Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book
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 – whatever the cost.

Intrigued by Katherine's interference in his affairs, the manipulative Duke is soon fascinated. He engages in a daring deception and follows her back to her country home. Here, their intense connection shocks them both. But the Duke's games have dangerous consequences, and the potential to throw both their lives into chaos…

432 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Anna Cowan

1 book96 followers
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 her cross-dressing Duke and the incomparable Katherine are out in the world, she's turning her mind to her next heroine: a murderous debt-collector . . .

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
250 (38%)
4 stars
214 (32%)
3 stars
118 (17%)
2 stars
44 (6%)
1 star
30 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 178 reviews
Profile Image for Alexis Hall.
Author 50 books10.4k followers
May 10, 2015
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. And I loved the way the interacted together. I bought the romance between them, utterly. I also liked the fact that there seemed to be different things going on than in most of the Regency-set historicals I’ve read (heh, all two of them) – I mean, there are balls, yes, but there are also mud and farms and families and impending industrialisation. It’s a very marginalisation-conscious book – both Darlington and Kit are marginalised by … I guess … gender ambiguity, the family is marginalised by poverty, lots of the characters are marginalised by sexuality.
This is all shit hot awesome stuff.

Oh, and I liked the focus on the family, as well, and how important they are to each other’s lives – even Wet Tom, her hopeless gay brother.

Equally, it’s incredibly engaging written. The dialogue is all sparky and delightful, and the prose is just plain old fashioned lovely, and often quite unique:

And there he was, the man in black. His profile was to her, his fingers as clever over the keys as his tongue was over words. But less … restrained. His music was lit at the edges.

But, wah, but wah, there was also a lot that didn’t work for me. I’m not massively bothered about historical veracity: I didn’t mind that Kit behaves kind of wildly unacceptably, or that Darlington’s crowd of sodomitical dandies behave too much like modern day queers with a sense of identity as themselves a queers, or that dandyism seemed inherently connected, by the text, to homosexuality, or even that – apparently – the Corn Laws are wrong BUT the plot just came across to me as wildly incoherent. It had a lot of quite interesting strands but they never quite came together in a satisfying manner, and occasionally characters just seemed to act for no other reason than to further it – like Darlington semi-randomly deciding to stay with Kit WHILE disguised as a woman or Wet Tom waking up one morning and deciding to sell the farm. There’s usually some underlying emotional drive but because there was so much happening, the interplay and evolution of motivation and needs between characters didn’t always come across to me. Like, I really liked Lydia and BenRuin (even he was a stereotypical HUGE SCOTT) but they finally decide to have a conversation and admit they care about each other … because … uh … it was near the end of the book, and they felt it was time to have a conclusion?

And, although I really admired Cowan’s attempt to interrogate gender construction in the romance gender, to me it felt more like a slightly unfortunate re-assignment of traits and tropes, rather than a deconstruction of them. Darlington identifies quite explicitly as unmanly man (and suffers for it, as his father’s hands) but … since his non-manly behaviour seemed to centre around passivity, weakness, fearfulness etc. it just reinforced the notion that masculinity = strength, effeminacy = weakness. Which is, of course, nonsense, as well as being problematic. Also Darlington is revealed to be vulnerable before he’s ever really established as being the cunning, complicated exquisite he’s supposed to be. So it’s like he just walks into the text, is briefly interesting and then starts wobbling like a badly set blancmange. I genuinely don’t mind the vulnerable man thing, not in the slightest, I rejoiced and embraced, but I disliked that it was kind of immediate, because that undermined the reality of it, and I disliked the fact it was muddled in with ideas about gender identity and expression. That men aren’t SUPPOSED to express vulnerability is a different issue, I think.

Again, this is a personal reading, but I felt that the text unintentionally ended up buying into the very ideas it was trying to challenge.

Darlington’s bisexuality is a bit invisible as well – it’s briefly mentioned he bonks men, but since he’s also basically frigid (until Kit) I’m not quite sure when he’d have got round to it, or why he’d have bothered. And it just has no impact on, basically, anything, so I don’t know why it’s even in there, except as further explication of Darlington’s perceived unmanliness / difference. I’m sorry to keep banging on about this stuff, but it’s, well, it’s important to me.

This is a slightly odd piece of detail to, uh, pay too much attention to but the first time Kit and Darlington have sex, he basically plays the passive role and, frankly, it’s kind of hot, except she learns how to, ah ‘enter him’ to quote the text and it comes out later that he didn’t at any point … reciprocate. He later does, and that’s fine, but I wasn’t what was going on here. I guess he didn’t want to impregnate / devirginate her, since they weren’t married but he’s not exactly been the bastion of selflessness so far, and, y’know, by the time you’re sharing a room with an unwed lady, and basically having sex with her, not putting your dick in her is kind of quibbling.

And, pretty as it was, the whole thing just felt kind of weird to me. I mean even “unmanly bisexuals” have a cock they like to put places… and, although I appreciated the gender/role reversal thingy, I felt it unhelpfully underscored ideas about activeness and penetration being masculine and passivity and being penetrated being feminine.

Also all the gayboys are totally wet and hopeless.

That is all. And I know it sounds like I hated this, but I really didn't. I admired it a lot, it just troubled me a lot too.
Profile Image for Cam *tactile seeker*.
228 reviews46 followers
February 13, 2015

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.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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 woman who's over there elbowing the Lord Chancellor?'


