From the inside front:
An outlaw passion...
The pampered daughter of a wealthy tycoon, Laura Hamilton has never been allowed to spread her wings...until now. Embarking on a transcontinental railroad, the sheltered young lady intends to enjoy her grand tour and her new freedom. But her adventure only truly begins when a dangerous man boards her train...
The ravages of war hardened Sam Duncan, and now the only person he cares about has vanished behind the heavily guarded gates of the Silver Spur Ranch. Claiming to be a bodyguard hired by her father, Sam intends to stick close to Laura only long enough to gain entrance to the fabled spread where Laura plans to visit a powerful family friend. But the handsome gunslinger is getting too close. And it's getting harder by the mile to keep his mind--and his hands--off the surprisingly passionate young heiress. Yet how long can he let this sweet madness continue when the only thing they have in common is this overwhelming need for each other?
And my review:
Argh! What's happening to Susan Kay Law? After reading the delightful MARRY ME and the enjoyable THE BAD MAN'S BRIDE, I put her firmly on my auto-buy list. Even after A WEDDING STORY, the rather disappointing conclusion to the "Marrying Miss Bright" series, I continued to buy her books, expecting an enjoyable, witty read with well-drawn characters. Well, with each additional book I read, I've become more and more disappointed, and she's fast falling off that auto-buy list!
At first, A WANTED MAN was just lovely. I enjoyed the slower pace, with the great attention to character development. I felt that I was really getting to know who these people were. Sure, there was an intrigue storyline, but it was in the background, more alluded to than really developed.
But then the author decided to change horses midstream. She tossed the romance plot on to the back burner (far, far back there) and developed only the intrigue/suspense. All character development pretty much ceased at this point. Unfortunately, since the missing man that the hero is looking for is never met by the reader (and his character only very briefly sketched), I had a hard time caring what happened to him. He was just such a non-person to me that I was really annoyed that his story was overwhelming the romance.
I read romance for the struggles of a developing romantic relationship. While I enjoy suspence and action in romance, I like the main focus of the novel to be on the love story. That's why I liked MARRY ME and THE BAD MAN'S BRIDE so much. They had secondary plot lines, but they were just that: secondary. The second half of the book felt pretty much devoid of romance (yes, even with the requisite love scenes). After such an enjoyable beginning, the ending was a real let-down.
I still have one more book by Susan Kay Law on my "to be read" bookshelf, but if she doesn't redeem herself there, I won't be buying any more of her books. Since the enjoyable MARRY ME, her quality has started to go downhill--I'm not about to spend my money taking the trip with her.
I would not recommend this, not unless you're a hard-core fan of this author. And even if you are, I would still recommend that you consider borrowing this one from the library before you spend your money.