Saturday, April 5, 2014

Untamed Heart by Catherine Sharp

Note:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Experience:  C+
Synopsis:   Shane Cordell, raised by the Cheyenne, is savagely handsome. Women are drawn to him like a moth to a flame, and he’s every bit as dangerous. His heart never gets involved…until now. Ashley Clayton is beautiful and independent, She was raised without a mother’s touch, having only her father and ranch hands to ease her into womanhood. She is na├»ve in the ways of etiquette but not in the ways of the flesh, horseflesh mostly. Upon her first encounter with Shane, she feels a strong attraction immediately, but there is a lie…a lie she is sworn to keep. A lie that seems so innocent now bodes heartache for their future. Shane must face his past in a courtroom where he is charged with rape and murder. Just as he’s found not guilty, Ashley’s innocent lie sends him running again, this time into a prostitute’s arms.

A face paced Western Romance where you can almost hear the Howard Hawkes musical themes weaving through the story.  Shane and Ashley are rough edged as the Dakota Territory was in the late 1860s where the regrets of war and lessons from the past must be subordinate to survival.

Raised from birth until his majority with the Cheyenne, Shane struggles to find his identity without betraying those he loved, or himself.  Likewise, Ashley, raised by her father and ranch hands after fleeing war torn South Carolina, struggles to run not only her ranch but find a way to keep all her promises to her later father.  Rough they may be, but Shane and Ashley are destined to face their past before they can dare have a future.  It is in confronting who they’ve been that they find out who they really are, and more importantly, what they can be, together.

There were a few historical points given the hand wave but nothing more than a John Wayne set with no horse dung in the streets.  The villain was way more evil than I felt anyone’s reactions acknowledged but again, with the pace of the story, it was entirely plausible they seemed to move on to the next crisis and deal with all the omigosh, did he really… later.  The secondary characters were as interesting as our hero and heroine and for me, that’s as important as the happy ever after.

I enjoyed this book on a sunny Sunday afternoon and recommend it for anyone that misses the Western Matinees.

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