Here's the thing: I'd read a couple of random reviews of this book, and went into it prepared for some serious cross-dressed, whiny, weak hero. I could feel myself already getting impatient and annoyed at the mere thought of the stupidities he might say or do. Because if it's true that I don't particularly stand super-alpha guys with their overbearing and controlling attitudes, it's also true the contrary. I don't like weak men, in the same way that I don't like weak women. It's more like a matter of not appreciating weak people in a universal view of humanity.

I didn't care much about him, though, I was too curious and focused on the heroine being strong and stubborn and plain-looking. (About that, I think the cover is probably one of the most misplaced and misleading things I've ever seen in my life as a reader. That girl there doesn't even begin to resemble the utterly glorious Kit)

So I started reading it, I was introduced to Katherine - Kit - Sutherland, born from an aristocratic mother and a gambler father, forced to act as her younger siblings' mother, after hers soon started to fade and succumb under her husband's violent attitude. She tried her best to protect them from the horrors of their father's actions, preserving their innocence and childhood until her own was stolen from her. Lydia and Tom, however, turned into two decent human beings - although painfully lacking the self-assurance only one loved child could develop, when facing the world - the first marrying a count and the latter becoming an intellectual and aspiring writer.

Kit, whose love for her sister was heartbreakingly and forever imprinted on her face for everyone to see by her bastard of a father, remained the most unaccomplished of the family. Still torn between the obvious love she felt for her parent, before he lost everything and identified her as the ultimate culprit, and her fantastic strong-willed personality. Trapped in a life she didn't choose, but managed to endure, she met one day the Duke of Darlington.

The Duke, or Jude, had done something unforgivable to her family: seduced her married sister, whose happiness had been her only purpose for years. Whose marriage with a count - in love with her, for that matter - had meant everything to her. She couldn't accept him as the cause of Lydia's ruin. She had to take action and decided to face him, the most admired and critized aristocrat in London.

The meeting happened, but not in the way the readers expected it to happen. To say I was completely charmed and captivated by Jude, would be an understatement. He stole Kit's heart with the first words he uttered. His intelligence and fragility spoke to her, her own pain recognizing a familiar companion.
The Duke was equally fascinated and drawn to her, when he realized how determined and honest she was, in return.

These two characters became one of my favorite couples ever. Jude's issues and fears moved me deeply, and I found myself wanting to save and protect him, the same way Kit did. He wasn't the whiny, unmanly young man a few people complained about. He was a duke, spoiled and insecure, deprived of love and of another person's warmth, scared of being touched. It affected me and made me fall in love with him, as well as Kit, the most beautiful woman an author could create.

For once, the Duke, despite his grand title and wealth, turned into a little, powerless, defenseless victim, and the poor, unsofisticated, plain-looking, simple and fierce commoner turned into a Queen, working and scheming and gambling to save her beloved.

Five stars, but if I could, I'd give it ten.

Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 57 books7,897 followers
July 16, 2015
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. That said, the story seemed to be setting up that he was this highly intelligent master manipulator, and all we saw was a hopeless psychological wreck, running away. Which would have been fine but I was promised a master manipulator and was disappointed.

- Kit. Yay a big not-conventionally-gorgeous woman! Loved her. Turning up in breeches to a ball? NO. If you think of this as a vaguely alt-world it's better, but that was a really screeching halt for me.

- Lovely secondary characters with cute romances, lots of hinterland, sex positive.

So yes, enjoyed this massively. It's not a turn-your-brain-off read, and therefore the implausibilities and inconsistencies bothered me more than they would have if the author had gone for it all out. But I'd def recommend this.

Profile Image for Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves.
1,278 reviews20 followers
April 22, 2021
My first gender bender/fluidity book.
4 shocked and rocked me stars
But no, not a 5*.

I am as charmed by it as with the mcs (and the other characters too), the writing's clever, witty and with turn of phrases that make you stop and savor them. The story's good enough but the sharpness and the novelty, the shock factor of the h/H's (subtle at times) role reversal gender-wise wears off after a while. It's becomes same old, same old on a loop while many other things get a hazy treatment.
The book has a whimsical tone and more about subliminal emotions than actual conduct or action. So, everything's intense but still insubstantial and not really out there,

To be honest, it did not completely work for me. The gender fluidity/puzzle was not the issue. Not even that the H spent most of the book dressed in drag. Or even the sister's sloppy seconds theme and that the sister is brushed out and redeemed and the H/sister have some (not sexual but) friendly scenes later on.*

The problem is that despite the elegant prose, nothing seems real or relatable.
The first half completely grabbed me and I felt as if I was entering a new and exciting world of emotions. But the author fails to introduce new elements - not in way of plot elements but on an emotional level too. The h/H are supposedly soul mates and instantly recognize that something in each other. But the H keeps pushing her away and has problems giving 'skin privileges'. The H's sexual coldness seems too out of proportion to his childhood trauma. I was expecting bigger revelations.

Profile Image for willaful.
1,155 reviews371 followers
June 11, 2013
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 as beguiling as the Duke himself, and soon has the entire family eating out of her hand; Kit is the only one who knows him as a man -- and also the only one who sees the fears and traumas that haunt him. Raised to be so far above anyone else he is literally untouchable, the irresistibly charming Jude is deeply troubled and lonely.

