In Bear Country Kiernan Kelly told us the story of Pride and Bear, two men of the mid of eighteen century who find love when they don't expect it. Above all since Bear was almost an hermit and he didn't think possible to love a man. Instead Pride is all alone and without family since he likes man, and in the common society this is a huge sin, something he can't reveal.
Alone in a cabin, Bear and Pride built a world of their own. The story was very good, but it was limited to that world, cozy and secluded. They didn't interact with the real world which banished them.
The Barbary Coast takes up where we left them and fills up the only weak point of the previous book, putting Bear and Pride among other people. Bear and Pride travel from Denver to San Francisco, since Pride wants to see the ocean. They don't know what to expect, they don't know the big cities, and San Francisco is a boiling city, but also a very dangerous one. Both Pride than Bear are simple men, they are too good and of open heart, and with the newfound wealthy from the previous book, they can allow to buy things and treat themself with the best hotels and restaurants. And also to help Jackson, a young boy they meet during their stay in San Francisco.
The Barbary Coast is an interesting reading for the historical setting, a San Francisco I was familiar thanks to movies and other historical romances: probably an ideal setting since it was a city that, at the end of the nineteen century gathered a lot of people from different origins and social status. And in this book Bear and Pride have the change to test their love and their boundaries, and to see if it's strong enough to survive also outside their secluded cabin.
I like Bear and Pride, but they are a bit naivee, almost innocent. I believe they are very lucky since during their journey they dare many time the fate, and the fate is kind with them. Probably not very true, in the real world, with their open attitude, they would be killed once they step outside the cabin, and instead, in this book, they meet Native American, cops, private investigators, chinese mafia, and so on, always escaping without problems, and sometime also with a nice experience.
Kiernan Kelly amuses herself and the readers, scattering many little historical details (daguerreotypes, Pinkertons...) which always make you feel more real the setting.