Lovely characters, nice romance, what's not to like.
|Old Town of Fairplay, Colorado|
Some readers might find it slow. I didn't, but I'll admit that it took me longer to read than two 55,000 word books back to back would have taken. Part of that is that Goodman's prose is so languorous that it made my mind wander. Also, whatever that have-to-read-another-page-to-see-what-happens-next quality is called (the quality that thrillers and romantic suspense novels absolutely have to have), NLAL doesn't have it. With the exception of the last 75 pages or so, you can put this book down comfortable in the knowledge that Wyatt and Rachel will keep themselves amused until you get back.
Even the shifts between the hero's, heroine's and secondary characters' POVs are subtle and unheralded. Rachel is kissing Wyatt when all of a sudden Wyatt is getting kissed. (Is that head-hopping? I no longer know.) It doesn't hamper the characterizations at all; the townsfolk are all quite colorful and engaging companions and it's not hard to work out what Rachel and then Wyatt and then Rachel again are thinking.
|Mining Spoils near Fairplay, Colorado|
To recap: Great story. Good book. And that's the difference between me-qua-reader and me-qua-aspiring writer. If you're a reader and you like Westerns, you've already read it. If you're a student of romance novels, Goodman's style might please you, bother you, or just hamper the charm of the story a bit.
(Oh, one last thing. It's a great title -- Never Love a Lawman -- but completely misleading. There isn't a page in this book where a reasonable reader could think, "Rachel's right not to love that man...")