- File Size: 3409 KB
- Print Length: 320 pages
- Publisher: e-penguin (May 10, 2013)
- Publication Date: May 10, 2013
- Sold by: PEN UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CMI1WIC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,577 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$3.99|
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Untamed Kindle Edition
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We have a cross-dressing Duke, a blueblood of wealth and taste who prides himself on his intelligence and ability to put down others with sardonic wit. More villain than hero, he is sharp, and cheeky and keeps an emotional distance by avoiding personal engagement through snarky remarks and an irritating cadre of bejeweled dandies who swarm around him running interference. He is a user of the worst kind, a rake, and debaser of women, not above ruining those who show any inclination toward sympathy.
He is a classic regency rogue, but hardly loveable and prefers a pig to a hound or horse. He is often more feminine in manners and taste than masculine. He masquerades as a woman for much of the action and when called to fight, cannot defend himself. Even the author’s character descriptions defy the conventional. For example, our hero is more beautiful than handsome, and his smile makes his face look worse.
The heroine, born of the upper class, but reduced in life to become more man than woman, a hardworking drudge with dirty, chapped hands, drab clothes and muddy shoes. She is trying to pay off her despicable father’s debt without her mother or siblings knowing of it and to hide her own guilt. This is no Cinderella. Naïve, repressed, and fiercely loyal to her family, she is awkward in society, without taste, and no refinement of speech or manners. She, too, is devastating in her withering criticism of others, and she can’t even dance! There is a constant juxtaposition of the male/female roles in this novel that can be amusing and self-revelatory.
Two such unlikely characters have probably never graced the pages of any conventional regency novel. Yet, we are pulled in. Gradually, we begin to understand the deep psychology at work in these flawed human beings, the past horrors they’ve endured to shape who they are, and finally, they come to understand themselves and each other and to change, gradually, realistically, but most un-novel-like, never completely.
There is scandal, marriage of convenience, cards and brandy. There is seduction, rejection, tension, desire-building, deception, estrangement, all tropes of the regency novel, but wait -- a duel by women? Yes, this becomes the ultimate Pygmalion makeover story, but the author doesn’t limit transformations to the main characters only. There is depth here, and continual doubt even as several characters build confidence and belief. Will the outcome be ever-after? Will there always be bliss and stars in the eyes? By the end of this novel, you understand that like real life, nothing is perfect and there will always be more moments of doubt and more problems to overcome (although wealth certainly helps). Ms. Cowan has not created a perfect world, only a real one, as relevant today as it likely was during the Regency, and that’s why Untamed was so hard to put down. One reviewer called it “literature,” and that it is.
So insightful it went beyond romance and underscored the flaws of humanity that flag us even today. The pithiness. The ennui. I was underlining sentence after sentence, sentiment after sentiment. This was more than the average read. It jolted me. Dragged me. I didn't want to like it. But the writing and characters , even the hateful ones, gave me no choice.
It is fast paced and has so many twists and turns that it might as well be a maze of a plot. The sex scenes are intense and emotionally charged and this is a fairly lgbtq+ friendly book. I can't wait for more from this author.
Most recent customer reviews
I hope this book is not the last from this author.
I recommend to clear your schedule before you start to read "Untamed".