Long & Short Review Rating: 5 Stars
Voted December 2019 Book of the Month by LASR Readers
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well as the main characters. They are both strong characters and therein lies their strength as a couple.
The conflicts these two face are mostly external, and it was interesting to see how they work together to fight against those powers that would keep them apart.
Maura has agreed to a marriage to save her father from financial ruin. Unbeknown to her, her father has contrived an escape for her at the hands of Shane Christian, the notorious pirate Falcon. Unfortunately, things were messed up, and he arrived after the wedding.
Not to be deterred, he still keeps his end of the bargain and heads out with her, and Maura and Shane begin a journey that will lead to freedom… or will it?
The book is filled with twists and turns. Just when you think everything is fine, another spanner gets thrown in the works. I was on the edge of my seat until the very end of the story- not knowing how things were going to work out. I am very happy I got a chance to meet these characters.
DragonRose Books Galore Reviews Rating: 5 Stars
Pirate's Prey by Colleen O'Connell is one of those books that you have to read as quickly as you can to find out what happens next.
From the gorgeous cover to the very last pages I was mesmerised. I love a good swashbuckling story and have since the days of Errol Flynn and this book did not let me down.
A father desperate to rescue his daughter from marrying a man he is beholden to arranges for a pirate to kidnap her from the church before the wedding can take place. Shane Christian AKA the notorious pirate Falcon hates seeing injustice done and agrees to rescue Maura Brent who knows nothing about her father's plans. From the moment he rescues/kidnaps her the story comes alive. Just reaching their destination in America was fraught with excitement from other ships attacking, possible mutinies, storms, and not least of all, the lust and romance building between Shane and Maura. Once they arrived the story unbelievably became even more exciting. There was never a dull moment, there were many emotional scenes. At one point I would be laughing out loud, yet at another, I would be ugly sobbing!
I cannot put adequately into words just how much I loved this story. I had never read a book by Colleen O'Connell before but after reading this one she is definitely going to be added to my list of favourite authors. I know all her books won't be about pirates, but if they are of the quality of this one with a story that you just don't want to come to an end, then I know I will become a big fan of hers.
Fabulous and Brunette BlogSpot Review Rating: 4.5 Stars
Wow!! This book took me on such an emotional roller-coaster ride!! As some moments I was laughing and cheering on the characters, then was on the edge of my seat biting my nails nervous while they were in battle, then was in tears over those consequences and outcomes of the fights, then excited with butterflies in my tummy during the flirting and romantic scenes, and then curious and mystified about what was going to happen next. So many feelings over just 323 eBook pages!!!
I really liked that this book had so many plot points and that they were so well executed. This kept the story interesting, fresh, and engaging. I honestly wasn’t sure if this runaway bride story line could hold up for the long length of this book, but the author added in a vindictive husband willing to go to any lengths to get his “property,” aka “wife,” back, a vengeful private investigator willing to help that malevolent husband track down his wife while also tending to his own secretive agenda of getting payback for a past indiscretion, and a hostile former pirate crew member seeking vengeance and retribution for his loss. There really is sooooo much to this book!!!
I really liked the main characters, Maura and Shane. Maura was sweet, sensible, loyal, devoted, honest, simple, innocent, caring, and compassionate. But she is a bit naïve and too trustworthy at times. I also liked Shane, aka Falcon. He was strong, adventurous, daring, bold, brave, reckless, nomadic, and a bit of a Casanova. However, it is also later shown that he has a strong protective, supportive, benevolent, loving side as well. I loved Maura and Shane’s interaction together – especially in the beginning!! It was hilarious when Maura first finds out that Shane and the ship crew are all pirates and she keeps going on about it and asking questions like did her dad know that they were pirates when they made the deal to whisk her out of the country? And how could she be stranded on the ship with pirates on a long journey to America? And so many other silly realizations. But over time, Maura and Shane’s relationship grew and I enjoyed watching their character arc develop and become something deeper and more mature and meaningful than either of them saw coming.
I also really liked the supporting cast in this book! There were quite a few characters in this book, but each one felt important and unique to the story line. I especially enjoyed Maggie, Alex, Clancy, Rivers, Celia, Lydia, Finola, and Maura’s dad, James – just to name a few. I must also admit I enjoyed despising Harold Mansbry, Maura’s husband, and David Trent, the private investigator. They were terrible, awful men, and worthy adversaries!!
