Amanda's Reviews > Surrender

Surrender by Pamela Clare
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Feb 02, 11

Read from January 29 to February 01, 2011

The MacKinnons are a group of brothers whose family fled Scotland after the bitter loss at Culloden. They begin anew in the American colonies, dreaming of a prosperous life tilling the earth and reaping its bounties. Partly raised by the native Muheconneok Indians, they become great hunters and learn the way of the land. But the brothers are framed for a murder they did not commit and are forced to fight for the British in the French and Indian War. They despise the British regime and hold fast to their Scottish roots and Highland beliefs even as Iain, the oldest of the three, enlists a band of Rangers, which include his native adopted brothers. Annie Burns Campbell, once a noble lady, has been betrayed by her ruthlessly vile uncle. He sells Annie into indentureship and sends her far from her beloved Scotland, over the ocean to the Americas. When Iain defies orders and saves her from a band of Abenaki Indians, her life begins anew and she becomes a brave frontier woman fighting for survival. Thus begins a historical romance that will be scorched upon your memory.

Our hero, Iain MacKinnon, is a powerful warrior who possesses a body filled with brute force, muscles flexing, protecting all that is his. Yet, he is also a beautiful man filled with a tenderness that makes you weep when he caresses his lover, every bit of emotion filled within his eyes and pouring forth upon her. What woman could possibly resist this combination of strength and tenderness, savagery and gentleness? I surely could not, and neither can our heroine, Anne Campbell.

"She loved his strength, his courage. She loved his fairness, the protective way in which he led his men - a true son of Highland lairds. She loved his gentleness, the way his big hands, so fierce with rifle and blade, moved tenderly over her skin. She loved the deep blue of his eyes, the velvet of his voice, the exotic markings on his sun-browned skin. She loved his manly smell, the hardness of his body, the way his kisses set her aflame."

I absolutely loved this book. Pamela Clare has managed to build a heart-gripping love story set upon the backdrop of the American frontier, in a time filled with the ravages of war. Who would think that a Highlander in upstate New York during the 1700's would be the basis for a tale filled with turmoil, adventure and unrelenting passion. One cannot help but see the resemblances between this book and the great movie "The Last of the Mohicans". I was also reminded of other historical tales, including Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series and my all-time favourite, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, of which the later books involve the hero and heroine arriving in the colonies of America. The history in Surrender is intriguing and the battles are vividly described, making me feel the bitter loss of lives on the battle field. There were many times in the book when I felt so deeply touched and deeply aroused. The intimate scenes between Iain and Annie involved both tender lovemaking and hot, erotic sex. The surprise ending made my heart swell and my tears fall, for it was here that Iain learned just how revered he was by his men. Underlying this whole tale is that sense of hope....hope for a new life in a new land with a new family with new-found happiness. I love these words uttered by Iain to his new wife. They reveal, for me, what love and committment are all about....sadness and joy...the price we must pay for true love:

Annie turned to her husband, lifted her gaze to his. "Since I met you, Iain MacKinnon, I seem always to be feelin' both sadness and great joy at once." "Aye, lass, 'tis much the same for me." He kissed the top of her head, wiped the tears from her cheeks, his blue eyes filled with tenderness. "But my Muhheconneok grannies would say you cannae open your heart to one wi'out riskin' the other, and I would rather chance the deepest sorrows of hell, Annie, than surrender the joy you and little Iain bring me each day."
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