From the blurb:
Cultures clash when a determined PR director meets her match in the Everglades
Twenty-five-year-old Whitney Latham has worked hard to prove herself to her controlling father and his business partner—her ex-husband. As public relations director for a housing development company with its sights set on Seminole land in the Florida Everglades, Whitney is confident she can pave over any obstacle. But everything changes when her car gets stuck in the mud during a research trip to the swamp and a rugged stranger, named White Eagle, comes to her rescue. Soon, she is having second thoughts about her company’s mission, and nothing is quite as it seems—especially when it comes to love.
I read an ARC of this book via NetGalley, and I hadn’t realised it was a re-edition of a book published in 2000, but that certainly didn’t dent my enjoyment.
I love the setting – as reflected beautifully in the new cover: the Florida Everglades. The author uses this as a wild and beautiful backdrop that has a thrilling undercurrent of danger thanks to the local wildlife such as the ’gators and snakes.
The chemistry between the characters is strong from the beginning, and I like that both characters are feisty and passionate, and quite prepared to lock horns where necessary. I really enjoyed the exploration of the Indian way of life, and Whitney’s education in what exactly the local peoples needed, and while I had seen the big twist of the book coming from the beginning, I found it satisfying to read, and I liked how the author tied up the ending.
By far my favourite element of the book is the author’s descriptive approach; especially the fact that she takes the time to explore feelings and thoughts rather than just racing along with the plot. She makes use of perspective shifting to allow us to see the story from both sides:
Leaning her forehead against the cool pane of glass, Whitney stared out into the black night. What an unusual trick of fate that evening had played her! Little more than an hour ago the Glades and its inhabitants had been but words and pictures in her mind. She had inadvertently stumbled into a situation that was proving more educational than any book had ever been. That she had to appreciate. The strange things that the remarkable Indian was doing to her unraveling composure were another matter entirely…
White Eagle was watching his surprise guest, assessing her with a curiosity that would have stunned Whitney were she to know its cause. His crystal gaze softened momentarily; she looked like a beautiful, woebegone child as she stared out the window, her hair drying and fluffing around the delicate contours of her face; her arms clasped tightly around a slender form that seemed incredibly petite beneath the dropping tails of his huge shirt.
In all, I found this a quick, easy and enjoyable read; ideal for those who like traditional romance.
(As a side note, the author uses the term ‘Indian’ throughout the book to refer to the native people, which initially surprised me, as I had thought the politically correct term was ‘native American’. But when I researched the matter online, I learnt there is quite a debate on terminology in this area, and in fact, according to the US Census Bureau, most Americans prefer the term American Indian to native American. So I learnt something new from the book!)
Tender Taming is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.