Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter

By | 9 November 2011 | 7 Responses
Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter (The Bennetts, Book 4)

Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter (The Bennetts, Book 4)

If you can overlook the daggy warrior references and underutilised Asian setting, there’s enough depth in the central relationship to make this book a pleasure to read. If you enjoy the daggy stuff…well, that just makes it even better.

This was my first Kelly Hunter book, but it won’t be my last. I don’t care what anyone says about the super daggy Karate Kid-style set up at the beginning of the novel, or the constant references to Chinese zodiac signs (I am the warrior tiger, hear me roar!), this book was thrilling!

From the outside, Madeline Delacourte seems a bit…suss. Her late husband plucks a much younger wife off the streets of Jakarta, and she later inherits and now runs his multi-million-dollar business. But like all Mills and Boon trophy wives, Maddy has a heart of gold. She rescues stray kids from the streets and brings them to her friend Jacob’s dojo to become his apprentice.

As she drops off her latest street kid, she meets Jacob’s brother Luke, who’s in between missions. Luke is a bomb disposal expert and he’s quick to judge Maddy, who doesn’t rise to the bait because, frankly, she’s heard it all before.

Still, the pheromones are simmering and it all gets a bit much in the lift, and once they’ve worked off their lust—no condoms, if that bothers you—they realise that, well, it might be a longer work out than they’d first thought.

Luke won’t make promises about the future. He doesn’t want to have to choose between Maddy and his job. His job is extremely important to him, and to Hunter’s credit, she doesn’t water down Luke’s dedication to his job and belief in what he’s doing. Meanwhile, Maddy accepts his terms, but has enough self-respect to insist that she be treated as more than just a booty call.

It’s inevitable that Luke and Maddy have to compromise a little. To do so means they both have to believe in themselves a little more, which was a pleasant surprise. Let’s be honest—self-enlightenment is a bit hit and miss in category romance.

Also hit and miss is the warrior theme running through the book. Luke has ‘a warrior’s honour, soul deep and absolute. Duty-bound, forsaking all else.’ Over the top heaven! But isn’t that why we read category romance? Still, some readers might find constant references to warriors and tigers and honour and duty wearisome. There’s more to Asia than Kung Fu Panda, people!

Did I mention that the street kid’s name is Po?

I have mixed feelings about Singapore as a backdrop to this story. Neither protagonist is Asian, and there really isn’t enough space to capture any subtleties about the setting, resulting in a bunch of characters and situations that feel clichéd. I could be wrong, but Luke’s martial arts studio felt like a mishmash of Chinese and Japanese styles and terminology.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t put the book down. Yes, despite the fact that my library copy had a great big unidentified stain running through pages 13–59. I know. Ew.

Yay or nay?

If you can overlook the daggy warrior references and underutilised Asian setting, there’s enough depth in the central relationship to make this book a pleasure to read. If you enjoy the daggy stuff…well, that just makes it even better.

Who might enjoy it: Anyone who ever had a crush on Daniel LaRusso

Who might not enjoy it: Elevator janitors

This book is no longer in print in Australia.

Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter (The Bennetts, Book 4) - Australian editionThe Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter (The Bennetts, Book 4) - UK edition9780373527922The Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter (The Bennetts, Book 4) - US edition

Title: Untameable Rogue (excerpt)
Series: The Bennetts (Book 4)
Author: Kelly Hunter
Publisher: Harlequin Mills and Boon
Australian line: Mills & Boon Sexy Sensation (6/2010)
UK line: Mills & Boon Heat (4/2010)
US line: Harlequin Presents (11/2010)

AUSTRALIA: Berkelouw | Fishpond | Other
EBOOKS: All Romance | Books On Board | Diesel | eBooks.com | eHarlequin (publisher) | Kindle UK | Kindle US
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

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Kat

Killer of Fairies
Kat Mayo is a freelance writer, Twitter tragic and compulsive reader. She is the editor of Booktopia's Romance Buzz and hosts the Heart to Heart podcast for Destiny Romance. Her articles have been published in Books+Publishing, the AWW Challenge blog, and the ARRA newsletter. Kat firmly believes in happy endings. She kills fairies with glee.

7 comments »

  1. Jen

    This was my first Kelly Hunter book too! It was credibly daggy (daggily credible?) which is no mean feat—though I have to disagree, I felt it was a lot more authentic than other so-called Asian settings because it was underplayed, warrior awesomeness aside—I am anally sensitive about this sort of thing… (as you know!)
    How is it you can write succinct reviews? I just can’t do it.

  2. Kat (author)

    Jen, I agree that I’d prefer the author erred by underplaying, especially with the warrior awesomeness. I had a feeling the Asian setting didn’t bother you because you didn’t mention it on Twitter. As for succinct…it takes about an hour to write a review and two days to make it succinct. ;-)

  3. Marg

    This is one of the seven (!) Hunter books I have read in the last week! I started with the beginning of the Bennett series (because that’s what I do) and really enjoyed the ride!

    I guess as a non Asian reader the setting didn’t strike me as off at all. Perhaps it is a left over from British colony status but I still see Singapore and Hong Kong in particular as having plenty of Britishness. One thing that I did think was underwhelming was Maddie’s nationality. I guess it didn’t matter really as she could have been any nationality.

  4. Jen

    I agree with Marg, colonial influence is still huge in Singapore. Funny thing today Kat, I passed a street that had a cute little dumpling/noodle shop with, you guessed it, Po the Panda of Awesomeness! Interesting how one culture can inversely affect its very origin’s. Especially China, whose ability to copy and match and surpass (or diminish) an idea is legend.

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