Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Recent Read

Untamed by Pamela Clare

Why this one: It’s Pamela Clare!!

Steam Level: It’s Pamela Clare!!

Further explanation: When you read one of her books you almost need a fan in one hand and ice cubes in the other – and this one is no exception.

Author's Website Blurb: MacKinnon’s Rangers
They were a band of brothers, their loyalty to one another forged by hardship and battle, the bond between these Highland warriors, rugged colonials, and fierce Native Americans stronger even than blood ties.

Though forced to fight for the hated British, Morgan MacKinnon would no more betray the men he leads than slit his own throat—not even when he was captured by the French and threatened with an agonizing death by fire at the hands of their Abenaki allies. Only the look of innocent longing in the eyes of a convent-bred French lass could make him question his vow to escape and return to the Rangers. And soon the sweet passion he awoke in Amalie had him cursing the war that forced him to choose between upholding his honor and pledging himself to the woman he loves.

My Thoughts: I’ll be honest. I got an ARC of this and I started it a couple of weeks ago. But that was when I was still in the after glow of another certain book and when I started reading Untamed, I hadn’t had enough time away. I read the first couple of pages and wasn’t ‘feeling’ it. I knew I had to read a few books outside the historical genre in between to ‘cleanse the reading pallet’ so to speak so that I could fully appreciate the reading experience because I knew it would be a good one.

And it was!! When I closed the final back cover I said a heartfelt ‘Aaaaaah’ – you know – the kind of noise you make when something has really satisfied you *naughty wink*

Ride the Fire is my favourite of her books (among some Most Excellent Reads) and I think this one comes darn close to RTF for this happy Colonial reader.

Morgan MacKinnon makes a wonderful hero. You really feel his struggle as he agrees to spy for the French in order to escape a horrendous fate of being burned alive for an earlier battle (detailed in Surrender – another fabulous book and the first in the MacKinnon Brothers Trilogy). If he had his way, he truly would fight on their side since he admires Bourlamaque, the commander of the French fort and the godfather of Amalie, the heroine. The Scottish and the French were more natural allies than the Scottish and the hated British. But Morgan has no choice but to ultimately betray the French, even as he agrees to help them, as he and his two brothers have been blackmailed into helping the British win the war. And to betray the British would be to betray his brothers, something he simply can not do. So with this on his mind, he is truly torn when he starts developing feelings for Amalie, the daughter of a French commander and an Abenaki woman. He is an honourable man who is torn apart trying to do the ‘right’ thing.

And Amalie is a wonderful heroine. When she first meets Morgan, she is prepared to hate him. After all, it was the MacKinnon Rangers who had been responsible for the death of so many of her people. She is assigned to treating his injuries so that he can be made to give up his secrets and then handed over to the Abenaki. But as she slowly gets to know him, as she sees the honourable man he really is, she can’t bear the thought of this brave and handsome enemy being handed over and she comes up with a way he can be saved – by switching sides.

Raised in a convent and never really fitting in because of her ‘mixed’ blood, she is confused by the feelings that Morgan stirs up in her. She is innocent and curious, naive and sensual, and a fine heroine for the oh so gooooood Morgan.

This is another fab story by the amazingly talented Pamela Clare. She has a way of writing that draws you in; that makes you feel as if you are right there experiencing what the characters are experiencing.

And I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE the setting. My Dad was a real history buff and I shared it with him. I remember when I was a young'un, he would drag my mother and younger sisters to old forts. But I was enthralled whenever we would go and would wander around and picture myself back in those times. So when I discovered Pamela Clare and especially when she moved to the French Indian War settings in Ride the Fire, Surrender and Untamed, it brought back all those wonderful memories from childhood.

The fact that she writes such poignant and wonderful romance stories in this setting and time period just totally warms the cockles of my heart!!

If you have never tried her, seriously – I urge you to give her books a read. And you can’t get much better than Untamed. Although it’s the second book in a series, I think it would work fine if you haven’t read the first one. But if you do want to read the first book first, or her previous Colonial books, they’ve just been re-released.

