Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Reread Challenge for June

Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare

Why this one: AL did a recent review of it and it started calling to me. I hadn’t read it for a while so I figured it was about time for another reread. You are probably getting sick of me talking about this one – but truly, it’s worth it!

My thoughts: I’m not going to give an outline since I’ve done that before and so have others. Instead I’ll just try and encapsulate what makes this such a powerful read for me.

One of the reasons this book is so compelling is the time period and the setting. I live in SW Ontario and when I was young one of my best vacations was a trip to all the old forts around the area. I’ve always loved history and was captivated by the history surrounding those old forts. I still remember a reenactment they did during one visit. I think my parents got quite a chuckle out of my excitement.

So reading a book that took place during this time period; the French Indian War against the British, takes me back to my youth.

And I can’t not mention the too die for hero in this book either. Nicholas Kenleigh is one of my very favourites of all time. From the very first when he is described as having hair down to his waist I perked up. Now I know this description doesn’t do it for everyone – heh heh heh but it sure does for me. Nicholas is one of the best tortured heroes I’ve ever read; both literally and figuratively. Because of what he went through he is pretty dead inside when he first runs into Bethie, the heroine. The author does such a fantastic job of slowly bringing him back to life while falling in love with Bethie. It’s not too hard at all imagining someone like Daniel Day Lewis in his Hawkeye role in Last of the Mohicans as Nicholas – nope, not too hard at all.

Bethie is also a great heroine. Wendy, SuperLibrarian put it well in a recent review she did of this book – a book she read due in part to my constant nagging – and she liked it. I quote: What I appreciated was that while she was alone and scared, she wasn't cowering in a corner waiting for someone to attack her. Oh no! Girlfriend knows how to use a rifle, and matches wits quite well with Nicholas when he shows up wounded on her doorstep”

I like how she puts that *g*.

The love scenes are soooo good. Pamela writes such great ones in all her books. The vibes between her couples in all her books are different and she really does reflect that in the scenes of intimacy that she writes. A lot of times when reading the sex scenes in a book I skip over them because there is nothing really unique about them. But in Pamela Clare’s books, each one is different and well thought out. You can tell she doesn’t just add them a sex scene for a sex scenes sake (try saying that three times!) Rather she takes who they are and what they are to each other into consideration and Ride the Fire is no exception. As an author, I’m sure they aren’t easy to write sometimes and they don’t necessarily add anything to the story, but in Ride the Fire, this isn’t the case. Bethie has been traumatized in the past and Nicolas sees this and is very patient and very tender with her. The full consummation doesn’t take place until later in the book, but before that he slowly shows her how good it can be between a man and a woman.

If you haven’t read this book or if you have it in your TBR pile just sitting there, I urge you to find it, to move it up. It really is a wonderful reading experience. It has been for me each time I’ve read it and this last time was no exception.

Grade: Always has been and always will be – 5 out of 5 and a true keeper


Lea said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kristie;

This does sound like a wonderful story.


Wendy said...

At this point I think it's pretty well documented that "helpless" heroines annoy the crap out of me. But Bethie worked for me because her "helplessness" was believable and she was not too-stupid-to-live. Yes she was alone, scared and pregnant. But life is "going on" and it's either fend for yourself or cower in the nearest corner.

I liked that she didn't cower. Nicholas does "rescue" her to a certain extent, but one is left with the impression that if he had never come along she would have put up one hell of a fight. Our girl wouldn't have gone quietly into "that good night...."

Renee said...

Oh, you make me want to pull this off the shelf right now!

OK, so I just got Ride, and I'm also participating in orannia's Broken Wing group read. Which one should I read first?

Jeopardy music starts playing . . .

::evil laughter::

azteclady said...

"if he had never come along she would have put up one hell of a fight. Our girl wouldn't have gone quietly into "that good night....""

Exactly, Wendy, exactly! That is what makes her so kickass--she's not deluding herself as to the danger she's in, etc. but she won't give up and she won't give in.

Kristie (J) said...