"He couldn't think of a single person he could call to his side. A single person he didn't lie to, or use, or mislead. A single person who would look at him and really see him."

I had trouble getting into this at first, because it's the sort of book I find intimidating - one in which there are many complicated plots and undercurrents, and everyone seems to understands them except me. But I kept at it, and as I got increasingly interested in the characters, the threads started to come together. Jude is one of those fascinating, charismatic game players that are so intriguing to read about -- "the man who is always five steps ahead" Kit calls him -- and he more than meets his match in the fiercely intelligent, fiercely determined, just plain fierce Kit, who is as strong as he is vulnerable. Jude's cross-dressing is more than a disguise; the story deliberately plays with traditional romance gender roles in scenes like this: "She had never imagined it would feel like this with a man -- this meeting of two bodies, each holding and being held. They were the same height, equally strong. Her eyes drank in the sight of her rough skin against his flawless white." Without spoilers, I love where Cowan eventually takes this, which becomes as much about Kit as it is about Jude.

This might be a five star read, but the ethics of Jude and Kit's behavior troubled me somewhat, and I disliked how hard it was to follow. Four stars for the memorable characters and passionate originality of the writing.

(reviewed from e-arc provided by netgalley)
Profile Image for Dabney.
446 reviews69 followers
November 18, 2013

this review was originally published at DearAuthor.com

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.

The book begins with the hero, the Duke of Darlington, sipping coffee and perusing silk handkerchiefs in the box window at Whites. In barrels a mammoth of a man, the Earl of BenRuin, seething with rage. BenRuin’s wife, Lydia, is one of Darlington’s lovers. BenRuin is stopped from slitting Darlington’s throat–he breaks a chair instead–and he leaves after telling Darlington that if he touches Lydia again, BenRuin will indeed kill him.

Lydia is at home, taking tea with her sister Kit who has recently come to London to have a belated (she’s 28) season.

‘I do wish you would leave the servants alone,’ said Lydia, Countess of BenRuin, graciously accepting a cup of tea from the footman. She and Kit sat in the upstairs parlour, squares of sunlight fat and warm on the carpet. ‘It makes them so uncomfortable.’

And your house and your friends and this fine dress make me uncomfortable. ‘Yes, my lady.’

Lydia, of the white-blonde hair and perfect figure, looked at Kit like she was a rat who had crept in and sat down for tea. Not scared of rats, Lydia, just deeply disdainful. ‘You only need to call me that in public,’ she said. ‘Lydia will do in private. I grow tired of telling you.’

‘Of course. Lydia.’

‘I suppose “sister” would be too much to manage.’

Kit resisted the urge to throw her hands up at her – a dreadful, base gesture. ‘We’ve not had cause to call each other sister these thirteen years, but the habit could be learned, if you wish it.’

Something interrupted Lydia’s smooth expression, then was gone. ‘Just a passing fancy,’ she said, her vowels as round as a line of marbles. Bored marbles. ‘Is the tea not to your taste? Fetch a new pot,’ she said to the footman. ‘And be sure it is hot when it arrives.’

You wouldn’t know by listening to them, Kit thought, that she was older than Lydia by seven years. The instant you laid eyes on them you’d not be confused, though. The fresh, fair-skinned Countess and her dark hobgoblin sister. Although perhaps she was too tall and strong for a hobgoblin. Perhaps the child of a hobgoblin and a tree.

BenRuin, a man deeply in love with a wife who seems not to care a whit for him, storms into the parlor.

The Earl fell to his knees before her sister, and though standing he was too large, too much for Kit, seeing him brought so low was awful.

‘I almost killed a man today,’ he said, his hands reaching for Lydia and finding no place they would be welcome. ‘I swear to you, I would have put my knife in his throat. Do not drive me further than this.’

Kit looked at her rough hands. Here was the part that was not so easy. She had given everything so that Lydia could marry well.

Lord BenRuin stood, as though he could no longer bear to be near his wife. ‘Do not see him again,’ he said. ‘I beg of you, do not see him again.’

That night, Kit goes to a ball and, as she always does in these social situations, slouches against a wall and thinks about her life at home, a place where she works hard–her family, the Sutherlands, are one step away from impoverished–but can be her true self. As she thinks about the pigs that need to be slaughtered, she listens to the way the ton talks about her sister and realizes Lydia’s affair with Darlington, the most scandalous man in town, is destroying Lydia’s reputation. Kit decides to make her business to end her sister’s liaison. When Darlington arrives at the ball, Kit sees him but before she can seek him out, the most beautiful man she’s ever seen strikes up a conversation with her. Their interchange is charged with the promise of emotional intimacy and, after he walks away from her, Kit feels that “something in her has been touched.” She goes and warns off Darlington who cheerfully tells her he and Lydia have “parted ways.” Darlington seems nothing like his reputation and Kit is bemused.

She wanders away from the social crush and follows the sound of a piano being played. As she stands on the edge of the room, she sees it’s the man she spoke with playing. Before she can speak to him, the hostess of the ball, the very married Lady Marmotte strolls in. As Kit watches the man, who Kit realizes is Darlington, begins to make love to Lady Marmotte. Kit is horrified to see the look on the Duke’s face.

