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~The Hero's Best Friend~

by Elise Dee Beraru

      Heroine:  plump, classically pear-shaped

    Hero: tall and heavyset

    Brilliant, bespectacled Sam Blake has had it with the wandering life of a Range detective.  Tired of being overlooked and underappreciated by clients in favor of his smaller, more heroic-looking partner Clint Randolph, Sam comes to the decision that their next job is to be the last; that he'll find a piece of land and settle down to live in quiet solitude.

  Convinced that his size and build have pre-destined him to a life lived alone, Sam is stunned when he rides into Rincon, TX and wins the favor of the town's bright, plump school marm Prudence Hofheinz.  Though he is amazed by their compatibility in and out of the bedroom, the drifter's low-self esteem prevents him from believing that Pru truly cares for him.   Just as the sleuth is wrapping up his final case, a tragic accident occurs and Sam disappears into the night persuaded that the love of his life would be better off without a crippled man to care for.  Can Pru track Sam down, prove her love for him, and heal his many hurts?

   What worked for me:

     It was truly refreshing to read a story in which both the hero and his lady are plus-sized, and I particularly liked the fact that the other "perfect" looking characters did not have storybook lives.

    What didn't work for me:

     I felt that the fat phobia experienced by the main characters was too modern a sentiment for a time period when a lady of Lillian Russell's proportions was considered the height of womanliness.  I thought that Pru's mere plumpness garnered far too many harsh comments in light of that fact.  And as far as Sam goes, he didn't really come across as being particularly corpulent to me.  At a towering 6'5" I imagine he would have worn his 275 lbs quite handsomely. 

     That said, I do understand that the author seemed to be making a point about how very skewed self-perception can be, and how projecting our low self-worth can cause others to see us in the same poor light.  Still, I think it is too bad that a book which had such a unique beginning changed tunes in the middle to become a "slim-butterfly-from-a cocoon-of-fat" story. 

Overall:

    Though "The Hero's Best Friend" was unevenly-written with some sections feeling more polished than others, it still had many thoroughly enjoyable passages and an interesting plot.  Fans of Western Historicals might like this one, but it may not be popular with readers who are uncomfortable with steamy sex scenes, coarse language, or weight-loss stories.

If you liked "The Hero's Best Friend" you might also enjoy "Wishes", "The Bride of Willow Creek", "Beckett's Birthright", "A Country Christmas", "No Ordinary Princess", "The Bluebird and the Sparrow",  or "Land of Dreams".

Have you read this book and have a comment to make on it? Join a discussion about the book at the Dangerous Curves forum or submit a review to this website

 

Good-bye, Mom.

I love you and will miss you forever.

 

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