Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of UNTAMED HEART by Catherine Sharp

Catherine Sharp is new to the romance genre and she’s picked a fab era with which to start – the Old West. Because I love a good western romance and a debut author, I eagerly accepted the assignment to read and review UNTAMED HEART by Catherine Sharp.

***eCopy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


Shane Cordell, raised by the Cheyenne, is savagely handsome. Women are drawn to him like a moth to a flame, and he's every bit as dangerous. His heart never gets involved...until now. Ashley Clayton is beautiful and independent. She was raised without a mother's touch, having only her father and ranch hands to ease her into womanhood. She is naive in the ways of etiquette but not in the ways of the flesh, horseflesh mostly. Upon her first encounter with Shane, she feels a strong attraction immediately, but there is a lie...a lie she is sworn to keep. A lie that seems so innocent now bodes heartache for their future. Shane must face his past in a courtroom where he is charged with rape and murder. Just as he's found not guilty, Ashley's innocent lie sends him running again, this time into a prostitute's arms. 

*               *              *               *               * 

Ashley Clayton heads out into a blinding snowstorm when her prize stallion jumps the fence and goes missing. Foolish and unprepared, she finds herself in a dangerous and nearly fatal position. Fortunately for her, Shane rescues her just in time.

When we first meet Shane Cordell, he’s saving his brother’s life. Immediately we are made aware of Shane’s independent and loyal character. Much later as he makes his way through the same snowstorm that has stranded Ashley, he comes upon her half-frozen body and proves he’s a gentleman as well.

After recovering from her near death experience, shock at finding herself in a strange man’s company and not having been ravished while wearing nothing but a blanket, Ashley allows Shane to take her home once the weather clears. The attraction is there but Shane has a fear of commitment, no trust for white men having been raised by the Cheyenne and having experienced his own misfortunes at the hands of their enemies, but he’s encouraged by his attraction to Ashley and so puts some faith in her. Ashley, however, starts out with a lie that threatens to tear apart any hope of a relationship even before it can begin.  

UNTAMED HEART by Catherine Sharp had great potential to be an amazing story with strong, resilient, and intelligent characters. The reader is treated to lots of action including gunfights and shoot’em ups, an evil bad guy who is determined to exact revenge on Ashley and Shane, and even some historical tidbits that make the story all the more fascinating. However, as good as the plot line is, as strong as the characters are, and as helpful as the historical accuracies and Cheyenne language were, I had such a problem with the dialogue, the innocuous banter, and the constantly changing point of view, that I couldn’t enjoy the amazing story that Catherine was trying to tell.

I believe that with some tighter writing, more attention to changes in point of view, and directing the dialogue to create a more accurate portrayal of the language of the Old West, UNTAMED HEART by Catherine Sharp could have been a home run. I look forward to whatever she brings on next because the potential is there and I’d love to see her grow as a writer. 

Although I had problems with the technical part of UNTAMED HEART by Catherine Sharp, I will recommend reading it if you love a good western romance. The story is wonderful, if you can stay with it, and it contains all the elements including a little suspense to keep you reading to the end. I thought about quitting it a couple of times, but kept picking it back up because I continued to be intrigued.

Happy Reading Everyone!

UNTAMED HEART by Catherine Sharp, BookStrand – Siren Publishing, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links or cover below for purchasing information


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