…he was not engaged at all. He did not feel passion. His expression was calculated. His smiles, his voice, were deliberate. He used his body with as much dispassionate skill as the carpenter at Millcross used his lathe. He pushed her further back still, and then he leaned forward and licked her breasts, first one then the other. Methodical, contained.

The next day, Kit encounters Darlington while she is out with Lydia in the park. She asks him to leave Lydia alone. He agrees with the condition that Kit leave London, return home, and take him with her. She agrees despite being warned by BenRuin that if Darlington lays a finger on her, he’ll destroy the man. When the Duke’s carriage arrives to take Kit and Darlington back to the Manor (Kit’s name for her home), Darlington again shocks Kit.

…she was the most magnificent woman Kit had ever seen. She wore the rigid dress of the previous generation, but instead of looking outdated she made you long for the gorgeous, riotous colours of another age. Yellow poppies burst across the wine-red silk that bound her torso, chest and shoulders. They trailed down the skirts that waterfalled under their modest table. She was tightly corseted, her trim figure accentuated by the flare of small hoops beneath her skirts. She looked out the window, offering Kit her profile – the fine, straight nose, the smiling, expressive lips and heavy eyes. She wore a black wig, one thick coil falling over her shoulder on to the white linen tucked around her neck.

The woman turned away from the window and the Duke’s difficult blue eyes laughed out of her face.

What happens from here is complicated, routinely unexpected, and, depending on your perspective, either miraculous or mendacious. The Duke, whose name is Jude, settles into life at the Manor with Kit, her hazy mother, her beta brother, and their one servant Liza. Jude manipulates everyone–only Kit knows he’s a man–into living the lives he sees for them. In the time that the Duke takes over the Manor everyone changes, everything changes. Jude controls everyone but Kit. And it is that relationship with its every shifting power structure that makes this novel so extraordinary.

Let me say I don’t give a damn about this book’s sexual politics. Or rather I don’t give a damn about whether Untamed does justice to non-heteronormative lifestyles. It’s not that I don’t care about the cultural conundrums we ineptly struggle with as we try to define what it means to be a man, a woman, a person in 2013. But when I was reading this book, I was transported. It simply didn’t occur to me to analyze and parse. I just wanted to read.

The majority of this book details the time Jude and Kit spend living together at the Manor. Jude is a volatile chimera, shifting from entrancing to almost evil. Kit is, like so many of my favorite women in fiction, often unlikable. Their relationship is in every aspect–emotional, sexual, and social–constantly mutating. As I turned the pages, steadfastly ignoring the responsibilities of my life, I was, over and over again, surprised but never discomfited by their behavior. Together they are fascinating, sensual, and, in the way that great story-telling often is, fabulously unlikely.

The final chapters of Untamed don’t match the brilliance of the rest of the book. When Kit and Jude return to London–Jude is facing social and financial destruction, all of which has been engineered by a very pissed-off Lady Marmotte–the story falters. Kit and Jude become unlikely in ways that don’t work. The society they best is one that even I, who rarely cares about historical accuracy, found jarringly dubious. Had it not been for the deft and moving portrayal of Lydia’s and BenRuin’s relationship, I’d have felt bereft as I finished the novel.

Untamed is flawed. When, days later, I awoke from its spell, I became aware of its missteps. The novel is rather like an improved Icarus, that fabled dreamer whom Kit invokes near the end of the book’s, a literary “lunatic glory.”

Untamed falls short of its ambitions. But even as I contemplate its failings, I’m ready to read it again. It gets B+ from me.

Profile Image for Heather *sad DNF queen*.
Author 17 books445 followers
August 28, 2017
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 Jude much at all as a hero. He was too vulnerable and, dare I say it, weak for my tastes. I don't need a big strapping alpha but I do like a hero who can handle his shit.

None of the motivations for the characters was quite clear. It was mostly all there, but very vague, so that conversations and thoughts were sometimes confusing. I just didn't get WHY Jude wanted to be so close to Kit, or why she wanted him so badly, or why it was so very VITAL to get Jude away from Lydia. I mean, I did get it, but at the same time I thought the characters needed to chill the fuck out for a minute.

Another thing I didn't like was the fact that Lydia and Jude really did have an affair. I thought it was going to turn out to be a misunderstanding, but nope... the hero did have sex with the heroine's sister. And at the end they were all one big happy family? I'm sorry, but that's a little too incestuous for me. I know some other readers will be put off this by this aspect as well.

While I did like the secondary romance, that of Lydia and BenRuin repairing their marriage, the romance between Kit and Jude turned out to be uncomfortably co-dependent. Not only that, the sex was a little disappointing. The hero and heroine share a bed throughout the middle of the book but there's very little intimacy in this. And when the final sex scene comes (heh heh), there's a lot of buildup before it abruptly ends.

I did think the climax (I did it again) was pretty exciting, but the ending itself was a little bizarre. A lot of this book was bizarre. It seemed to have a lot of elements that didn't quite fit together. Yes, this was a different romance with some gender-bending going on, but it wasn't quite as refreshing as I'd hoped.
Profile Image for LuvBug (*Formerly Luvgirl) .
332 reviews85 followers
August 29, 2021
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 anyone who would listen and didn't care one wit about what others thought of her. She was perfect for the hero. The relationship between them was a tangible one. It went past the surface and penetrated the heart.

