In high school, Len Parker nursed a
secret crush on Cliff Laughton. He never expected anything
to come of it, despite a kiss they shared at a party. He
moved on with his life, and Cliff later married his best
friend, Ruby. Len goes to the wedding and rediscovers his
friendship with Ruby. Then Ruby is killed in a car
accident, leaving Cliff alone with their little boy, Geoff.
Not long afterward, Len loses his job,
and Cliff’s sister tells him Cliff needs help at his farm.
Len takes the job, but soon finds he’s bitten off more than
he expected. Cliff is shattered by Ruby’s death, and it may
take a lot more than Len expects to bring him out of it. On
top of that, Len’s old feelings for Cliff seem to be
returning. Can Len help Cliff get it together without
losing his heart?
Love Means Courage is a sweet story of
holding onto love no matter what happens. It was impossible
not to like Len, whose caring and concern help Cliff find
his way back to the world again. Cliff is pretty great
too. He’s a wonderful father and a good man. Secondary
characters, such as Cliff’s family, Len’s supportive mother,
and Cliff’s adorable son Geoff, are well-drawn and add a lot
to the story. Watching Len and Cliff find a way to be
together is enjoyable in part because it’s so sweet, and
also because the emotions feel authentic. They ease into a
relationship after a few fits and starts, which makes
sense. It couldn’t have been easy to come out in the early
eighties, in a small town / farming area. While some of the
conflicts are resolved a bit too easily, and there’s less
resistance to Len and Cliff’s relationship than I would have
expected, Love Means Courage won me over with
its easy pace and sweet romance.