Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Untamed - Nora Roberts You have to hand it to the marketing folks at Harlequin/Silhouette; they know a cash cow when they see it. Nora Roberts started out with the thin, cheap paperback bodice ripper genre, and once she became the huge bestselling author that she is now, they started rereleasing her catalog of out-of-print romance novels, which is how I ended up with Untamed in a pile of books given to me by my sister.::: Three Rings Too Many :::Untamed tells the story of the orphaned Jovilette Wilder, a lion tamer raised in the circus, first by her parents, then by Frank Prescott, the owner of the circus. After Frank's death, Jo learns that he left the traveling circus to his son, Keane, a man who had never been around the circus, and was a successful Chicago lawyer by all accounts. Jo can't help feeling bitter that the only home and family she has ever known will probably now be sold off piecemeal, and tries as hard as she can to convince Keane not to sell the circus.Keane, meanwhile, is learning a bit about the life his estranged father led, a life as foreign to him as if he was visiting another planet. He's also intrigued by Jo, who reads classic fiction in the original language it was written in, and who faces danger with her lions night after night without seeming to think about it.::: Something Is Missing :::Untamed was originally published in 1983, and I found myself wishing that Roberts had waited a while before writing this story. Her penchant for serious research about a topic before writing about it is evident even in this short novel, but the characters and plot are under-developed. The reader is left with the feeling that Roberts could have done a lot more with not only the romance between Jo and Keane, but also with some of the other characters she introduces, such as Rose the snake charmer and Jamie the clown. Everything seems rushed, and you end up feeling like you weren't given the time to get to know any of the characters, or understand their motivations, leaving you lost as Roberts begins to tie up all the loose ends at the end of the novel.Still, Untamed is better than a lot of the books you'll find in the short romance genre, and is an interesting read, even if it isn't quite as filling as her meatier books.This review previously published at Epinions:

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