Sunday, August 29, 2010

Untamed by Pamela Clare

Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2)Untamed by Pamela Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'd like to begin this review by listing some reasons that Morgan is a Hero to Die For:

1)Gorgeous, sexy, virile, delicious, with long dark hair and dark blue eyes, and a big, hard-muscled body. (Swoon).

2)He's an immensely capable warrior, a much-loved leader to his men.

3)His unimpeachable sense of honor, even when it put his life in jeopardy.

4)The gentle, loving way he treated Amalie.

5)The fact that he wasn't going to let anything stand between Amalie and him.

Aah!!! Okay, I admit that Iain is still my favorite, but Morgan is a close second. I don't understand how Pamela Clare managed to tap into the well-spring of what makes a completely unforgettable hero, and so well, yet again. But she did.

Untamed is the second book in this series, and it thoroughly immersed me into this period of American history that I was frankly never that excited about. With these books, I feel completely drawn in. I loved how she presented this war between Britain and France, with the Native tribes on both side as more than just a martial conflict, but shows us the personal sides of this war. In Untamed, we get to see the French viewpoint. I remember being a little more favorably inclined towards the French when I learned about this period, because they were able to live in peace with the Native tribes more than the British; more tolerant of their differences, and often intermarrying. Yet, Surrender forced me to be on the side of the British, because I cared about MacKinnon's Rangers and people like Anne, who becomes Iain's wife. Ms. Clare deftly manages to turn things around as she shows what life is like for Amalie, whose father is a French military officer. We see how painful it is for Amalie to see the French soldiers wounded and dying. We come to like some of them, and I was hoping that I wouldn't see them come in conflict against Morgan and his men. I liked how this story played out. We know in our minds that they will face each other again, at least in theory, but we don't have to see this up close and personal. And Morgan and Amalie get their happy ending, despite all the significant obstacles in their way.

The love story between Morgan and Amalie was both sweet and steamy. From its inception, there is a powerful bond that grows between this innocent young woman who is grieving her lost father, and the doomed prisoner she is called to nurse back to health so he can be handed over to the Abenaki, a tribe who is allied to the French, to be burned in their horrible fires (the manner in which they torture and kill their enemies). As a devout Catholic, Amalie hates the thought of this man suffering. She knows that he could have been the one who killed her father in battle, yet she cannot bring herself to hate him. If anything, it's hard not to desire and fall in love with this vital, beautiful man who she has nursed so diligently. Morgan knew he was in dire straits when he was captured by the French. He can only hope for a quick death, and dreads being burned by the Abenaki. He also fears that he will unwittingly give the secrets of his band of soldiers away as they torture him. He's determined to die with honor, protecting his brothers and men. He didn't expect to see a sweet angel watching over him. And certainly didn't plan to fall in love with her, but he did. It makes things so much worse in a sense, for she calls to him to abandon all he stands for to be with her. And that's easier than it seems, or it would be, if Morgan wasn't honor-bound to his commitment to fight for the British by the blackmail that his commander Wentworth holds over his head. In this book, we see a strong, honorable man who is struggling to do the right thing. And I never lost faith that Morgan would hold true to his principles. Even when things get really hard for him.

Untamed is different from Surrender in that there are more quiet moments between Morgan and Amalie, where their courtship progresses and grows. It is somewhat suspenseful, rather than featuring lots of overt action sequences, as Morgan is forced to maintain his facade as a Scot who takes his rightful place with his Catholic brethren, the French, even though his heart still holds true to his loyalty to his men and his brothers. I feared the aftermath as he surely would be declared a traitor by the British. There are some real knuckle-biting moments as this book unfolds.

It was great to see Iain and Annie, happily married, though mourning their lost brother, Morgan; Connor, Joseph, the other Rangers, and yes, Wentworth. That sly devil has wormed his way deeper into my heart. I can't wait for him to meet a woman who shows him the error of his ways. Each book shows deeper layers to him that make me very desirous for him to get his own story.

This book was wonderfully executed, and I enjoyed it very much. I long for romantic adventures that show me snapshots of the past, through the eyes of people who might have lived and loved during those times. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical romance with intrigue and adventure, and sweet, yet sensual love stories between characters who you cannot help but love and root for their happy ending together.

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