Title: Ride the Fire
Author: Pamela Clare
Published: 2005, Dorchester
Category: Historical Romance
The lovely Kristie J. has been on a mission to spread the word about this book. She said it reminded her of Last of the Mohicans, which I LOVE (the movie, not the book). So, when I saw Ride the Fire at the library, I had to pick it up. And I'm glad I did.
Because I thought the first 3/4 of this book was solid gold, classic romance.
Our hero and heroine are both slightly damaged goods. Elspeth Stewart was sexually abused as a young girl and therefore fears men and sex. Nicholas Kenleigh has a tortured soul from being captured and tortured by Indians. At the start of the novel, Nicholas is wounded and collapses near Elspeth's farm in the Ohio wilderness. Elspeth is living alone, recently widowed and very pregnant. Though she fears Nicholas, she allows him to stay as he heals. Nicholas helps deliver Elspeth's baby and they come to trust each other. When an Indian uprising begins, Nicholas knows he cannot leave Elspeth alone with a baby in the wilderness, so they start the dangerous journey to the nearest fort.
The action is really good, very exciting as they dodge Indians and evil men from Elspeth's past. The characters were lovely. I especially liked Nicholas--strong and hardened to violence, but still gentle and amazingly patient with Elspeth. And this book is HAWT!! She certainly did ride his fire. A lot. :)
My only problem with the book is that once they left Fort Pitt for Philadelphia, I thought the plotting fell apart a bit. The book's conflict had been resolved. Elspeth no longer fears men, and Nicholas has come to terms with his past and realized that he can have a normal life. It turned into a normal Cinderella story, which is fine and dandy, but it lacked the beginning's force and excitement.
There were several mentions of Nicholas's uncle Jamie and his wife Brighid, which makes me think they have a book of their own. I'll have to find out, because it's probably worth a read.