Monday, February 26, 2018

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Claimed by the Mountain Man by Amelia Smarts (Personal Review)

I don't know exactly how I came to be in the possession of this ebook, but as you've probably noticed if you took the time to read some of my other posts, I like a good deal when I see it. So, this book must have been under five dollars at the time I purchased it from Amazon.

I decided to write a review of 'Claimed by the Mountain Man' because it wasn't the ordinary smut I read in 2017/I still read in 2018. In fact, I liked the 1800s setting and the characters, and some other aspects I'll try to do my best at detailing below.

What's it about?

Right off the bat, we become acquainted with what we believe to be the main character, Nettie. The action takes place sometime in the 1800s, but we're unsure when. However, the time isn't particularly important as most of the story happens in the woods. Nettie is poor and desperate, and she finds herself living in a cave and stealing the chickens of a rugged mountain man who goes by the name of 'Trapper Jack.'

Nettie must have heard some awful things about this Jack character, because one night during a storm when she tries to steal another chicken and finds herself captured in one of Jack's traps, she thinks that those will be the last minutes of her life and that he could only hurt her upon having discovered the identity of the thief.

In a nutshell, that's the beginning of the book. I can't go on too much into the real story because I'll spoil it for you. It's romantic and much later on, sexy, but I also liked how Nettie constantly tried to prove to herself that she could do without a man. Because her story is a bit more complex (and, perhaps, unpleasant) compared to that of other women living in the 1800s, she worries about Jack's opinion once he would learn about her predicament and her past line of work.

What did I like about it?

Amelia Smarts has a really neat way of presenting the life and experience of her characters. I'm not a judgmental person whatsoever, and so I didn't find it hard to relate to Nettie and her backstory. I was a bit worried myself about how Jack would react once he discovered that she was the one who kept stealing his chickens. But he's a good guy, after all, and the chemistry between these two is incredible.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it's a vivid example of how writing can be good even with less research. I'm not saying that Smarts didn't do her homework. But I do have to note that the fact that most of the action takes place in the woods was great because I didn't find any inconsistencies in terms of history and whatever must have happened. We know that Nettie's husband, as well as Jack, fought in the Civil War, but we're unsure when the action really takes place. Nevertheless, that's not a detail that we, as readers, really need in order to follow whatever's happening with these two.

I also liked the fact that the number of characters (although there are more mentioned throughout the book, there are just two that the reader needs to focus on) made it possible for me to concentrate as best as possible on them alone. It's often that I get to read excellent romance, but at the end of a 600-page novel, I'm barely capable of remembering what the other names of the characters were (aside from those that really matter, of course). In a way, I genuinely liked the so-called intimacy provided by/of the two characters and  I also enjoyed the fact I didn't have to make an effort to recall various names and character traits aside from those of Nettie and Jack.

Besides, I have to make a note regarding one of Jack's features I specifically enjoyed. There's a point in the novel where we find out that Jack used to be prejudiced and that he used to have a poor opinion about certain types of women. He grew a lot from this viewpoint when he went to fight in the war, and he regretted his relationship with someone he cared about because he wasn't capable of moving past his prejudices. His current maturity allows him to be a good judge of character as he interacts with and understands Nettie -- he would've been incapable of offering her the same amount of kindness several years before.

Is the book worth reading?

In my opinion, it is. I'd say that it definitely can score high with those who love romance, a little bit of sexiness, and mountain men, too. And it just so happens I'm one of those people! I might even re-read it in the following weeks -- I liked it that much.

*the book cover could use a bit of a change, though -- at least in my opinion. I know Trapper Jack's supposed to be hot and all, but I hardly think he would run around in the woods half naked, with all of those potentially dangerous animals around him.

Check out what other readers have had to say about this book here.

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