Saturday, August 17, 2013

To Tame a Wild Heart by L.B. Shire

This is a terrific historical YA western for horse lovers. I found myself thinking of Man from Snowy River more than once as it involves romance, cowboys, wild mustangs, and the catching of them.

It's a clean, sweet romance. You got a strong heroine in Chancy. She wants to be a ranch hand and carry on her father's legacy, but she has these gawd-awful parents who keep trying to force her to be a lady and threatening to send her away to Omaha...(Yea..Omaha is cultured society...LOL. Sorry, Nebraskans, but that made me chuckle.)

I liked the heroine, though I thought she was dumb sometimes, namely when she goes out in the storm, but what sixteen-year-old doesn't occasionally do something stupid and reckless?

There's a couple of conflicts here:
-She likes the new ranch hand--more than she wants to--but he's usurping her position in the barn and because of this, she's regulated to housework.
-Her best friend wants him too.
-She wants a mustang colt, but her parents won't give her the freedom and what they do give her, they take away often at the slightest misdemeanor.
-The hero left behind some family problems and they're weighing on him. He also doesn't feel he should be involved with his boss's daughter.

There's also some incredible horse-catching and breaking and riding scenes. Oh, and a dog. I loved the dog.

There's a lot to like about this story. It's got adventure, trauma, sweetness, strife with has everything a YA novel should have and it's clean--something I feel YA should be.

My quibbles: The entire trip to the end it felt unnecessary. It didn't tie in to the rest of the story in any way...BUT there is a book two, and I suspect maybe that story line will be continued..I'm not sure. Also, there are enough typos and missing commas and hyphens that I noticed.

Favorite bits:

"Why should I yearn for someone to lord over me? Or who wants me to be a brood hen then raise his offspring?"

The dresses were too tight and confining, the airs one put on around folks was offensive and overall being inside all day just about killed her.

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