques my interest, teaches me something I didn’t know, or inspires me to go and learn more about something. Barbary Coast did this in several points, most notably about the Navajo nádleeh. Not a term I’d heard before so I had a rummage around and found some reference sites. Don’t get me wrong, this book doesn’t batter you over the head with historical facts, but perfectly creates situations where the author shows she knows what she’s talking about.

It’s hard to pick one side of this book that I like more than any other – because it’s beautifully balanced.  The characters are excellently drawn, the descriptive text does exactly what it needs to do. There is conflict, adventure, well rounded cameos and a real sense of place and time. Not much else I can say without spoiling it further, so just go and buy it. Highly Recommended.

Buy the book: Torquere Press (ebook) Torquere Press (print)

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