The secondary character in this book only helped to move the story along and didn't bog it down like so many other books. The heroine's sister was her rivalry for the hero's affection for a good part of the story and it was a complex state of affairs. I applaud the author for not backing down from it. She was relentless in making them work it out and didn't sugar coat anything and I loved how they ended as sisters still. I highly recommend this book. The only reason why I was uncertain about 5 stars was because the "Lady Marmott" situation seemed too improbable, but This book is far better than the mundane offerings out in romance land today. I cannot wait to see what Anna Cowen will offer next. I hope it's as unique as this one.

*New review for re-read February 2021:

I lost the exact date that I read this for the first time, but this was the second time I read this. This time I came away feeling that most of this book up to around 70 percent was still absolutely incredible. It was deep, emotional, and authentic, and had me holding my hands over my heart sighing, and screaming in glee at parts. The spoiled and pampered hero fell apart and came back together again in the heroine's arms, and it was beautiful to view. The best thing about this book was watching them falling in love and viewing their reaction to one another.

The part that surprised and disappointed me the most in this re-read was how the situation pertaining to Lady Marmott was handled towards the ending. I did touch on how improbable it was in my first review, but I had not remembered how spectacularly far fetched it was, and this time around, It bothered me much more. Though I felt it was a downgrade from 5 stars to 4.5 stars due to that, there is still so much to love about this book that the farcical ending did not ruin it completely. Still one of my faves.
Profile Image for Miranda Davis.
Author 5 books266 followers
August 27, 2015
Best succinct summary of the premise: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

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 fighting for and claiming the heart of a flighty, fair skinned, effeminate, bisexual, cross-dressing duke who's having an affair with her married sister, the countess to a big, bruising earl from Scotland.

I found the h/H's eventual relationship tender, perhaps, but not romantic. In the same vein, I didn't moon or sigh much over Lisa Marie Presley's marriage to Michael Jackson. I just didn't believe it.

The femme duke's cadged an invitation to Kit's family's humble country home in return for ending his adulterous affair w/her sis. And he shows up as the duke's cousin, Lady Rose, in wig, hoop skirts and unmentionables. He wants something more from Kit, but it wasn't clear to him, her, or me, what that was.

Though there were descriptions of growing desire and, finally, sexual contact, all I felt was two survivors of abuse comforting one another. That's sweet. But my heart's not going pitty pat. He's not an alpha or beta or anti-hero, he's the heroine. Kit's the alpha she-male. She makes things happen, and he's swept off his feet by the big, strapping, manly girl who comes to claim him.

All the typical adjectives used to describe an alpha male describe her: brown/tanned, strong, muscular, with working hands, challenging another to a duel of sorts to protect the love interest, penetrating him with her fingers, etc. While he gets all the adjectives for a gorgeous heroine: slim, beautiful, with alabaster skin and silken long hair, long fingers and soft hands. (And no Adam's apple apparently, given the type of gowns he's in.) The duke behaves like the bitchy, high-strung heroines in some stories, cruel one moment, needy the next. So typical cliches abound but for the switcheroo between male and female leads.

I'd give it 3 stars but there was fundamental fashion confusion--his hoop skirts and extravagently dyed wigs of blue and white were 18th century Georgian, not Regency. The male fashions were 19th century, far as I could tell, trousers, tall hats. Corn laws enacted 1815...so why's the the duke in hoop skirts and piled-up wigs?

The secondary characters were well done and the writing very evocative, but this was not my cup of tea.

386 reviews14 followers
December 18, 2018
First, I think this is one of those books that you’ll either love or hate… Either way, you’ll probably feel a tiny bit of confusion. However, I feel that the strengths of this story outweigh any niggling bits of confusion that persist afterwards. I must also confess that I simply love the written word especially when it is well written or shows moments of brilliance. My friends and I call them diamonds in the rough and is why I often love B movies or low budget movies. I love to see those flashes of brilliance that show what they can do with whatever constraints they are facing. So before I go further, I think I should warn you that there are spoilers dotted throughout this review. So go no farther if you wish to be unspoiled.

Profile Image for Onyx.
161 reviews36 followers
December 10, 2013
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 , 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 entertaining the wealthy, aristocratic and conniving Duke of Darlington at her home. But when he arrives, he's disguised as the impossibly enchanting Lady Rose to keep his anonymity. Hilarity ensues, and not surprisingly, the two fall in love.

While one might assume that the gender roles just switch, and we follow the 'hero' Kit in an attempt to woo the Lady Rose, instead the gender roles are explored and exhanged freely, and neither one of them is entirely the "masculine" one or the "feminine" one. This is not a story about a transgender individual. It is the most queer heterosexual love story you've ever read.

At the end of it though, Kit and the Duke decide for themselves what it means to be a man, to be a woman; to be beautiful, or strong; and no matter who is 'wearing the pants' at any given time, their love for each other provides the balance in the relationship.

Cheers to you, Anna Cowan! Please write more gender-defying stories in the future.

What else can I say? Lady Rose swept me off my feet as well.

Profile Image for Katie Montgomery.
294 reviews190 followers
March 30, 2014
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 ready, and maybe never will be, for all of the risky, wonderful, awful things you do with gender and identity.

Haters gonna hate, Anna, but please don't let them stop you. What you are writing is special, and needed, and very, very good.

XOXO, newest fan
Profile Image for Becky.
263 reviews120 followers
March 27, 2014
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 the lead guy, indicating that he was somehow outwitting everyone around him but in the end it didn't lead anywhere. He didn't have some great plan to conquer all of his enemies. He fell apart, and I do not like my heroes to need rescuing.

