Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins

Before I read Night Hawk I’d been holding out for a hero. I’d been holding out for a hero until the morning light. He had to be strong, and he had to ride his horse into a saloon and he had to have a Scottish brogue that he brought out on special occasions. Ian Vance aka Ian Bigelow aka Preacher? NAILS IT. He gets the job done. That is, when Maggie Freeman wasn’t taking matters into her own hands. She didn’t wait around for Ian to swoop in and save her, although she has no doubt that he would. They complimented each other perfectly and I loved watching them fall in love. I wish there had been more focus on the romance and less awkward info dumps, though.

“…I do most of the doctoring for the race around here, deliver all the babies too. Learned my doctoring during the war.”
“Where are you from?”
“South Carolina. Trained under Susie King Taylor.”
Maggie was unfamiliar with the name and it must have shown on her face because Lola explained. “Susie helped nurse the Black troops of South Carolina’s Thirty Third Regiment. She was fairly well known back during those days.”
…as Maggie listened she told how Susie’s family…escaped slavery on a Union gunboat and joined the Union Army. “She was about fifteen when the Yankee officers came to St. Simon Island to recruit soldiers. She was hired to be a laundress at first…

And it continues on from there, pulling me completely out of the story. Sure, I’d love to know more about Susie King Taylor and Big Nose George Parrot (holy crap!) and Jim Beckworth, but surely there was a way to be a little less obvious when introducing an Important Moment in History to a scene that has been running along so nicely, and I’m all invested.

All in all, a lovely book. 3.5 stars!

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