Wednesday, February 6, 2013

News + Review: Ride The Fire by Pamela Clare

IT'S FINALLY HERE! The re-release of Pamela Clare's Ride the Fire with the much anticipated epilogue. Woohoo! I've waited a whole year to read the epilogue to my all-time favorite historical romance. What's even better...the book is now offered in e-format. Life just doesn't get better than that! 


Once again Pamela Clare has left me in awe and thoroughly entertained. Ride the Fire is one of those books that not only draws the reader in right from the start, but also holds their attention to the very end. It not only delves into the historical aspects of the Pontiac’s Rebellion, but also into the darker parts of the human psyche, leaving the reader with a renewed sense of optimism in the resilience of the human soul.       
Of all Ms. Clare’s books I’ve read, I felt Ride the Fire is her most heart-wrenching, yet uplifting story. I experienced emotions ranging from elation, to empathy, to horror. The book deals with the reality and consequences of mental, physical, and sexual assault - for Nicholas during war and for Bethie growing up.
The novel begins with Nicholas Kenleigh, a tracker in Washington’s Forces, being captured and held prisoner by the Wyandot Indians. He is brutally tortured and kept alive for the selfish desires of the Chief’s daughter (for breeding purposes!). He is forced to watch the two young men he took under his wing slowly burned to death over the course of a few days. Eventually he escapes and returns home a bitter and changed man. No longer comfortable around his family, he leaves to become a trapper in the wilderness. After six long years full of apathy and loneliness, a wounded Nicholas stumbles upon a small cabin, where a very pregnant, very beautiful, and very alone Bethie lives.
Elspeth Stewart “Bethie” is a young, newly widowed, eight-months-pregnant woman living alone on the frontier when Nicholas happens upon her. Holding her at gun point, he forces her to care for his wound. While aiding him, Bethie drugs his whisky and ties him to the bed, hoping to protect herself and her unborn child. Smart girl! Loved that part. Soon a truce is formed, with Bethie allowing Nicholas to stay until he’s fully healed. Nicholas, in return, offers his protection and help with the more strenuous chores. It isn’t long before Nicholas realizes that Bethie has also been abused. Slowly the two develop a sweet and tender friendship that eventually turns to an erotically passionate love.
The birth of Isabelle was my favorite scene in the book and the turning point for these two damaged and lovable characters. It isn’t often I cry when reading an emotional story; however, I found myself teary eyed during this segment of the story. It was emotionally, tenderly, and beautifully written. The moment I finished the book, I quickly went back and read this segment again. That’s how much I loved it.
What I love most about this book is the message that love has the power to heal. Ride the Fire is one of the most beautiful, tender, powerful, triumph-of-the-soul love stories I’ve read.  
Pamela Clare is definitely in a class all her own when it comes to writing historical romance books full of strong memorable characters, engaging tight plots, scorching sensuality, and powerful love stories.
I highly recommend this book.

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