DEFIANT by Pamela Clare

Penguin (Berkley) 3 July 2012

 BLURB:

Major Connor MacKinnon despises his commander, Lord William Wentworth, beyond all other men. Ordered to rescue Wentworth’s niece after the Shawnee take her captive, he expects Lady Sarah Woodville to be every bit as arrogant and contemptible as her uncle. Instead, he finds a brave and beautiful lass in desperate peril. But the only way to free Sarah is for Connor to defeat the Shawnee warrior who kidnapped her—and claim her himself. 

Torn by tragedy from her sheltered life in London, Lady Sarah is unprepared for the harshness of the frontier—or for the attraction she feels toward Connor as he guides her first through the consummation of their forced union and then through the dangers of the wilderness. When they reach civilization, however, it is she who must protect him. For if her uncle knew all that Connor had done to save her, he would surely kill him. But the flames of passion, once kindled, are difficult to deny. As desire transforms into love, Connor will have to defy an empire to keep Sarah at his side.

RHFL CLASSIFICATIONS:

Historical Romance

Colonial America, 1760

Heat Rating: 3

REVIEW RATING: 5 stars (Emery and Jill)

REMARKS by Emery Lee

As many of you already know, the very purpose of this review blog and the associated Goodreads group that I founded two and a half years ago, is to bring to the forefront books that exemplify the very best combination of history and romance.

DEFIANT by Pamela Clare is precisely this kind of book.

Powerful and gripping in its unfurling, DEFIANT is a beautifully written and emotionally compelling love story set within an impeccably drawn historical setting. It truly epitomizes the best of romantic historical fiction.  Brava, Ms. Clare!

FULL REVIEW by Jill

Passionate, rich in historical detail, a riveting adventure and sensual love story….

So young and fragile she seemed, and yet also defiant.

In 1755, Connor MacKinnon and his brothers Iain and Morgan, were falsely accused of murder. The charges against them were dropped on the condition they form and lead a unit of Rangers against the French and their allies. First, eldest brother Iain led the Rangers, then Morgan and now five years on and it’s youngest brother, twenty-eight year-old Connor’s turn.

Lady Sarah Woodville, niece of Lord William Wentworth, the MacKinnon brothers’ accuser, has been kidnapped by Shawnee Indians. Desperate for the safe return of his beloved niece, Wentworth sends Connor and Joseph,the MacKinnons’ Indian blood-brother, to rescue her.

Very few authors write historical romances set in this era, 1750-60s Colonial America. This setting during the French and Indian War is rich in history and Pamela Clare has made use of this in a story filled with action, adventure and romance. As befitting the time, this is not always a gentle read. Connor is forced to fight to win Sarah from the Shawnee intent on making Sarah his wife, and their journey to safety is perilous.

The MacKinnons are passionate, protective, honorable men. Born in Scotland, immigrants to the colonies when children, these men still retain some of their Scottish brogue and all of their Highlander spirit. Sarah, at eighteen is a stranger in this new land. Having disgraced her family in England she has been sent to the colonies. Her strict father, her pious mother are keen to see her wed to a man she doesn’t want. Unmoved by her pleas she seeks help from her uncle, William Wentworth but on her way to Albany is taken by Indians.

As in the previous books William Wentworth plays a pivotal role. He is one of the most interesting and intriguing secondary characters in this series. His despicable acts are countered by some surprising, redeeming qualities. As a nemesis to the MacKinnon brothers, he is all that a villain should be, yet he is not a caricature. His morally ambiguous decisions make him an unpredictable and realistic character.

Ms Clare has incorporated some interesting facts into the story – a female as a chief of the Shawnee; Jonathan Edwards preaching to Joseph’s tribe and the ritual plucking of hair from the body by the Shawnee. This story is imbued with these types of interesting historical details, fleshing out the story, giving it depth and substance and more than just a historical romance. There are quite a number of scenes with Iain and Morgan, and their wives and children. Joseph, who has fought beside the MacKinnons for five years, gets his story in an upcoming book.

If you’re keen on detailed history in a different setting to the usual (Colonial America in 1760) that’s balanced perfectly with romance, then Defiant is a story you cannot pass up. Along with the previous books Surrender and Untamed, this series is an outstanding example of romantic historical fiction.

A gifted writer, Pamela Clare’s research and attention to detail, combined with a riveting story and an unforgettable romance makes Defiant a highly recommended read.

***

STAY TUNED THIS WEEK FOR OUR SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH PAMELA CLARE!

0 thoughts on “DEFIANT by Pamela Clare

  1. I haven’t read the first two books in the series, but they (including this one) do sound great.

    Thanks for sharing your review!

    • Thanks Genevieve and I did think of recommending this series to you as it’s very similar to the time setting for your own books.

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful review. I’m thrilled you both enjoyed it and am doubly thrilled to know, Jill, that it’s your first full five-star review of 2012. WOW!

    We went live with a live-action trailer for the book last night. It different than pretty much any trailer you’ve seen, so if you get a chance, you can pop over to YouTube to check it out. (There’s some very sexy man-chest in it, but that wouldn’t interest anyone, I’m sure.) Here’s the YouTube link: http://bit.ly/KY7PRk

    Thanks again!

  3. Jill, I can’t tell you how much that amazes and thrills me — first five-star review?!? Wow.

    Do you mind if I ask what a book needs to have to get five full stars from you?

  4. Hi Pamela, for me to give a 5-star rating for a romance novel, I have to primarily feel the ROMANCE. If it’s going to be categorised as a romance novel, that’s firstly what I want to feel, the connection between the protags. And the romance has to be believable. Love-at-first-sight rarely works for me, except maybe in a pnr.

    Next, would be the story as a whole – plot, pacing, prose, characteristations, background to setting, etc. If it’s a historical, like Defiant, it’s got to have some historical detail.Then I’ve got to love the main characters, the hero and heroine as people, and understand them.

    Although it’s always a bonus to have some delicious love scenes, a romance novel doesn’t have to have them for me to love that book. But if there are love scenes I want them to be good(!) and that don’t feel simply like sex and erotic titillation.

    So, for me Defiant had all that. I’ve been called 5-star nazi by my friends and I think it’s justified as I don’t give 5-stars that often.

    Congratulations btw, as I see at Goodreads that are already a large number of 5-star reviews.

  5. Thanks for explaining. I feel really happy to know that DEFIANT got that rating from you. I do put a lot of effort into my stories and into the research, and I try to blend the research seamlessly into the narrative so that it’s just there.

    Thanks again for the review and for the lovely blog post! I’m excited about the interview later on!

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