I was in awe of Maura willing to marrying a man that she strongly hates in order to keep her father out of prison. It is such a kind gesture and really made me like Maura even more. She always puts her family first and seems to always be worrying and taking care of them. So, when her father and Finola arrange her escape it seemed so thoughtful and loving that they would put everything on the line for her so she wouldn’t have to marry such a wretched man. Now if only Falcon had arrived on time and rescued her before the wedding… But then there wouldn’t have been such an intriguing story lol!!
I really liked the beginning of the book when Maura first moves onto the ship and starts kind of taking over Shane’s quarters. There’s this one scene where Shane comes into the room looking for a change of clothes and heads over to his armoire and when he opens it all of his stuff has been removed and in place are Maura’s dresses everywhere. He’s eyes get big and he tries to politely and calmly ask her where she’s moved his clothes and items LOL. It was just one of those scenes that you can so easily picture when a girl moves into a guy’s place and takes over. However, this time it was a strong, strapping, notorious pirate and on a ship and yea I couldn’t stop laughing LOL!!!
I really appreciate Maura’s values in this book about being married to Harold and knowing that she has to eventually go back, face him, and ask to have their marriage to be dissolved. She strongly fears him, but also at the same time, holds the sanctity of marriage in high regard, and knows she must do the right thing, if she truly wants to be able to give herself fully to Shane. It was so brave and courageous for her to stand up to Harold. Unfortunately, he has to be his usual pesky self and toy with her telling her that he needs to think about it and during that time she must stay in the guest room at their house. He then additionally puts her through weeks of hoops, but Maura is determined to do anything to get out of this marriage and be able to be with Shane.
This book has a creative story line with well executed plot points, fantastic writing style with detailed scenes, relatable characters, is evenly paced, and keeps you fully engaged and entertained.
There are some predictable scenes. However, there are still many unexpected twists and turns that you won’t see coming!
This book is technically not part of a book series and can be read as a standalone.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it! I think all historical romance readers and pirate fans will like this book too! So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!
Amazon Reader Rating: 5 Stars
By far and away, this is the most accurate, historically authentic pirate romance I've ever read! The fast paced action is well matched for the twists and turns in this book! The romance is off the charts and well written. I couldn't put it down! I read it in a day and will reread it soon to review what I missed because I was reading so fast! Don't keep me waiting for your next book Ms. O'Connell, I am waiting eagerly!
Goodreads Reader Rating: 4 Stars
I just love a good pirate story!! I really enjoyed reading this one and you get to go on quite an adventure with Shane and Maura. Shane is the pirate known as the "Falcon" and Maura, who has been forced to marry a man she detests, is suddenly "kidnapped" by the Falcon on her wedding night. Her father had asked him to take her away to safety and it soon becomes apparent that Maura is as stubborn as Shane which makes for a very interesting sea voyage! Love sneaks up on both of them and their heated passion is all encompassing. Trouble follows, though, and they find themselves separated and wondering if they will ever have a future together!!
Nicely written with lots of adventure and action, heated scenes, betrayals, etc....
Goodreads Reader Rating: 5 Stars
This is by far the best pirate romance I've ever read. It is full of suspense, mystery, and passion that will curl your toes. I can't say enough good things about it. I read the first page and didn't want to put it down until the last. A Must Read For All Romance Readers! Ms. O'Connell, you are one of my favorite authors!
Goodreads Reader Rating: 5 Stars
Shane Christian, otherwise known as the notorious pirate, Falcon lives for danger He is feared and respected on the seas. When he meets willful and spirited Maura Brent, his charm is on full alert. Maura is already in a marriage with a despicable land Baron. She must get out of the marriage to remain with Shane. Will Shane survive long enough to be with Maura or is hanging in his future? There's love, passion and betrayal. Pirates, oh the pirates!!!!!!Steamy scenes with hunky pirates. Love this book. I received this book from Net Galley and Wild Rose Press for a honest review.
Goodreads Reader Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoyed this story. Maura was a loyal yet independent young woman. Family was important to her. Shane loved adventure and danger so he lived the life of a pirate. A request brought these two together, and through the ups and downs, life and death, they realized what was important. It was fun, breath-holding, and exciting, and I recommend this story.
