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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  633 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Outspoken and opinionated, Katherine Sutherland is ill at ease amongst the fine ladies of Regency London. She is more familiar with farmers and her blunt opinions and rough manners offend polite society. Yet when she hears the scandalous rumours involving her sister and the seductive Duke of Darlington, the fiercely loyal Katherine vows to save her sister's marriage – what ...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published May 10th 2013 by Penguin Books Australia (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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A crossing-dressing, promiscuous, bisexual duke, who nurtures his own coterie of homosexual admirers, seduces two sisters, and runs off to the country in a swirl of skirts, petticoats and corsets....


I've always said I love reading something different. And that's true. Mostly. But I didn't get this. The plot, the attitudes, the characters, their motivations and decisions were difficult to follow and understand. It was difficult to figure out what was happening. And importantly, why. Between the m
Alexis Hall
Argh, I feel so torn about this, I feel so deeply torn.

I mean, I follow Anna Cowan on Twitter and I read her blog, and I kind of completely *adore* her but … but … I am not … I just … argh. Argh.

This doesn’t work for me.

There’s lots I do really like about it. I know “different” is not necessarily always a good thing (*cough* Painted Faces *cough*) but, in this case, I think it is. I was so happy to have a sexually ambiguous, cross-dressing hero. I loved the strong, determined, active heroine. An
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anna Cowan gives the reader an exquisite ball of yarn that is "Untamed", we given the task to slowly unravel the strand of the story intertwined with memorable characters and something that will surprise the reader to the very end.

Katherine (Kit) Sutherland is a oddball of society. Willing to speak her mind to anyone from servant to duke. She's also built like a woman whose use to and no scared of hard work. When she learns that her sister is having an affair with the notorious Duke of Dar
Cam *tactile seeker*

I. Can't. Even. Elaborate.

This story, this new, terrific, absolutely promising author just robbed me of my capability to form and express coherent thoughts. I haven't been this... this amazed since I don't even know when.

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I think I'll start with a quote. It always makes everything easier, after.

'Christ,' said BenRuin, leaning back into the chair. 'You have the constitution of a woman.'
'Would that be the woman who has been playing cards against the ton's best for the past eight hours? Or the w
K.J. Charles
This was very nicely written and very compelling. I gulped it down, and didn't really think about stuff that bothered me till later.

- The Duke. For *once* a romance where the scale of a duke's privilege and restrictions is at least hinted at. I am so tired of dukes who have free time to be spies and wander around the countryside. They're literally one step below the king, dammit! Loved that, loved that he was a bi cross dresser, loved his traumatised past and foul temper and oblivious privilege.
The intricate plotting and exquisite writing of this debut evokes comparisons to Julia Ross, one of my favorite authors of historical romance. Cowan doesn't fit everything together as seamlessly as Ross's best work, but she certainly creates a rich, vivid story.

Kit Sutherland is desperate to end The Duke of Darlington's affair with her married sister Lydia, but the price he asks is a strange one: he'll accompany her to her country home... and he'll do so in the guise of a woman. "Lady Rose" is a
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
I'm not sure how to react to this book.

I loved the first few chapters. LOVED them. I was so sure I was going to love the whole thing... but no. It didn't happen quite that way.

The entire middle section was a letdown for me. The characters I'd thought were so different and interesting became boring (although they were definitely different from the usual romance leads). Kit and Jude got emotionally intimate way too quickly, and the middle was filled with their angst. It turned out I didn't like Ju
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing

this review was originally published at

Dear Ms. Cowan:

Before I began this book, I read a scathingly negative review by another reviewer. Here at Dear Author, Janine and I have different opinions about Untamed. The novel is a book many will either love or hate.

I loved it. It’s one of the most mesmerizing books I’ve read this year. It’s not perfect and yet I won’t be surprised if, come January, it’s on many a list as 2013′s best debut.


A very unique and refreshingly different book! It wasn't necessarily a dark story but if you liked The Silver Devil, you might appreciate this book. The hero had the same type of unusual personality and manner. He was a tortured soul and was very feminine but he was clever with it. For half the book he crossed dressed as "Lady Rose", but it only made the story more entertaining. The heroine was a strong and unequaled woman. She was a tomboy in a way. She swore and said provoking things to anyon
I have never, ever, read a book quite like this. This was such a joy to read. Sure, some plot points could have been better explained (view spoiler) , but holy crap I loved Kit and Darlington.

