Ride the Fire (Leisure Historical Romance)

Ride the Fire - Pamela Clare Not in the mood to write a full review, so I'm bringing back the bullet list.The Good- The pacing. In romance, "suspense" invariably refers to some sort of mystery that needs solving. In this book, however, the specter of unnamed danger hovering in the near distance creates a sense of dread that leaves the reader in suspense. Can Nicholas and Bethie trust each other? What will she do when the baby comes? Will they outrun the Indian war party? Will they outrun their personal demons?- The characters. I liked the strength and the vulnerability in them both. Each had horrible pasts that prevented them from getting close to others, but they didn't use them as shields, like is common in romance. Their pasts inhibit them almost subconsciously. When they notice their attraction to the other, they resist it more from a position of awkward discomfort than from an angsty determination to remain alone. They felt real to me in the ways they reacted to their experiences.- The plot. Sick to death of pampered broads dancing in regency ballrooms, a gritty road romance set in western PA during the French-Indian War is a refreshing breath of fresh air. It's well-researched and immersive. Rampaging Indian war parties and a siege on a colonial frontier fort aren't a mere background for sexxoring, Bethie and Nicholas are intimately involved with the upheaval around them.- The cultural sensitivity. I liked that neither the English nor the Indians were the good team. Both had their flaws. It wasn't "PC" or anachronistic, just a fairly honest look at an ugly period in our shared histories.The Bad- Bethie's tendency to feistiness. In the midst of all this upheaval and danger, Bethie seemed determined to get herself killed by ignoring Nicholas' instructions. I'm a pretty headstrong person myself, but if I'm out of my element and an expert in that element tells me to do something, I'm gonna do it. Whether it was shooting when he told her to sit tight, running to the fort walls in the middle of a battle to fret over him or riding out to meet an angry mob, I thought she was acting recklessly, not bravely, despite the positive outcomes.- The last few chapters. After getting through the siege at Fort Pitt, things got a bit flabby, I thought. When the bulk of the book was marinated in gritty realism, an ending full of fluffy wish fulfillment and past protagonists felt out of place. Compared to the way previous issues were handled, the facile treatment of their disparate social classes at the book's finish was jarring.The VerdictDefinitely another great book from Ms. Clare. I read it in a single sitting, much to my arms' and back's despair, and can't stop thinking about the story and the characters. Highly recommended to anyone who loves an emotional romance mixed with history and adventure.