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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Ride the Fire
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change

on 14 January 2010
The setting is the American Frontier during the French and Indian War, the year is 1763. Clare paints a harsh and forbidding backdrop where survival is paramount and the wilderness threatens to swallow both the hero and heroine whole.

Nicholas Kenleigh is tormented and broken and this is unsurprising as the prologue opens the novel with a rather graphic account of the torture he and two fellow soldiers suffer at the hands of the Native-American Wyandot tribe. Nicholas emerges alive but is chased by shadows. Forced by his memories to abandon his affluent family he has spent six years roaming and trying to escape his merciless past. An encounter with another Indian tribe brings him on the brink of death to Elspeth (Bethie) Stewart's door.

Alone and pregnant, Bethie is not without her own anguish. Recently widowed, her only hope is that her baby will be born in safety on the remote farmstead she and her husband shared. Bethie's perception of men is heart wrenching, moulded by abuse suffered at the hands of her step-brother and step-father and the perfunctory encounters with her late husband. So when a bleeding Nicholas shows up at her door, holding a gun to her temple she is understandably terrified. But Bethie's no doormat, her past has made her strong and fiercely protective of both her unborn baby and her own body. She nurses Nicholas back to health, but not before drugging him and tying him to the bed. Eventually they reach a truce and to repay her kindness Nicholas vows to protect her until the baby is born.

Following the birth of baby Isabelle, Nicholas and Bethie are forced from the farm by marauding Indians and adventure ensues. A race through the wilds of the frontier becomes necessary as the three must outrun enemies bent on reclaiming the land. Clare skilfully paints the landscape here and impresses on the reader a sense of urgency, danger and isolation. War rages around them as they reach the safety of Fort Pitt, a sanctuary that hides its own evils.

It was Nicholas' unyielding care for Bethie and the daughter that he viewed as his own that made me love him. He was ever gentle with Bethie, and took a selfless approach to winning her love. Clare's writing of their relationship was believable, emotional and thoroughly involving. But Bethie is not the only one with demons here and Nicholas not the only saviour. Their pasts mirror each other and as secrets are revealed and the novel develops it becomes apparent that one cannot exist without the other. Bethie helps Nicholas as much as he does her so there is never a sense of imbalalance in their relationship. Both heroine and hero come from different social backgrounds, he is an Oxford educated Englishman and she the illiterate daughter of Scots-Irish provincials. This causes some friction between the two but it is not expounded upon and Clare does not exploit it to drive the plot forward.

****This is not an era in history that I usually choose to read about so I read the novel without preconception or expectation. That being said it did not feel clichéd or formulaic, it felt fresh and exciting and I can't remember the last time that I was as satisfied by a Historical Romance. Not once did Ride the Fire read as my usual frivolously fluffy fare, it was extremely enjoyable but unapologetically emotional and dark in places. Reading Ride the Fire was an education in itself, and there's nothing better than learning wrapped up in a beautiful love story.****
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on 30 June 2009
I have recently been fed up with historical romances, but had in fact read Pamela Clares contemporary romances. Being stuck and trying to find a good author to read I thought I would try this author again and tried another historical romance, the first of them was Ride the Fire. I was hooked, I couldnt put this book down. If you like her contemporary and you also enjoy a good historical then you will def enjoy this. I am just reading surrender now which is just as good and have ordered the rest of her historical books. Excellent read.
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on 31 March 2010
Having just gone through a spate of rubbish romance from the charity shop - I happened on this book and loved it. The historical element felt accurate, the love story tender and believable and the characters gripped my imagination. I really enjoyed this book and have re read it a couple of times since.
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on 17 May 2015
This is an awssome book. I'm normally not one to leave reviews (sorry authors!), but in this case I just had to tell everyone how fantastic this book is! The hero and heroine are so tortured in so many ways that you just want them to find happiness. The detail and grittyness of the story has you on the edge of your seat. If you only buy one book this year- buy this one. You won't be disappointed . Caroline Storer xx
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on 4 April 2013
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on 11 January 2016
one of the best books i've read full of excitement intrigue love and tears i read every page a definate keeper.the person who gave this one star must not have a romantic bone in their body.
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on 25 September 2013
I really enjoy the work of this author, and this is an early story that lead into many sequels. Not my favorite, but I enjoy having it as a reference to the following books.
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on 14 July 2015
Boring characters, boring plot, totally predictable - finished this book in the end but it was an effort. One star.
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on 30 May 2015
at last the final book about the American frontier, and the three brothers. another great great book.
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on 7 May 2016
There are three book in this series read them all absolutely brilliant
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