REVIEW: Untamed by Pamela ClareWednesday, December 24, 2008 1:00
I’ve waited so long for this book. It’s just a few months shy of three years since the first book in this trilogy, Surrender, was released, and then the fate of the next stories was uncertain for quite a while. I was overjoyed when I received the ARC of Untamed, reliving first the fervor we all experienced back when Surrender and the MacKinnon brothers won so many fans’ hearts and then anticipating another exciting and romantic love story by Ms. Clare. I am happy to say she’s given us that and more in this new MacKinnon adventure.
When a British officer by chance spies the MacKinnons fighting men off when rescuing a woman in distress, he presses them into service for the Crown by extortion — serve or hang. It’s been four years and the Seven Years’ War is still rampaging, the MacKinnon Rangers’ reputation of cunning and success is heralded throughout the country, both good and bad. Their luck has just hit a snag and Morgan MacKinnon, severely wounded, is captured by the French. He prefers to die of his injuries instead of being tortured for information and then turned over to the Abenaki tribe where a slow death is guaranteed.
When Morgan doesn’t die, however, the one thing keeping him sane is his angel, Amalie, the French maid who nursed him back to health. With her unknowing help, Morgan eventually receives the one chance he needs to finally escape, but leaving Amalie behind is harder than he’d ever imagined. However, it’s something he must do, no matter how difficult, and choosing between the woman he’s coming to love and his brothers’ lives is the most difficult decision he’s ever had to make.
When his escape plans go awry and Amalie is forced to make an unexpected journey to the Abenaki with him, this book really takes off. Action and adventure leap and bound through the pages and the emotions of these characters either break your heart or make it soar depending on the circumstances, especially concerning Amalie as she learns Morgan and his men are not the evil soldiers she’s always heard about and as she realizes day to day how much she’s come to love her Ranger .
Iain and Annie from Surrender make a few appearances so we can get caught up with their lives. Connor, the youngest MacKinnon, is also present quite bit. I so enjoyed the relationship of these three brothers. Having grown up on the frontier, they’re as tough and resilient as can be, but they’re family, blood, so they stick together, believe in each other no matter what. The other MacKinnon Rangers are delightful and loads of fun. Their scene when meeting Amalie is quite lovely. I also enjoyed the dichotomy between the French and British soldiers, which is not much for the enlisted men, but the superiors are a very different story, as Morgan learns the hard way.
The love scenes are sweet and sometimes frantic. I loved Morgan’s sensitivity to Amalie’s plight in the beginning of the book and how he handles making love to her, but later his all-consuming passion is equally enjoyable. Ms. Clare has a way of making at least one love scene unique and unforgettable, both books have one, both sensuous, sexy, romantic, and all MacKinnon.
I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait nearly as long for Connor’s book as we did for this one. Though I will wait if I have to. Ms. Clare’s writing and storytelling are simply beautiful, her characters are raw and passionate, and they’re definitely worth the wait.
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.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: