by Pamela Clare
Book 4 of Colorado High Country
Basically, my first thought upon seeing this new Pamela Clare release was: "Another historical?" But then I realized this was the fourth installment of Colorado High Country and I freaked out! Because, how did I miss this book's release?
Well, that situation got remedied real quickly.
Chaska Belcourt and his sister Winona chances upon Naomi, wounded and unconscious after a struggle for her life from a pair of escaped convicts. Because of a flippant challenge Chaska had given to the Creator, followed by their wolf companion, Shota, rushing off and leading them to Naomi, Winona believes that fate had intervened, bringing the "right woman" into Chaska's path.
But Chaska is hard pressed to believe that fate had anything to do with it since Shota was the one who found Naomi.
Meanwhile, as Naomi recovers from her injuries--a broken ankle, surgery, and a vandalized car--she is surprised to find how friendly and helpful all the residents of Scarlet Springs are. Naomi had had to learn how to take care of herself after running away from her cult-like adopted family, a place where children are punished harshly for the smallest slights, and where her adopted father controls every aspect of everyone's life in his community. This type of kindness is new to her, and the togetherness in which Scarlet's residents present is a novelty she slowly begins to hope could be part of her own life.
With Chaska and Winona offering her a place to stay until she can get back on her feet, Naomi comes to love her hosts as well as the small town of Scarlet Springs; and soon starts to believe that maybe she's found somewhere to belong. Meanwhile, the attraction between Chaska and Naomi is unmistakable, and even Chaska has to admit that maybe his sister was onto something about fate leading him to the woman he was meant to be with.
Tempting Fate read like two stories in one, starting off with a semi-contemporary romance with a romantic suspense lingering in the background. Naomi's escape from the convicts and then the hunt to find them. Meanwhile, Naomi spends her time recovering in the Belcourt siblings' home, trying to figure out how to get her life back together while fearing that the convicts may come back for her.
The second half was straight up contemporary romance, and there is a very slight distinction between the two halves at the 50% mark. The convicts are captured and now Naomi and Chaska's romance takes center stage. In this portion, a lot of mundane, day-to-day activities and events occur, such as little romantic dates, a few Team rescues, and big team dinners, and of course, the steamy sexy times.
We could call it two parts of one story.
First of all, I love how our author infuses so much heart into all of her work. Her characters are always good people, and her message is always positive. This is a standard Pamela Clare story.
And alongside this, she also always tries to bring awareness to a lot of different things; in this case, the Native American community, citing historical events and facts about places like Wounded Knee, or giving us a glimpse of what life is like living on a reservation. Her infusion of the customs and traditions of the Lakota is definitely inspirational, while giving us a glimpse of a contemporary Lakota family and a couple, simply going about their lives, not restricted to stereotypes given by society or media.
It's certainly something to think about.
Tempting Fate is a sweet, lovely contemporary romance, written well, with a great set of characters.
I suppose if I had to complain about something, it would be the somewhat over-dramatic emotional scenes that Pamela will sometimes drop into her romances. She has the tendency to go a little overboard with her character's emotional reactions to any and all events, which will sometimes make me picture her heroine in a sobbing voice almost 90% of the time, and her heroes always clenching their jaw at every negative slight he perceives being directed at his true love.
I sometimes also imagine swooning, and those old fashioned covers where the couple is barely dressed and there's wind blowing, for whatever reason. I mean, all this particular cover is missing is a half-dressed woman, since we've already got heaving man-bosoms.
Add onto that the schmaltzy dialogue during love scenes, and sometimes I have a hard time suspending disbelief. Not that I've ever been in a relationship before, but it just doesn't seem believable that people talk and act like that.
Then again, like I've stated, there is so much heart presented in Pamela's work that it's hard to stay frustrated with the little quibbles. Instead, you just move on and enjoy the rest of the story. Even if the story is a little disjointed, with most of the main conflict resolved before the halfway mark, and then the last half of the book simply filler material to slowly tie together all the loose ends.
Because, after all, all the characters are great characters, and Pamela is a great writer, regardless. As I'd stated before, I honestly have and still enjoy her romantic suspense books much more. And no matter the amount of schmaltz, I still find her books entirely enjoyable, if only because she understands when to cut the schmaltz so that it doesn't become too over the top.
I DID enjoy the little road trips that Chaska takes Naomi on, from one area to another along the mountain ranges, from one little town to another. And I always enjoy seeing the day-to-day activities of the SAR Team.
Overall, this was an entertaining read, and I hope the next book will be about Chaska's sister.
Free Friday #3:
Page Count: 322
Cash Award: +$6.00
Updated Bank Balance: $137