Monday, July 13, 2015

Untamed, by Diana Palmer: Mini-Review/Excerpt/Giveaway!!

(Long, Tall Texans, Book 1)
Diana Palmer
Hardcover, 304 pages
HQN Books, First Edition
June 30, 2015
Contemporary Romance, Suspense, 
Western Romance

Stanton Rourke lives life on the edge. The steely South African mercenary is dangerous in every way…especially to Clarisse Carrington's heart.

She and Rourke were playmates as children, but she's not the innocent girl he once knew. When tragedy robbed Clarisse of her entire family, her life was changed forever. Besides, she's a grown woman now, and there are secrets that hold her back from succumbing to her pursuer.

As she struggles to keep her distance, sparks as hot as a Texas summer fly between them. But danger is following Clarisse, leaving her no choice but to rely on Rourke, even as the old wounds lying dormant between them flare up again…

Reading this excerpt has definitely made me very curious to know more! Palmer has also succeeded in getting this reader to care about the characters. I feel so bad for Clarisse, losing her father and sister.... And Ruy, even though he's not the one Clarisse loves.....his story is so sad as well. He's so desperate for love and affection, precisely because of his condition. He tells Clarisse that he wants to marry her so as to get rid of the gossip, but underneath, I know he wants to be with a woman who will accept him in spite of his unique situation.
As for Rourke, it sounds as if he does care for Clarisse, but, for some strange reason, is unwilling to admit it. This is very obvious in the way he takes care of her when she loses part of her family.
In short, this is a novel I want to get into! I love to read romance novels full of emotion and passion, and this one sure seems to have both!

Five doors and a floor away, Clarisse Carrington was looking at the dark circles under her eyes as she thought about the night to come. Rourke's name was on the list of honorees, but she was certain that he wouldn't show up. He hated society bashes, and he was a modest man. He wouldn't be interested in having people make him out to be a hero, even though he was one.

Clarisse had hero-worshiped him from the age of eight, admired his courage, loved him to the point of madness. But Stanton Rourke hated her. He'd made it crystal clear for years, even without the horrible things he'd said to her when he got her out of Ngawa.

He was never going to love her. She knew that. But she couldn't help the way she felt about him. It seemed to be a disease without a cure.

She studied her face in the mirror. The bullet wound had left evidence of its passage in her scalp, but a little careful hair-combing hid it well. The scars on her left breast were less easy to camouflage. Sapara's henchman, Miguel, had put a knife into her, over and over again while trying to make her tell about General Machado's offensive. She hadn't talked. That was why she was getting a medal tonight. For bravery. Because she'd survived the torture and rescued not only herself, but two college professors, as well. They said she was a heroine. She laughed without humor. Sure.

She was standing there in a long slip. It would go under the elegant white gown she'd bought from a boutique for the event. It had simple lines. It fell to her ankles. The bodice wasn't even suggestive. It was high enough to cover the scars on her breast. It had puff sleeves that reminded her somehow of a gown she'd seen in a period movie about the Napoleonic era. She looked good in white.

She thought how Stanton would have laughed to see her in the color. He would think it should be scarlet. He thought she was little better than a call girl. That was ironic, and it would have been amusing except that it was tragic.

She'd never been with a man in her life. She'd never been intimate with anyone, except Stanton, one Christmas Eve long ago, when she was seventeen. She'd loved him then and every day since, despite his antagonism, his mockery, his taunting.

She knew he hated her. He'd made it obvious. It didn't seem to make any difference, though. She couldn't get him out of her mind, any more than she could permit any other man to touch her.

She'd made a play for Grange, the leader of Machado's insurgent troops. But that had been an act of desperation, and mainly due to anti-anxiety drugs that she'd taken after the tragic deaths of her father and her little sister, Matilda. Her life had been shattered.

Rourke had come running, the minute he heard about it. He'd handled the funeral arrangements, organized the service, done everything for her while she walked around numb and brokenhearted. He'd put her to bed, holding her while she sobbed out her heart. He'd called a doctor, her doctor, Ruy Carvajal, and had him sedate her when the crying didn't stop.

