Author: Jane Shoup
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Description: In 1908, on a mission to find a new breed of ape in central Africa, an unfathomable thing is discovered – a wild, white man, living amongst gorillas. Local villagers call him matokeo ya utafutaji kwa, the untamed one.
Joining the team of hunters and trackers searching for matokeo ya utafutaji kwa is Arianna Day, the 21-year-old niece of an expedition member. She catches the untamed one’s eye and, believing she is meant for him, he takes her captive and claims her for his own, body and soul.
When Arianna is rescued, the untamed one is captured, and they are sent their separate ways: the wild man to learn language and social skills he’d long forgotten, Arianna back home to England to try to fit back into her old life. A promising marriage proposal awaits, but thoughts of the untamed one haunts her.
Amidst the backdrop of London in the summer of 1908, as the Olympic Games are hosted and the Franko-British Exhibition is held, the now-civilized wild man returns home, with his original name restored: Sebastian or ‘Zan’ Shaffer. He and Arianna are drawn together again only to be ripped apart by social convention and Marshall Derringer, the man determined to have her as his wife. But Zan is not the only one with an untamed heart…
Untamed is a Tarzan story and it starts out exciting and adventurous with a trek to Africa, finding the untamed, and his taking of Arianna.
What ensues is the kind of love we all dream about. Both Ari and Zan would do anything to ensure the other’s happiness even if it means sacrificing their own.
Ari’s character was well developed and I found myself crying along with her. I did find myself wanting to know more about Zan. He seemed to be a complex and intelligent man but all you’re given in the story is his desire to be with Ari, and everything he does is driven by that desire and wanting to make her happy.
There were many interesting side stories but the Ari/Zan story could have been much more developed in the jungle as well as back home. While I did enjoy the book, I felt myself wanting much more.