Just Love Books Rating: 5 Stars
Untamed Hearts compelled my attention from the first scene, as we are left with a mystery--why did Jared escape from prison? What was he in prison for? I just couldn't help but flip the pages to know why. Then there's Taryn Ashford, such a sweet miss itching for independence. She's affianced, but she knew if she didn't set out to visit her relatives now, she'd never get the chance to do so. She never knew she'd end up playing the wife to Jared King, to help him avoid the detection and capture of the authorities. Where would their relationship lead her?
Jared and Taryn are great together, and their chemistry sizzles. Aunt Gwen is a wonderful secondary character; I can totally see her in my mind. Etta Briggs, a woman Taryn met on the train west, is amazing as well.
Colleen O'Connell employed vivid and detailed descriptions that we are able to picture the setting perfectly, even if it's just the train that the main characters rode in to Sacramento. I really enjoyed it! It's as if I'm right in the story and right in the midst of a Western setting!
The story is so much more than what is written on the blurb. There are surprising revelations, though perhaps I should've seen it coming, and a totally twisty, delightful resolution. The shifting POV's didn't bother me much, because it's usually a lot of paragraphs before the POV shifted to another character, so it's not confusing in whose POV we are.
All in all, a super great read! Highly recommended!
The Romance Reviews Rating: 5 stars
I have confessed numerous times to a fondness for historical romances. There's nothing like being swept up into a different time and place.
In Colleen O'Connell's UNTAMED HEARTS, Jared King (you might swoon a little) is a man with a target on his back forever looking for something he can't have--his happily ever after. Taryn Ashford is on the run from herself (think Runaway Bride, er, fiancée, but less dramatic) and off to visit family in California without telling anyone where she was going. When the two meet, it's downright engaging with Taryn being called to be an alibi for Jared, and immediately, the "relationship" is off to a rocky start and one that will instantly grab you and draw you in.
Likes: Well, I must say, that for the timeframe, Miss Taryn is having some downright naughty thoughts about Jared and I was chuckling at her own discomfort. Jared's attempts to avoid the bounty hunter make for some fun theatrics. The shifting point of view. Normally, I'm not a fan but given the number of characters and the way the story is told, having the point of view shift dependent upon which character is the focal works really well. Oh, and I did enjoy the bit of matchmaking going on thanks to Aunt Gwen.
I had a childhood fascination with Westerns thanks to my father, loving the whole idea of gunslingers and this story is an adult version but with far richer detail, strong characters, and a storyline that will have you tapping those pages to read what comes next. And what comes next is oh so much fun in this romantic tale.
Goodreads Reader Rating: 5 stars
I was grateful to receive a free copy of Untamed Hearts in exchange for an honest review. I've read thousands of books, and I have to say this was one of the best books ever.
I loved everything about Jared and Taryn and the story...well let's just say it was very well thought out and clever. The author, Colleen O'Connell did an amazing job
introducing characters and plot development. Without spoiling the finale, it deviated from the normal, and provided a completely unexpected ending. Well done. I will definitely be looking for more books from Ms. O'Connell. She set the bar high with this one. My only regret is I can't give Untamed Hearts a higher rating.
My Book Addiction and More! Rating: 4 Stars
Untamed Hearts by Colleen O’Connell is an interesting and satisfying Western Historical read. A wonderful and talented debut author, in my opinion.
This is the story of Taryn Ashford. headed westbound to visit relatives, while fleeing her fiance and Jared King, handsomely dangerous, branded a gunman, and shooter, looking over his shoulder for bounty hunters.
Steady paced with engaging and charming characters. Danger, murder, adventure, love, risks to the heart and learning the truth, will keep readers turning pages well into the night. A satisfying and enjoyed Historical Western Romance. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Hot Choco and Books Rating: 4 Stars
Untamed Hearts is a delightful Western historical romance. Both Taryn and Jared are great characters with sizzling chemistry. They came to life in the pages of my Kindle, and their first meeting was very exciting and memorable. I was glad i was there on their journey to their HEA, which took a lot of turns and trials. The plot is solid with a steady pacing, and compelling enough that readers will keep on turning the pages.
I have some issues though, such as too much initial description on the characters' physical characteristics. These could've been imparted to the readers in other ways, and in this case, dragged the story somewhat. There was also too much info dumping on Jared's past, which again, could've been imparted to the readers in other ways that didn't drag the story. Another thing i didn't like was the shifting POV, especially when the character was given only one paragraph.
If the above could've been made better with the help of a good editor, i wouldn't hesitate to give this 5 stars.