She thought of Ruy and a question he'd asked her before she came here. She'd invited him to come, too, just on the chance that Rourke might show up. He'd had to go to Argentina, to treat a longtime patient who was also a friend. But he'd asked her to consider marrying him; a marriage of friends, nothing more. He knew how she felt about Rourke, that she couldn't permit another man  to touch her. It wouldn't matter, he assured her, because he'd been badly wounded in a firefight on a mission with the World Health Organization. Because of the wounds, he could no longer father a child. He was, he added solemnly, no longer a man, either. He was unable to be intimate with a woman. This had led to many suspicions among his people, who revered a man's ability to beget children above all other attributes.

He would be happy to put an end to the gossip. He could give Clarisse a good life. If she was certain, he added, that Rourke would never want her.

She told him that she'd consider it, and she had. Rourke didn't want  her. She couldn't want anyone else. She was twenty-five, and Ruy was kind to her. Why not? It would give her some stability. She would have a friend, someone of her own.

It sounded like a good idea. She thought she might do it. It might sound like an empty life to some people. But to Clarisse, whose life had been an endless series of tragedies, the prospect of a peaceful life was enticing. She didn't need sex. After all, she'd never had it. How could she miss something she'd never experienced? 

She mourned Rourke, but that would end one day, she thought. She gave her reflection a grim smile. Sure it would. When she died. She turned and went to put on her gown for the gala evening.       


 Susan Eloise Spaeth was born on December 11, 1946, in Cuthbert, Georgia, USA. She was the eldest daughter of Maggie Eloise Cliatt, a nurse and also journalist, and William Olin Spaeth, a college professor. Her mother was part of the women's liberation movement many years before it became fashionable.  

Susan grew up reading Zane Grey and fell in love with cowboys. She is a former newspaper reporter, with sixteen years' experience on both daily and weekly newspapers. Since 1972, she has been married to James Kyle and they have since settled down in Cornelia, Georgia, where she started to write romance novels. Susan and her husband have one son, Blayne Edward, born in 1980.

She began selling romances in 1979 as Diana Palmer. She also used the pseudonyms Diana Blayne and Katy Currie, and her married name, Susan Kyle. Now, she has over 40 million copies of her books in print, which have been translated and published around the world. She is listed in numerous publications, including Contemporary Authors by Gale Research, Inc., Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers by St. James Press, The Writers Directory by St. James Press, the International Who's Who of Authors and Writers by Melrose Press, Ltd., and Love's Leading Ladies by Kathryn Falk. Her awards include seven Waldenbooks national sales awards, four B. Dalton national sales awards, two Bookrack national sales awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award for series storytelling from Romantic Times, several Affaire de Coeur awards, and two regional RWA awards.

Susan went back to college as a day student at the age of 45. In 1995, she graduated summa cum laude from Piedmont College, Demorest, GA, with a major in History and a double minor in Archaeology and Spanish. In addition to her writing projects, she is currently working on her master's degree in History at California State University. She hopes to specialize in Native American studies. She is a member of the Native American Rights Fund, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Cattlemen's Association, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Planetary Society, The Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Sheriff's Association, and numerous conservation and charitable organizations. Her hobbies include gardening, archaeology, anthropology, iguanas, astronomy and music.

In 1998, her husband retired from his own computer business. They love riding around and looking at the countryside, watching sci-fi on TV and at the movies, just talking and eating out.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

To access the complete tour 
schedule, just
click on the button below!


  1. Another great excerpt. Thanks for the post & giveaway. I can't wait to read Untamed. At this point I'm addicted to this story. Lol
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  2. Hi, Carol,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt, and you're very welcome for the giveaway! It's being held by TLC Book Tours.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! : )

  3. Thanks for featuring this book for the tour!

  4. Hi, Heather!

    You're very welcome! I really enjoyed participating! Thanks for the visit and the comment!! : )


THIS IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE, AND TAG-FREE BLOG. Thanks for the compliment, though! : )

As of today, 9/23/18, I have permanently enabled comment moderation, due to a sudden rash of SPAM comments. I appreciate your patience!

Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)