Wanted Man Mass Market Paperback – Jul 8 2004
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About the Author
A former science geek, Susan Kay Law turned to romancewriting as a career because it was the perfect excuse to avoid housework and continue spending all her time doing what she really loved: reading and daydreaming. Also because she was really bad at sitting in a swamp at 5 A.M. inforty-degree weather and tracking bird behavior.
Winner of the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and a Waldenbooks Bestseller award, twice nominated for a RITA Award, she confesses that the biggest surprise of her career was when this small town Midwestern preacher's kid was named to New Woman magazine's list of "the steamiestwriters of women's fiction." Her greatest joy, however, is spending her days thoroughly outnumbered by four of the best males on the planet -- her husband and three sons. She currently lives in Minnesota, and plans to be a ski bum in her next life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Sam Duncan was both a soldier and prisoner of the Civil War. Hardened from being held as a POW, he becomes a man for hire when the war ends. Now, at 37, he has no ties except the one soldier, Griff Judah, who was with him in captivity. Griff has has been captured under mysterious circumstances by an associate of Laura's father.
Sam tries to find out what is going on only to be thwarted at the first chance. He realizes that he must come up with another plan. Claiming to be a bodyguard hired by her father, Sam intends to be near Laura only long enough to visit the Silver Spur ranch where his friend is being held. Sam soon finds out how much protection Laura's caretakers bestow on her.
A heartwarming romance, A WANTED MAN is the story of one man's journey to redeem himself. A secondary story between one of the bodyguards and Laura's guardian only adds to the plot. In each of their own ways, Sam and Laura have had a hard life. The give and take struggle between our hero and heroine empowers them to grow closer. They deserve love and finally find it with each other.
"A Wanted Man" started out very slowly and I wasnt sure if I was going to be able to read it to its finish, but it eventually picked up its pace and its characters became more enjoyable and well fleshed out as the story deepened. This is by no means a book that I would consider a keeper, but it was a fun book that I am glad I read.
Sam Duncan had fought in the war and he and a friend had been confined at Andersonville Prison for several months. As punishment for an unsuccessful escape attempt, both Sam and Griff were kept in "the hole". This hole was dark and cold and they were fed only sporadically and were seldom given any water to drink. As a result of the months kept in the hole Sam has an almost pathological fear of small, dark spaces.
Sam had received a letter from Griff who seemed to be very excited about his new job working at the Silver Spur Ranch, a highly successful silver mine and then for some reason Sam never heard from him again. When Sam saw in the newspaper that Miss Laura Hamilton is on her way to the Ranch in order to paint the surrounding countryside, he decides to attach himself to her retinue so no one will suspect that he is really there to see if he can find out what happened to Griff.
I would have to agree with the reviewer who said that she thought the ending was too hurried and everything was resolved too quickly. However, I enjoyed seeing how this story unfolded and how the relationship developed between Sam and Laura. I found them to be two of the most likable characters I have read about in quite a while and I really enjoyed this book.
I'm not sure if this holds true for the paperback, but the kindle version flips point of view without notice throughout the book, very disconcerting. There isn't even space between the last paragraph and the new perspective, making it hard to follow. The new perspective never starts with the person's name, i.e. "Sam thought about that cold, dark cave...," instead you have to wade fairly far into the next paragraph to know who's talking.
The book is not clean, there are a few bad words, and the Lord's name taken in vain at least once. There are intimate scenes, but they pop up in odd places and seem out of character.