Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All Lauraine Snelling Fans MUST Read This New Book!!

"An Untamed Heart"

By Lauraine Snelling, 
Author of the Red River of the North Series

I must admit that I had heard many good things about Lauraine Snelling , as a writer, but to date, had not had the opportunity to read any of her works. When this book became available for review purposes, I did request it, due to the high regard so many readers have of this author.

This book is a prequel to the others in the Red River of the North. However, I felt that as it was a prequel, although I hadn't read the others, it would be fine! WRONG!!! I would have had a much more pleasurable experience if I had known about the Bjorklund and Strand families. Don't get me wrong! I did enjoy the book , once I had read about a third of it, and had figured out the relationship between the families and who was who!! My own fault for not delving into the earlier books of the series.

Due to my lack of familiarity with the other books in the series, I found it somewhat difficult to get right into this story. It took me so long to understand the family, locality , and connections, that I feel that my review is somewhat inaccurate. I have to go back and reread the others now!  The story is extremely well written and  would definitely qualify as a great historical fiction. Although it is not my favourite genre, as I continued to read, it became a "hard to put down" book!!  It was certainly an enjoyable read, but I wouldn't advise a reader to start with this book. The series should be read in order.

"An Untamed Heart" takes you right into the inner being of twenty year old Ingeborg Strand and her extreme worries and fears of never being able to find the perfect man to marry. Her family does not understand or care about these quiet fears. Her native home, in Norway , is a rather secluded area, where she may NEVER find the man of her dreams. Ingeborg, her siblings and cousins go , every summer, to their summer farm in the mountains. There, she can at least escape the critical eye of her mother, for whom she nevers seems to do anything the right way, unable to please her.

There is also a parallel story line involving a young, handsome student , Nils, who dreads and would do anything to to accept the duties, that his father assigns to him in the family business.  He does not wish to be the heir to their family fortune!! Upon leaving his home, to rethink his options , and to study in peace, he has an accident, throwing him helplessly into the summer home of Ingeborg.  A romance slowly and carefully develops. The problem is, that Ingeborg's life is further complicated by meeting widower, Roald and his young son.  The story line is rather slow at this part of the book. I did think that there was a dwelling on details of the farm that could have been shortened in some way. More romance and less description would have helped my level of interest. However, if I had read the other books, my opinion may have been different.  

I definitely was challenged by trying to keep straight all of the siblings and cousins. Fans of the other books in the series would not have experienced this.

I did love the setting and the developing romance and would highly recommend this book to  all of Louraine's fans. I may just have to read the others to fully appreciate this book.

I would give it a four star rating, Well written and deep feelings were described in detail. I could feel Ingeborg's frustrations and challenges. Next time, I will make a wiser choice and read the books in the correct order.

About the Author:
Lauraine Snelling, an award-winning author of fifty-plus books with sales of over 2 million copies, also writes for a wide range of magazines and teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

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