I also was intrigued by how physically different the female protagonist was, (dark and rough) against the sophistication and pale skin of the Duke. However, I hated how many times it was brought up in the story. It felt like every other page or so we're reminded of how gross our MC is. I didn't like that either.

The last complaint I have is that sometimes during the dialogue I would feel like I was missing something. It was almost as if the characters problems and issues ran too deep for me to see or understand and they would be in an argument and I wouldn't even really know what they were fighting about. And what had insulted them and what hadn't.

But still on the whole I did really like the Duke. There were a few laugh out loud moments at his antics and I liked how desperately they fell in love, even though I wasn't sure they actually were in love for part of the story.

On the whole a really original story, something worth reading just to decide if you like the author's writing style or not.
Profile Image for Melanie.
922 reviews29 followers
May 21, 2013
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 unknowingly hold your breath, and then slowly exhale as you go from page to page. At the end of it, it brought to mind two movies I am such a fan of: “Pretty Woman” and “An Interview with a Vampire”.

“Pretty Woman” because of its ending as the heroine ‘rescues’ the ‘hero’, and “An Interview with a Vampire” because for some reason the Duke reminded me of Lestat [no he wasn’t a Vampire, just the characterization].

Let me also say that if you’re a stickler for historical detail, you might have to suspend your disbelief and ignore a couple of things in it [notably reform of the Corn Laws and Parliament’s involvement in the divorce] to enjoy the rest of the story. I had no problem with it.

Story’s prose and especially characterization of the hero and heroine, was what engaged me emotionally.

It really was a breath of fresh air. For a change we have an author that gave us a cross-dressing hero instead of a heroine, and the result was entertaining, intriguing and engaging.

It was a risk, but I think it paid off big time!

I recommend it whole heartedly!

ARC courtesy of NetGalley.
Profile Image for Julie LeMense.
Author 4 books105 followers
July 26, 2014
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. Honestly, keep browsing. It is loosely based in the Regency era, because Liverpool is the prime minister, but there are hoop skirts in abundance, a heroine who talks like a sailor, and a storyline that simply could never have happened during that age. It is occasionally difficult to follow, in terms of point of view, as secondary characters flit in and out of the book's narrative voice. But if you are willing, take this chance. Embrace this stunning book--with its insights into human frailties that had me close to tears; with its lush, lyrical language--never verbose, but stripped to its essence, so that its power could be more effectively felt. An earlier reviewer said that this book could start a new genre, literary romance, and I agree. I found myself marveling at the emotion and imagery that Cowan used to describe the simplest actions... kneading bread, for instance. It is a sweeping work of stunning originality. If you like the meatier historicals of Courtney Milan, Meredith Duran, Mary Balogh and Julie Anne Long, read Untamed. Cowan, as a début author, is on par with all of them, and I dare to say, in places she's even better.
Profile Image for Ana.
2,346 reviews317 followers
January 3, 2017
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!
Profile Image for Chachic.
582 reviews205 followers
April 15, 2018
Originally posted as a bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BhmBtV7lOPM/

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 because I liked both the physically strong heroine and the cross-dressing, multi-layered hero but there was way too much soap opera-esque drama for my taste.
Profile Image for R.
291 reviews27 followers
June 16, 2013
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. Especially in dresses. (Well, when they're fictional or celebrities, anyway...) So as you can probably imagine, I was quite excited when I heard about this book in April. (I then forgot about it, though, since it hadn't actually been released yet. I probably should start using my to-read shelf here on GR more.)

I read a lot of manga long before I ever read a romance novel, and so the playing with gender this book does is probably not nearly as shocking to me as it likely is to others. Japan (and much of Asia, I think) loves to play with gender in fiction—there are tons of manga (and anime and dramas) with crossdressing and reversed gender roles. Off the top of my head, W Juliet, Vol. 1 and Tenshi Ja Nai!! (I'm No Angel), Vol. 1 are two that come to mind with feminine male leads (pretending to be girls) and very strong, tomboyish female leads. But it was certainly surprising that anyone would dare to write something like this as a romance novel.

I will admit that the plot did not always seem to work. And the more I think about it, the more problems I see with the book. But really, all you have to say to me is "Crossdressing duke!" and I'm more than willing to overlook things that would usually bother me much more. (Yes, I know, I'm shallow and easy to please. But when you consider the total number of crossdressing dukes in romance novels, that is, this one, maybe I'm not so bad. And even if you expand that to crossdressing heroes in general, there are hardly any. So please, anyone, throw some more crossdressing dukes at me.)

There were some problems in the historical accuracy that bothered me-the divorce being the largest-although the book as a whole had such a weak sense of time that I could mentally transpose bits around in time and it would hardly change a thing.

And I really meant for this review to be far more coherent and intelligent sounding, but obviously that didn't quite work out. If you like romances that are different, then definitely give this book a try. If you don't, then, well, you probably want to stay far away.

This last bit is not exactly a spoiler, but I don't want to ruin people's reading experiences with inappropriate fits of giggles, so read at your own risk: (On the other hand, this is probably only amusing to me...)
Profile Image for Corduroy.
197 reviews42 followers
July 25, 2015
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-to-this-reader reasons, they both go back to the heroine's family farm, where the hero passes as a woman.