So – what are you waiting for *g*?

Grade: 5 out of 5

We Pamela Clare fans have been lucky this year. Although she didn’t have any new releases last year, she’s had two this year. Her first one, Unlawful Contact got a 5er from me and now same with Untamed. It’s a rare talent I think, to write so very well in two such different genres and Historical Colonial and Romantic Suspense.


Anonymous said...

Kristie, you're the greatest! You make reading romance all the more fun with your enthusiasm!

I am actually almost finished with Surrender, but life has been getting in the way as usual. I'm really enjoying the story and I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Lori said...

I've got this just sitting waiting until I have the uninterrupted time to read it. I lurrrve me some Pamela Clare.

Lea said...

Great review Kristie!

I have this book on my list, now I must make sure it's on my next order. Pamela Clare was over at Mad's blog a while back and I thought this book sounded good. I've never read her before but now I can't wait!

Thank you. :)

KT Grant said...

Lord William needs his story ASAP.

Kristie (J) said...

Katie: *laughing* while I've no doubt she could pull it off, I REALLY don't like him, at least so far. He's just too conniving - and a blackmailer to boot! He does have flashes of seemingly good in him - but since he's the one who orchestrated the MacKinnon's having to fight a war they don't want to - along side their enemies the British, well - he would need A LOT of redemption :)

Lea: I was one of the lucky ones who discovered her with the release of her first book and she's been an autobuy author ever since. And what's so impressive is her RS books are JUST as good as her historicals. The only other author I can think of who is equally excellent in two such opposite genres is Lisa Kleypas.

Lori: *g* As I discovered - timing can be everything!! If I'd kept reading when I first started I know I would have enjoyed it but not perhaps as much as I did by waiting until the time was right. So I hope you get that uninterrupted time soon - though this is a difficult time of the year to get that isn't it? :)

Barbara: *laughing* my enthusiasm oftentimes borders on obsession as the people at work are discovering. I've had people come up to me this week that I've hardly spoken to asking me what I thought of Nico's win. I guess word has spread that there is a nut job in their midst.
But srsly - when I read (or watch) something that really captivates me (such as Untamed) I can't help but want to share it with everyone. And I look forward to your thoughts on Surrender. I know Katie (up above) does too as it's her favourite. And I realized that I never posted my thoughts on it so that means I'm going to have to reread it again so it's fresh. Yes!!!

Stacy~ said...

I've never read her. I have "Surrender". Now I want this one too. I wish I read faster...

azteclady said...

I'm giggling at the why and the steam level.

Thank you, Kristie!

Kristie (J) said...

Oh Stacy!!! You REALLY must fix that situation!!! I've read her since book 1 and every one has been great!!
Like I said - I just love the setting. I really enjoy a good historical, but at times I get a bit tired - well more than a bit truth be told - of English set historicals with your various dukes and earls and viscounts running about spying for the Commonweath.
Not only are these a refresing change - but they are just written so damn good!!
*grin* Just ask Barbara! She just discovered her and has become another staunch fan - and Leslie too!

Kristie (J) said...

AL - Well, she does STEAMY very well!! And the love scenes in each book seem tailored to the character - each one has a different vibe to it. It's certainly not insert tab A into slot B.

Pamela Clare said...

YAY! People are talking about me behind my back! I'm so happy! ;-)

Thanks, Kristie, dear! I'm so glad you liked Morgan's story. It has become my life's goal to write a story you enjoy more than Ride the Fire. At least I nearly equaled it this time. That's something.

Hi, Barbara, Lori, Katiebabs, Azteclady,Lea and Stacy! ::Waves::

OK, back to my struggle with Kat and Gabe...

azteclady said...

*waving* Hi, Ms Clare!

I have your Unlawful Contact in my TBR mountain range *rubbing hands* soon, my pretty, soon! *ahem* :grin:

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Azteclady —

I can't wait to hear what you think of it! Watch out for avalanches from that mountain of books!

Kellie said...

Loved it as well! I can't decide if RTF or Untamed is my favorite now! (RTF is one my most excellent reads too!)