The Wanderer

Jan Irving
The Wanderer
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Release Date
September 2010
Historical Romance, LGBTQ, Western Romance

Doctor Jude Evans has built a safe but barren life for himself in a small western town where he pours all his passion into caring for his patients while hiding his secret yearning to love another man. Gabriel Fontenot is a drifter who is handy with a gun, prospecting for gold and trying to forget the night the letter “O” was carved into his hip. Suffering from hard living, he is cared for by Jude, but Gabriel is aroused by Jude’s gentle touch and offers to service the innocent doctor.

But Jude has other problems. A reformer in a small town reluctant to change, he is targeted by David Smith, a wealthy and dangerous landowner. Gabriel vows to protect shy Jude, becoming a reluctant guardian angel who helps to keep the doctor safe. But what will it take for Jude to finally feel free to give himself completely to his beloved gunfighter?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations some readers may find objectionable: Domination/submission, male/male sexual practices.

Book Review by Celine
Oct 12, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
267 people found the following review helpful
The Wanderer has something that other books only pretend to offer. It has a perfect balance--between characters that feel like real people, action and suspense, romance and last but not least, sex. It is one of the best books in this genre I have ever read.

Jude is a doctor in a small town, Sylvan, somewhere in Western USA, after the Civil War. He has a little clinic where he takes care of his patients and the occasional ill farm animal. Then, one day, a stranger comes into town. Gabriel, a gunslinger, is hurt, and seeking medical attention. But there is something growing deeper between him and Jude than a mere patient-doctor relationship. This sets into motion a series of events that turn the whole town upside down.

There are a lot of books out there that use a time period as a mere stage for their characters to act on. Ms Irving, however, embraces this certain time, and creates a historic feel, that amplify the small town atmosphere. You really believe the characters actually lived then, and that they're not just planted there for convenience. Much thought has been put into the setting, which gives the story a certain credibility.

The thing that most touched me was the strength of Jan Irving’s characters. At first, I tried to label them, put them in a box, so I could place them. But I just could not make sense of them. They were not stereotypical. There was no box that would fit Doctor Jude, or the little blind boy Mouse. And I think this is one of the best parts of this book. The characters are special, they have a personality, they are individuals. You feel their pain, their happiness, their despair.

This story has so many layers. Growth, finally accepting of what you are is an important one. All main characters develop in some way or another. The one I thought was most touching was the change in Jude. He undergoes a complete transformation. He starts off as a lonely, introvert person. He lives on his own, writing poetry about love. Then, when love finally comes to him in the shape of the incredibly hot Gabriel, it takes time for him to cope with his shame, his resentment for what he really is. We learn with him, we see him coming to terms with the part of him that he has hidden not only from the world, but also himself. I thought this was beautifully, subtly done.

His relationship with Gabriel was interesting. It develops slowly, and sometimes you doubt if this is even going to work, but in the end you just know they are right for each other. There is some domination love play in this book, but I thought it was quite sweet. I liked how they acted like they were somewhere else, being somewhere else. Everything you could want from sex scenes are here. They were hot, steamy and variable. In some books you feel like you are reading the same scene over and over again, with just a slightly different setting. This was not at all the case with The Wanderer. Every scene is exciting in its own, unique way.

I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an erotic romance with a well thought-out story. It’s fast-paced, very nicely written with clear descriptions, and is just a great book overall. Its bitter-sweet ending was absolutely perfect. You will not be disappointed.
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