For me this book feels like the scattered juvenalia of someone who may turn into a great writer - but is not yet a great writer. The book, at least up to about 30%, is all over the place, only semi-comprehensible.

Why is the heroine in London? To get married? Why not just say she doesn't want to go, since she is otherwise presented as her family's main means of financial and logistical support?

Why does the hero do basically anything he does? Maybe eventually the weirdness coalesces into a mystery, but for the first third of the book, his behavior is almost totally baffling. He has affairs with women for - for what? He doesn't seem to enjoy it, it all seems grim and sexually-twisted (not in a fun or sexy way). Why does he approach the heroine? Why does he demand to go back to her farm with her - possibly in exchange for leaving her sister alone? This was totally, totally unclear to me.

Why does the duke dress as a woman to go to the heroine's farm? What am I missing? It's like the kindle copy I bought is missing chapters or something.

Other things also baffled me - the heroine's family is presented, at least I thought it was, as being kind of landed gentry fallen on very hard times. Her mother and brother and certainly sister exhibit genteel-ish behavior at minimum, but the heroine basically stomps around and calls her mother "Ma" and is extremely rude and uncouth to everyone, all of the time. And it's not that I don't think that could happen, but I just don't get it within the framework of the world as presented: if she's a gentleman's daughter (even one fallen on hard times), is it really plausible that she would have the manners of someone of a different social class?

Just so confusing to me, again and again. I don't really understand what the author is doing.

And I don't really understand the dynamic of the duke dressing as a woman while visiting the heroine's family. I feel a little bit, as I read parts about the heroine shaving him so he can continue to masquerade as a lady, like I am reading some really fancy kink erotica that is not my kink, so much my kink that I don't really understand what's happening as sexy. (That's okay - I am agnostic about such things, generally, it's more that here, it's still in the framework of a romance, and so not understanding the elements of attraction between the main characters is a biggish problem.)

I read a lot of reviews of this book before taking the plunge, and I think I made a mistake - this is definitely a different kind of romance, but it doesn't have, say, the emotional and literary depth of a Kinsale novel, so I am unfortunately aware of the parts that are super clunky, don't flow, needed another editing pass, etc.

After all of that complaining, however, I do want to say that some - not all - of the prose is really, really good. So it feels to me, as I said at the beginning, that maybe Cowan is a writer with a ton of talent and weird/interesting/fresh ideas for historical romance who needs a little bit more time to let things gel, and maybe a tougher editor who will wrangle some book cats into submission for her.
Profile Image for Fiona Marsden.
Author 33 books115 followers
May 27, 2013
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 of being ruined, Katherine takes a hand but in the process becomes Darlington's target.
He sees something in Katherine that he needs, though at first he doesn't seem to know what it is. His ruse, to enable him to stay with her in her country home, is fantastic. Dressed as a woman, he is all woman. I am reminded a little of Georgette Heyer's, The Masqueraders, where the heroine's brother makes a better woman than Prue herself.
The fascinating thing is that as Darlington and Katherine come together, his femininity and her masculine brain become the perfect foil for each other.
I loved the characters, and the revelation of Darlington's past in particular. I can't resist a tortured hero. But in the end the real 'hero' of the book is Katherine, who takes control and achieves with the panache and keen intelligence usually reserved for the male of the species.
This did surprise me a little because for most of the book I was focused on Darlington not realising how his influence was working to bring Katherine to the fullness of who she was meant to be.
This story kept me up late because I couldn't put it down. The Duke of Darlington, Jude, is a hero you aren't quite sure whether to love or hate and the heroine feels exactly the same way. Whatever else he is, he is fascinating. Like watching a train wreck you cannot drag your eyes away.

I love a tortured hero and Jude is tortured in spades. The reasons why are gradually revealed to Kit, Katherine Sutherland when he blackmails her into aiding his flight from London.

Kit is a very different heroine, also moulded by the disasters of her childhood. Rough and ready, she makes a poor debutante. None of the men her sister introduce make any impression on her but one encounter with the man in black at a Soiree changes everything. Fascinated and disillusioned all in one night, her blunt truthfulness may be just what the Duke of Darlington needs to make life worth living
Profile Image for The Window Seat.
689 reviews68 followers
May 15, 2013
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 got was much more complex than a standard Historical and I’m still wrapping my head around some of the concepts introduced.

The cross-dressing is actually very insignificant when weighed against the drama that begins almost instantly for Miss Katherine Sutherland and Lord Darlington when they meet in London. Katherine, or Kit to family, has heard the whispers that her married younger sister Lydia has become the mistress to Lord Darlington and her protective instincts kick into high gear to keep the man as far away from her family as possible. With confrontation her goal, Katherine waits on the perimeter of a ballroom for Lord Darlington to make his entrance and she begins a conversation with a handsome gentleman who seems to share her distaste for the duke. Believing she had found a man worthy of regard she is disgusted to later find the same man having sex with the hostess of the evening, Lady Marmotte. She is even further enraged the next day when the gossip pages all reveal that Lady Marmotte was carrying on an affair with the real Lord Darlington, the stranger from the ballroom. During a ride through Hyde Park, Katherine is formally introduced to Lord Darlington and she asks the real him to stay away from her sister. Knowing she has nothing to force his hand, Kit is shocked when Lord Darlington promises to stay away if Kit will take him back with her to her country home.

