Friday, December 12, 2008

Review: Untamed

Title: Untamed
Author: Pamela Clare
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: MacKinnon Rangers/Book 2

Prisoner. That's what he was. Their prisoner. But not for long. Soon he would be taken by the Abenaki Indians and then he will be made to wish for death. Long for it. But he could not, would not betray his brother or his men to the French. The Rangers were his family and he would die for his family if he must. Then she was there, an angel among the nightmares. She gave him peace and then she gave him hope.

The second book of Clare's MacKinnon Ranger series is about the middle brother, Morgan MacKinnon. The setting is 1759 during the French and Indian War. Morgan took over as leader of the Rangers when his older brother Iain left the Rangers to return to the family farm with his wife and child. Now it is Morgan the men look to for leadership. Along with his younger brother Connor, Morgan fights the French and their Indian allies all the while hoping that the war will end soon.

When the Rangers attack a supply shipment that is being unloaded at Fort Carillon one of Morgan's men is wounded and Morgan goes back for him. While he is able to get his man to safety, Morgan is shot and taken prisoner by the French. It is here that he is tortured but kept alive so he can be given over to the Abenaki Indians where he will be tortured more and burned alive. When Morgan's wounds are being seen to he meets Amalie Chauvenet. She has been asked by the fort's commander, Chevalier de Bourlamaque, to see to Morgan's injuries in the hopes that she may learn something of importance from him.

Amalie Chauvenet is the daughter of Major Chauvenet of the French army. She was raised in a convent but has come to Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) to be with her father. Her mother, who is deceased, was half Abenaki. Amalie does have some physical characteristics of her Abenaki heritage but she is unfamiliar with their way of life. She is part of two worlds yet not meant for either.

I really liked Amalie. She is a strong heroine but quiet in her strength. She has certain beliefs that are tested as she comes to know Morgan. Her intelligence is such that she understands there are two sides to every situation and she is open minded enough to realize that things are not always black and white, the shades of gray being the hardest to understand and accept. I can not imagine what it would be like to live in the fort with the opportunity for attack always present. What it must have been like, knowing that there was a war going on just outside the walls and that at any moment it could come knocking?

There is a scene where Morgan is holding Amalie and notices that her heart is beating fast...

"Your heart is beatin' like a wild bird's, lass." His lips brushed over her skin as he spoke, his breath warm and scented with brandy. "What is it that's frightenin' you?"

She swallowed, tried to speak. "Tomorrow." page 206

To be afraid of what each tomorrow would bring must have been truly difficult to live with. Clare is able to bring that underlying fear to the story. And by doing so gives the reader the idea of how strong these men and women of the frontier were.

Morgan is similar to Iain in that he has the same innate loyalty to his Rangers, his family. But I sensed that Morgan had become more of the diplomatic type than Iain and is more inclined to weigh all possible outcomes before acting. He was a man pulled in opposing directions ~ his love and loyalty to his Ranger brethren and his feelings for Amalie. No matter what he does there are negative consequences along with the positive. I loved Morgan unfaltering loyalty and love for his men...

But long afore I pledged my loyalty to him, I made another oath ~ to my brothers and my men! Would you have me break that vow and become a betrayer and slayer of my own kin? As you loved your father, so I love them!

She heard his words, felt the conflict within him, but was too hurt, too outraged to care... page 195


And I don't want to forget the love scenes. They are very hot! As the story progresses Morgan and Amalie are not shy about their physical attraction to each other. I was left with visions of Morgan in my head that are definitely x-rated. Not that I'm complaining. Not in the least. *grin*

The situation Morgan found himself in made for an interesting twist to the story that I thought Clare pulled off brilliantly. I thought Untamed was a really good follow up to Iain and Annie story in Surrender. You can read my review of Surrender here. Pamela Clare also writes romantic suspense novels with her I-Team series. You can find out more about Ms. Clare at her website. I would certainly recommended not only Untamed but any of Pamela Clare's novels.

Rating: A

6 comments:

  1. I am almost giddy with delight that others are reading and loving Pamela Clare's books.
    I really enjoyed this one too - as I have all her books. She really does make you feel the agony of Morgan's dilemma doesn't she?

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  2. Yep, she's an auto-buy for me. And she wrote Morgan so well. His loyalty is such an integral part of who he is and to have it tested like that...

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  3. didn't read the review yet because I haven't read mine yet- but I'm glad to see it got an A!!

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  4. Hi, Leslie —

    I'm so glad you enjoyed both Surrender and Untamed. I tried very hard to write a sequel that wouldn't disappoint those who'd loved the first book.

    BTW, I love your description of this novel. That first paragraph rocks! Can you do my write-ups for my blog from now on? LOL!

    Hope you're having a great weekend

    ::waving:: Hi, Kristie and Zeek!

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  5. Hi Zeek ~ Definite A read. I would recommend bumping it to the top of the TBR pile.

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  6. Hi Pamela ~ You haven't disappointed yet! No worries on that.

    Thank you! I enjoyed reading and reviewing Morgan and Amalie's book. I think the word prisoner has so many meanings in this story. Beautifully done.

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