In Unbeautiful, Emery tried to escape her family’s boundaries. She moved out and went away for college. Unfortunately, since she refuses to return home, her family has brought their rules and restrictions to her. The ex-boyfriend reappears with strict family orders that she will date him and the one guy she thought she could trust has betrayed her more than anyone. Ryler is her new bodyguard and the fact that he has been working for her father this entire time just breaks her heart. She was out on her own and her family still manages to control every part of her life. Her father has a creepy way of knowing exactly what is going on in her life and now she knows why. Ryler has been reporting back to him with her every move. But Ryler didn’t betray her as much as she thinks and he has no choice but to follow her father’s orders. The sooner he finds that gold information that the feds are looking for and can get out of this situation, the better. But the more he sees the abuse they put on Emery, the more he knows he needs to find a way to get her out of this life as well. Can they both escape their pasts or will it continue to haunt them?
Emery and Ryler are pretty much the same characters we fell in love with in Unbeautiful. We get to see a little more of Emery’s crazy side and a lot more of her worries now that the secrets are out in the open, but she’s still that girl who has been abused by her family in unbelievable ways. Ryler is much more tortured here because he’s new “job” requires him to lie to Emery and the tension between them is killing him. Gone is that easy way they had with each other before the truth was known. Gone were are the days when Emery would confide in him. She sees him as the enemy now and he is desperate to change that.
This is definitely not one of those books you can jump into without reading the first one. If you don’t read Unbeautiful first, you’ll be confused beyond belief. This series has quite a bit more mystery and suspense than I’m used to with Sorensen, but she wears it well. Unbeautiful left us with so many unanswered questions and Untamed does it’s best to answer most of them. We finally find out what really happened with Emery’s brother and how her father is so all-knowing when it comes to her new life. We do (eventually) get to see things heat up again between Ryler and Emery. That doesn’t happen for a while. It takes a lot for Emery to trust Ryler again, after what feels like the ultimate betrayal.
I was a little surprised to learn that this was just a duology. I’ve come to expect much longer series from her and I worried a little that she wouldn’t be able to condense everything that needed to be covered into just two books. That worry was stupid of me. I should know by now that Sorensen is capable of writing goal that she sets her mind to and this is no exception. Though I was still left with a question or two, I was completely satisfied with this story. I now genuinely hope that Ryler and Emery don’t get another story because that would mean more turmoil for them and they deserve some peace and quiet.
This is one of those series that you spend your weekend hiding in your house to finish reading because you have to know what happens next. I read Untamed in a single day. I stayed super late Saturday night to finish Unbeautiful and get quite a ways into Untamed before collapsing from exhaustion. I got up the next morning and immediately pick it back up to keep going. I am not a fast reader, so for me to finish something in a single day is an accomplishment and that only happens with things I truly cannot put down. I should surprise no one, least of all me, that it happened here because Sorensen knows how to write exactly what I like to read. She’s truly a master of her craft and I bow down to her brillance. Emery and Ryler’s story is heartbreaking, almost to that Nova & Quinton level, and you cannot help but feel for them and hope that they get the best ending possible. And they do get it, so what more could you want? You get suspense, mystery, tension, romance, and an happy ending?
****Thank you to Jessica Sorensen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****