Review — Untamed

Untamed brings us the best of both worlds. First of all, it's a Highland romance, and who doesn't love those? OK, so it's not set in the Highlands of Scotland, but it does have Highlanders, and for me, that is the essential qualification.  Second, it's set somewhere even better (IMHO) — Colonial America!

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Clare tells a compelling romance. The characters are sweet and sexy, and despite
copious amounts of intimacy, the story is about their growing love for each other. It is classical historical romance, with none of the bodice-ripping of the 80s, and just a bit more sexual exploration (purely traditional) than you might find in a story written 20 years ago. (Or, I guess the 80s would be 30+ years ago. My, how time flies!)

This is the second book in the series I've read. I started with Defiant so I guess I'm reading these randomly. It hasn't hurt my enjoyment. These are romance novels after all. The guy is always going to get the girl and vice versa, the enjoyment comes in discovering their journey to love, even if you read about it later.

My favorite character so far is actually the "villain" Wentworth. At first, he comes across as a cardboard cutout of English Aristocracy with all its attitudes of superiority and slightly skewed notions of honor. As you read, you discover he's a rather complex, somewhat tragic figure. My favorite line in Untamed is when Joseph, one of the Highlander's Mahican buddies, says, "Somewhere inside Wentworth's body is a man fighting to come out." I will keep an eye out to see if Clare helps Wentworth find the woman who can set his world right. (please, please, please!)

And since this is a historical romance novel, I would be remiss not to comment on the history. The novel is set during the French and Indian War. I've been toying with some ideas around this time period myself. For me, this is the real beginning of the United States. It is the war that so depleted the coffers of the British Crown that they had to pass the Stamp Act, which led to the tax on tea, which led to the Boston Tea Party, which led to the Lexington and Concord, which led to....well, you see what I mean.

Untamed takes place largely around Fort Ticonderoga, a location that held such a strategic spot on the navigable waterways of the day, that it played an important role in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The author seems to have done her research, and I thought she did a great job with the history, including just enough to wet the history buff's appetite, but not so much as to risk losing an audience that couldn't care less.

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