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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Fool's Gold by Jess Faraday

Fool's Gold by Jess Faraday
Gay Historical Fiction
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626393400
ISBN-13: 978-1626393400
Amazon: Fool's Gold

For once, Ira Adler has it easy. He has money in his pocket, a comfortable arrangement with an undemanding young man, and no one's punched, chased, or shot at him in years. Suddenly, an explosion turns everything upside down.

Eager to leave London, Ira accompanies his friends to America to settle a family matter. But though a handsome lawman and a trip aboard a luxurious ocean liner provide welcome distraction, Ira soon finds himself embroiled in a plot that stretches from London's back alleys to the dusty dirt roads of California. Before he knows it, Ira is up to his neck in train robbers, rattlesnakes, unscrupulous cattle kings, and persistent young women driven to frenzy by his exotic accent.

Just when he's ready to flee back to Britain, Ira gets a fistful of second chances. But London is calling. Will Ira answer? Or will he embrace a new life abroad?


So good - an exciting page turner. Innovative in using both Victorian London and the pioneering days of America. Well drawn - interesting to have a black man in such an important role, but he was just accepted. Quite a lot of characters with in depth relationships between them which gave the book depth. This book was the third in a series, but I didn't find it a problem. It was an exciting and fast moving plot with lots of intricacy, although there was some reliance on coincidence (acknowledged in the story). I liked the adventure taking more time than the relationship. Well written, good description, vocabulary and grammar made for an excellent read.

Taut, intriguing, companionable—three words to describe the reader experience of Fool’s Gold. In this beautifully written story, we find, as we always do, that all that sparkles is not gold. What we lose in the discovery makes Faraday’s theme of what we gain in the recovery all the more satisfying.

I read the series for context before tackling this one as it was on my tbr pile anyway. I found this final book a little less satisfying than the first two - which would have been solid 40s. Maybe the switch of the London characters to the Wild West didn't work, because I never felt the setting fit the characters very well, while well described. However, the main character, Ira Adler, develops throughout this series from a kept boy into a strong, moral, inspirational man.  The side characters are equally as familiar and very well described and fleshed out. The plot slowed a bit midway (only a little), but it was enough to mark it down by a point. I'd happily read anything by Jess Faraday now, however, because ze can obviously write very good historical mystery fiction.

This story started out with a bang, literally!  This period adventure takes place in London, across the ocean to America, and then across the vast lands to California. Ira Adler just wanted a quiet life, but life and the ensuing adventure to accompany his best friends to the Wild West of the U.S., made his life anything but! This tale was one adventure after another--following Ira Adler like a shadow. The story telling never got boring and kept my attention as I quickly turned from page to the next to see what happened next!

Third in series but standalone, maybe fourth book coming? but complete with ending; excellent in all ways possible.


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Tags: rainbow awards 2015
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