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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three and a half moon gifZebra Books (Paperback) ISBN 0-8217-6923-5
Not many romances feature as their hero an ex-con who served time for killing a man, albeit accidentally. In Janis Reams Hudson's Long Way Home, Duncan Malone serves his sentence and returns home to be close to his catatonic mother and to reclaim his farm, which he lost while in prison. The full-bodied, three-dimensional quality of this unlikely hero leaps right off the pages. The reader shares the agony of his fatherless childhood, the consequences of defending his mother's honor, and the humbling experience of working his own farm for money.

Book: janis reams hudson, the long way homeThe residents of Duncan's hometown despise the air he breathes. So he turns to the only helping hand around: Frances Taylor. Frances -- Franki to those who value their life -- knows how to survive the hard knocks of life. As a child, she got dumped onto her grandfather to be raised. Together Franki and her grandfather formed an inseparable bond while they tended to their farm. Pregnant and defiantly independent, Franki faces the burden of keeping the farm going while her grandfather succumbs to pneumonia.

Bad guy Bobby Simms walks around town with a large chip on his shoulder, and his luck seems to be going south. He heads up the only bank in town, which holds the deed to Franki's farm. His problem with Franki stems from her stubborn nature. Franki refuses leave town with their unborn baby, whose paternity Bobby plans to deny to his dying day. Given Bobby's well-deserved reputation as a bully, no one wants to tempt his wrath by working on Franki's farm. No one except Duncan, that is. When Duncan rolls into town and accepts Franki's job offer, Bobby sees red. It doesn't help that Duncan killed Bobby's father seven years ago.

Book: janis reams hudson, apache musicHudson introduces each character with originality and a real down home quality that creates a genuine concern about each person and their ultimate goals and motivation. As Duncan and Franki learn to trust each other and combine efforts to save the farm, face the town bullies and surrender to their burgeoning relationship, their journey against the establishment screams "David and Goliath."

Long Way Home provided a good read on the mass transit system where complete immersion in the town of Washita, Texas, became a daily treat. Although everything must end, the story championed forgiveness, repentance and healing as perfect ingredients to true love and life long happiness. Hear, hear!

Michelle Monkou

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