For the full review, please go to http://www.thewindowseat13.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Kate Belle.
Author 6 books111 followers
October 27, 2014
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.

Not that a lot of die-hard historical romance readers agree with me (see Dear Author, All About Romance and this rather unnecessarily ranty review by GrowlyCub – hope she never gets hold of one of my books!)

Aside from the very excellent writing – which only occasionally gets lost to its own prettiness – I enjoyed Untamed for the same reasons aforementioned die-hard historical romance readers didn’t. It’s subversive, the plot is entirely character driven, and I couldn’t care less about the historical inconsistencies that so annoyed others. You see, I generally don’t read historical fiction, in any genre, which renders me largely ignorant of the things in Untamed that pissed said die-hard historical romance readers off. Lucky for me. Because that meant my reading of this book was unencumbered by the multiple disappointments that seemed to beset regular historical romance readers.

For full review go to:
Profile Image for Julz.
430 reviews233 followers
July 22, 2013

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.
Profile Image for Crt.
106 reviews8 followers
April 22, 2017
Sorprendente, sorprendente, sorprendente... más todavía.
Profile Image for Joanna Shupe.
Author 29 books1,980 followers
March 19, 2017
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!
Profile Image for Wollstonecrafthomegirl.
472 reviews196 followers
February 15, 2015
This book. Seriously: This. Book. The hero, Jude, spends most of it dressed as a woman. He is bisexual, a dandy. The heroine, Kit, is far more 'masculine' [whatever that means], she farms and she's hardened, she spends the last section of the book wearing trousers. It's Kit who saves Jude and in the process she saves herself. I mean, this just shouldn't work and but it does. It really does. Cowan plays with gender and sex, light and dark, nature and creation and myriad other themes and has written a book completely unlike anything else I've ever read. It's a romance, but only just, i think, it strays so far from the parameters of the genre it's only just on side. It's five stars because no other rating will do. It's extraordinarily well-written. The first half-two thirds is challenging and dark and the affection and the romance between the h/h creeps up on you and I found that, all of a sudden, I was in it with these characters and desperate for them to make it work, and in the process make themselves work.This book proves I am not All About The Sex, because there's not that much of it and it's not particularly explicit or particularly dirty. It's earthy and real which is entirely appropriate because this isn't a book about overwhelming lust and falling into bed together because Nothing Else Will Do. In some ways it's exactly the opposite, going to bed together is the last step in an already completed love story. I can't really do it justice in the five minutes I have to hastily type this review. This is about as far from a peppy romance novel as its possible to get. It's difficult and demanding but just brilliant. Everyone should go read it.
Profile Image for Kaetrin.
2,964 reviews170 followers
May 13, 2013
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 writing.

This was the piano as she hadn’t even known it could be played – subdued passion that she was fairly sure wouldn’t be allowed in public. One melody tripped lightly ahead of the other, follow me. The second was slow; it would never catch the first but ran under it, as deep as an ocean.

She had never heard anything so beautiful.

There is also subtlety and cryptic phraseology from time to time. There are multiple and carefully woven plot threads. A little here, a little there. I felt, for most of the book, like I was playing a particularly elaborate game of cat's cradle - it had the potential to be anywhere on the scale from a beautiful and magnificent creation to a crazy tangled mess.

It isn't a book you can judge until you finish it. Until you see the creation at the end, what you have made with your fingers of the threads interwoven through the story, it is unformed and hard to interpret.

Read the rest of the review here: http://kaetrinsmusings.blogspot.com.a...
Profile Image for Ana.
208 reviews38 followers
May 11, 2013
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 that I had to jump to last chapter and read the Happily-ever-after, and I didn't understand it. I often end up jumping to end of a book to judge whether I want to finish a book, to check if there is something worth reading for. But in Untamed the ending was something I just couldn't see yet, and it drove me harder into the book, to see how they could have possibly ended there.

And when I got there I had to go right back to the beginning, to see it all again with eyes that could now see more.

Lyrical, dark, twisted, beautiful. Thank you Anna.

Come see a rake turned inside out, the hero's journey inverted, and gender roles blown up!

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Kate Sherwood.
Author 51 books732 followers
August 4, 2017
There were some glitches in this book, for me (I felt like we were told a lot more than we were shown, I felt like, for all the words spent on him, I still didn't get a really clear understanding of the Duke's motivations (why did he have to go to the country house?) and I'm really not sure about the historical plausibility of some of the characterization and events) but I enjoyed it.

I really like that the author took some chances and broke some of the romance rules. As I writer, I find these rules constricting, and I love the idea of someone having the guts to break them. I like the family at the centre of the story, and the general structure of it all.

I'm really glad I read it, and it's been a while since I could say that about a book!
Profile Image for Angela Boord.
Author 8 books87 followers
December 13, 2018
From reading other reviews of this book, people either love it or hate it. I was in the love it camp.

It is a crazy book and also TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE if you are looking for a historical romance with no anachronisms. Also, the cover has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the story. But if you are willing to suspend your disbelief in favor of a duke who dresses (convincingly) as a woman in order to both escape a plot and to be closer to the heroine... then give this book a try. The plot went a little wonky in the middle but overall, I thought it was great fun.

And bonus points for a heroine who is not conventionally beautiful and can fix a pig sty on her own.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 178 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.