Nicholas is on a mission....a mission of self-destruction. Torn by grief and self-hatred, he is a man who no longer feels, the essence of his spirit torn from him by war and torture. He seeks his death on the wild frontier, perhaps at the jaws of a wild cougar, perhaps at the hands of thieving frontiersmen. He doesn't care...either way, he believes death will give him the relief and quiet he seeks from the raging nightmares and voices that haunt him. But on a fateful day, having been gravely wounded on his trails by would-be thieves, Nicholas is searching for shelter and aid. As he approaches a cabin on horseback, he comes upon a beautiful young woman, Bethie Stewart, a pregnant widow, alone on the dangerous frontier. Nicholas needs Bethie to nurse him back to health, something she does with the greatest of trepidation, for Bethie too has a sordid past. She has never trusted a man, for all they have brought her is pain and fear. Little does Bethie know that this strapping, hulk of a man, this fearsome, long-haired man named Nicholas will be the only man she will ever trust.
I absolutely loved this book! It had me experiencing a gauntlet of emotions. I couldn't help but be appalled at the torture endured by Alex which was described in detail, a description needed in order to understand our hero's emotions and actions. I couldn't help but weep for Bethie as she finally revealed to Nicholas her tale of pain. I couldn't help but fall in love with Nicholas Kenleigh and his beauty, strength and dedication to those he loves. And finally, I couldn't help but cry at the reunion between Nicholas and his loving family.
Nicholas stared at them in disbelief, found he could not speak. A part of him cried out that he was not ready for this, that he needed more time. But then his father stood, strode toward him, embraced him in a crushing bear hug, and Nicholas knew he had waited far, far too long. "Nicholas!" His father's voice was rough with emotion. "My God, Nicholas!" Nicholas dropped his packages, answered his father's embrace with his own fierce hug, held the man he'd never thought he'd see again, the man he'd thought had surely disowned him by now. There were no words, no room for anything but feelings.This third book in Pamela Clare's historical trilogy is a magnificent story of two people whose souls are deeply scarred. Travel with them as they cross the Ohio River and ride over frontier land, pushing onward to Fort Pitt, all the while facing death, destruction and their own past as they journey to a place of personal freedom, a freedom gained only when each puts their trust and love in the other. I cannot say enough about this great historical tale. I believe it will leave you as overwhelmed as I.
"Ride the Fire" is book #8 in the 2011 Historical Romance Challenge.