The author plays with gender sterotypes like a comedienne extroadinnaire. The situations her characters find themselves in can be both hilarious and unexpectedly touching at the same time. It's phenomenal.

Abrasive and tomboyish Kit, our main character, is coerced into entert
Miranda Davis
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone looking for the aggressively different in HRs
Recommended to Miranda by: several readers
Best succinct summary of the premise:

I kept reading this because I could not stop reading it. I wanted to know what would happen next. The worlds, both London society and country, came alive. These worlds were populated by complicated, sometimes cruel, screwed-up people. The story's climax itelf was very dramatic, too. But…oddly enough, cliche.

This stands gender roles of hist. romances on their head with a brave, capable, strong, tanned, butch woman fight
Katie Montgomery
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dear Anna Cowan,

This book is just so ... brave. That is the only word I have for it.

OK, that's a lie. I have a lot of words for your book.

Anachronistic. Intelligent. Articulate. Unexpected. Romantic. Wise. Uncomfortable. Challenging. Elegant. Controversial. Gorgeous. Flamboyant. Bizarre. Skillful. Monopolizing. Funny.

A lot of people are decidedly NOT fans of this book, and never will be, but I think you knew that when you wrote it. You knew that a lot of the readers of this subgenre were not rea
Here is my imagined Darlington:

Female version:
Male version:

And yes, those are both pictures of the same man.

(The male version's fashion is off, since Kaya has a regrettably small number of male outfit photos, and he's blond in most. My lovely VK boys generally go for Rococo or Victorian, as they're in full agreement with Darlington's modiste—Regency fashion's just not interesting enough.)

If you knew me in real life (or even on various other websites), you'd know that I adore pretty men
I'm really not at all sure how to rate this, because this book was very different from most regency romance novels. Very different.

Part of me wants to give it 4 stars, because it's really well written and the characters are all unique individuals with real personalities and flaws. On the other hand, I wasn't as crazy about the plot as I should have been and I think most of that stemmed from how unbelievable parts of it were.

Not only that but the author created this atmosphere of tension around
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You’re either going to love it or hate it. I don’t think there’s a middle of the road for this novel. I more than loved it! I adored the hero, heroine, plot…oh and the prose is so good that it borders on poetic. It brings to mind Julie Anne Long’s and Grace Burrowes’ writing.

As soon as I was done with it, I had to Tweet the author. My Tweet was “I am in awe of it. It’s intriguing, clever & exciting; romantic & sensual; breathtakingly delightful!”

This was one of those stories that made you unknow
Julie LeMense
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a début author myself, I've been combing Amazon for other new authors who are vaulting themselves into this terrifying, amazing new world. That's how I stumbled across this title.

I should preface my comments by saying that I've read historical romances for decades, and without a doubt, this one is unique, with a plot that contravenes every trope and contrivance, with writing that is beautiful and often borders on the truly literary.

If you are a traditionalist, this is not the book for you. Ho
Impoverished, tomboy country bumpkin meets manipulative, femme duke, who is having an affair with her sister. Katherine needs to save her sister's marriage so she makes a deal with the devil. Nothing about this book was predictable aside from the HEA. The gender roles are really interesting and I cannot recommend it enough, I'm terrified of spoiling it for anyone. Please read it!
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Originally posted as a bookstagram:

Untamed by Anna Cowan is a historical romance title that came highly recommended by my sister-in-smut Kat of Book Thingo. Not gonna lie, I read this right away when she said the author is good friends with C.S. Pacat (a.k.a. my new favorite author). She also said this is a different kind of Regency romance, and that was definitely true. I was hoping to love this book but sadly, that didn't happen. The potential was there
Fiona Marsden
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very different kind of Regency romance. The Duke of Darlington is a hero like none other. At first glance he seems to be a classic Regency rake with an almost non-existent sexual morality. The heroine, Katherine, is blunt to the point of rudeness. She has been in charge of keeping her impoverished family viable for too long to take a submissive role.
Her sister, lovely as she is, has been married to Benruin, a bluff man without the graceful charm of the Duke of Darlington. At the point
The Window Seat
May 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
My curiosity about Untamed all started with a tweet. Through the magic of Twitter I got to eavesdrop on a conversation between author Anna Cowan and another blogger talking about her debut book and it was mentioned that the hero was a cross-dressing duke! For some reason that just stuck in my brain and I became obsessed with finding the book for myself. With just that morsel of fact to go on I think I was expecting a comedy of errors or some kind of farce tied up in a Historical romance. What I ...more
Kate Belle
Hats off to Anna Cowan. This wonderful, intelligently written romance subverts all the gender roles of traditional regency romance and does so with aplomb. The characterisation is beautifully rendered and near faultless. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much more than I expected.

I’ve arrived late to this party - which isn’t uncommon for me, I feel like I’m always playing catch up on the books everybody else read ages ago – but now I’m here I have to declare what a terrific book Untamed is.


Definitely five stars. Wish I could write out my whole review this minute but will just leave it for the moment to say this was one of those stories that grabbed on and wouldn't let go. The diamond collar at the end (versus the big bow) was almost too much, but I guess the characters deserved the break after all they've been through. I definitely will be reading this one again.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've read a few reviews and the general consensus is that 'Untamed' is either a book you love or you hate.

I didn't hate this book. But I didn't like it either.

I usually don't mind anachronisms in the historical romances I read. But this bugged me greatly in 'Untamed', it took me away from the story multiple times.

My biggest bugbear was that the 'I love you' gave me absolutely no feelings. I didn't believe in the central love story at all.

I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book.
Joanna Shupe
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I dug this book. Some things were a pretty high believability bar to scale, but for the most part I thought it was really well done and DIFFERENT. We've never seen a hero like this before and I really liked that. He could've probably been more extreme for my tastes, but I realize I'm probably in the minority. Definitely worth a read!
This is turning into a serious DNF for me. It has too many clunky and odd parts that outweigh the good parts, and make for a rough reading experience.

Premise: heroine is a tall, physically sturdy woman of 28 who comes to London to visit her younger sister, the beauty of the family who married very well. Heroine is awkward and poorly-socialized and wants to go home to her farm. Hero is a dissolute duke who has seduced her sister, lives for scandal, is dead inside, and crossdresses. For unclear-t
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up.

Why I read it: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. It's been on my radar for a while now.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Have you ever had the experience of seeing something in your peripheral vision more clearly than when you look straight on? I had that a few times when reading this book. That sense of something just outside my grasp.

While I had some problems with the story, there is also a lot to like. There is some lovely poetry in the wri
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is a cliche to say that a book is so good, that you can help but want to read it again immediately yet I rarely feel that way, I read constantly, compulsively. I finish a book, and start the next one with the next breath. When a book is amazing, I might pause for a bit, sit and think about how I felt reading it. Anna Cowan's Untamed, made me pause not just at end but as I read, as I tried to understand her Duke, and Kit. As I tried to unravel these bound up individuals. The tension was such t ...more
Jul 19, 2014 marked it as no-thank-you
Jill's very helpful review has convinced to pass on this one. ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Untamed, the book you do not expect. The title is fairly common, especially in romance books of every kind, several characters, both male and female, are described with that Word. Instead I found myself immersed in reading a regency totally outside of schemes, for both its plot and its characters, I daresay amazing.

Outspoken and opinionated, Katherine Sutherland is ill at ease amongst the fine ladies of Regency London. She is more familiar with farmers and her blunt opinions and rough manners of
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
adored this a lot and i guess this is just one of those love it or hate it books as evidenced by the reviews. the plot didn't exactly hold water but this is the most unique historical romance i've read in a while and the language is beautiful

very disappointed that this isn't a series though. WE WANT CRISPIN/TOM AND LYDIA/BENRUIN
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 25, 2015 08:51AM  

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Anna Cowan has been writing since she was eight years old and her heroine thought the likeliest place to buy a horse was the pet shop. She lives in Melbourne with her Scottish husband. They were married on the shores of Loch Lomond, which was just as romantic as it sounds.

Anna's favourite characters are the kind who seduce her intellect and cut themselves right to the bone emotionally. Now that h

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