Renee: *Jeopardy music playing in my head too!*

Hmmmmmmmm - good question!! I adore them both equally and can't pick one above the other! But - since you signed up for a challenge - maybe Broken Wing - knowing you have an equally great book waiting in the wings for the next book up. And if I'm not mistaken ;-) I believe you also have The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie in your TBR pile too. Oh Mama - are you in for some good reads ahead of you!! Three of my all time favourite

Wendy: Exactly. Up until Nicholas showed up she was coping - not well but that was due to extenuating circumstances and not to her being foolish in any sort of way. Those are the kind that drive me bonkers - kind of like Jillian in the Bachelorette - but we won't get into THAT situation.

Lea: Now that we've met in person *g* I feel I can 'officially' give you the Lea, Lea, Lea speech. You simply MUST give this one a read. And Broken Wing. And watch North and South. I'm getting quite a list on you *evil laughter*

AL: I can't remember - was this your first Pamela Clare book? She awed me that she writes great in both RS and Historical - though *laughing* I know Wendy disagrees with me on at least one of her RS books. If you haven't - don't you just love finding a new author who has gotten good buzz??
Backlists - yum!!

orannia said...

Ohhh, this does sound good and I just love the time period! And I like a strong (on the inside :) heroine.

Is this the first book in the series?

Hmmm...North and South! I have a hankering to watch that again...*wanders off to check the library catalogue*

Get reading Renee :)

Kristie (J) said...

Orannia: This is the third book in a series but it can be read very well on it's own. The first book was about Nicholas' parents and the second book about his mother's brother. It's a wonderful book. The first one is Sweet Release and the second one is Carnal Gift.
And LOL - I'm watching North and South even as I type this. It's playing on the telly. It's just at the part where Margaret's mother has died and Thornton sees Margaret at the train station - poor, poor Thornton.

Mary G said...

Hi Kristie
I couldn't find Ride The Fire through Chapters or at the UBS but Amazon has the new print version so I'll order when I put an order together. I'll think of you when I'm reading them.

Kristie (J) said...

Mary: Hi there :) Another good thing to picture would be Daniel Day Lewis from Last of the Mohicans hee hee hee!!

Mary G said...

That's exactly who I pictured. Oh I'm also going to get Broken Wing.
Then when I'm in a historical mood I'll have those two plus Sam's Creed by Sarah McCarty. Take care & I'll talk to you befire you go to the RWA.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Kristie,

I am so happy to know that Nicholas and Bethie haven't lost their shine despite the years that have gone by and the number of times you've read their story.

As you know, Ride the Fire is very special to me for personal reasons. When I finished that book, there was nothing left inside me. And maybe that's what it takes, you know?

Thanks for re-reading the book!

Lori said...

I adore this book, too. And Renee, if I had to tell you which one to read of the 3? If you want to save the best for last, read this one last, LOL.

nath said...

I completely forgot that you re-read this book! I was wondering why you weren't going to review To Hold and to Have by Gaffney for the challenge :)

LOL, I need to pull this out of my TBR pile ^_^;

Jill D. said...

How could I not read this book after that glowing review?! I love Pamela Clare's suspense, but I have yet to read her historicals and I have no idea why. I will have to remedy that!

Tabitha said...

I have this book in my TBR pile, yay! Will move it up soon as I finish a few others that were just moved up the pile too, lol. Thanks for the reminder!

Kristie (J) said...

Tabitha: Then you simply MUST get it out and give it a read. I simply love this book and others have too. It has everything one loves in a book.

Jill: I've been reading her books right from the beginning so I've read all her historicals and RS. I think you will love her historicals too just as much as her RS.

Nath: *g* I read both this month but I ended up reviewing To Have and To Hold earlier and held this one for the Reread challenge.

Lori - Isn't it great?? And it stands up very well to a reread!!

Pamela: I doubt this will be the last time I read about them. Or many if not all of your other books. I'm a great fan of the reread.

Tracy said...

Oh I'm reading book 2 in this trilogy now. Can't wait for the 3rd one after reading your review. :)