Today I'm over at Just Romantic Suspense blog talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in fictional characters. If you leave a comment, you enter a giveaway for With Good Behavior, my novel featuring PTSD.
I'm working through series for the All Summer, All Series challenge and I just finished book one in the MacKinnon's Rangers series by Pamela Clare: Surrender. I adore Ms. Clare's romantic suspense I-Team series, and I already love her take on historical romance.
The best news is I just won a signed copy of book #3, Defiant, from Karla and Steffi at Swept Away by Romance blog! Woo hoo!
Surrender by Pamela Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a shock--another 5 star review for a Pamela Clare novel! Here I thought she couldn't top her romantic suspense I-Team series but she comes damn close with this first novel in her historical romance series MacKinnon's Rangers. I know the series' third novel, Defiant, just came out, and I can't wait to catch up.
Surrender features Iain MacKinnon--the oldest of three Scot brothers, and Anne Campbell--a Scot aristocrat who was forsaken by her uncle. Both Iain and Annie were accused of crimes they didn't commit, and are now paying the consequences. The despicable Lord Wentworth has forced Iain and his brothers to fight for England in the French and Indian War. And after her uncle accused Annie of theft, she has to sail to the new world as an indentured servant.
Iain and Annie meet in the wilds of 1758 America. Indians have just attacked Annie's masters and she's about to be defiled and scalped when Iain rushes in to rescue her. Problem is, Iain's heroic efforts to see Annie to safety completely contradict his orders, and it's not pretty when soldiers disobey their English superiors.
Complicating Iain's plight is his strong attraction to the virgin Annie, who hides her criminal status from him. She's just as infatuated with her strong tattooed rescuer, with his barbarian exterior but loving and gentle character.
Pamela sure does know how to write hot romance, as seen through Annie's inexperienced eyes:
When next she looked up, she found his eyes squeezed shut and his head turned to the side, exposing the corded muscles of his neck. One strong arm was thrown above his head, his fist clenched. His hair had fanned out across the dark bearskin, like the black of a raven's wing against the night sky.
There's also a fair bit of humor, like when Iain deflowers Annie:
"Holy Mary!" Morgan glared at Iain in disgust. "When McHugh told me you'd given the order not to be disturbed, I thought you'd gone to comfort her. What did you do?"
Iain looked at his brothers. "We need a priest."
Lord Wentworth is difficult to figure out, and I like his complexity. He acts like a cold bastard most of the time but then there are glimpses of humanity, and I'm eager to see what Ms. Clare has in store for his character in the next two books.
I've read every book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and I found myself comparing this story to those wonderful novels. Similarities include the Scottish brogue, a military Scot hero full of integrity paired with a sassy English sympathizer heroine nurse, prison scenes, and a hated English lord who lashes the Scot hero mercilessly. Though I love Jamie Fraser from Outlander, I appreciate the sharper focus of this shorter novel. I'll say more about the comparisons once I've read more of this series.
This is a page-turner that's thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended!
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