by Sara Humphreys
Layla has dreaded the day her Amoveo mate would find her. But as fate would have it, he shows up on a photographic shoot in New Orleans. Before he can claim her, she flees to the one place she's always been safe, her small hometown in rural Maryland and the farm where she spent most of her childhood.
After experiencing her mother's mental instability and being put in foster care, Layla has serious trust issues. When she finally ends up at the farm in Maryland with Rosie and two other children, Raife and Tatiana, she realizes she's come home. Raife and Tati are also hybrid Amoveo children and while Rosie has a firm but loving hand with all three but she doesn't know a lot about the Amoveo race. The only information they have comes from the diary of Rosie's sister, Raife and Tati's mother, which isn't a lot. What it does mention though is the predestined mate legend and that scares Layla silly. She won't be forced to lose her own identity to become a 'mate' for some man she doesn't even know. And with her past history of foster care, she won't let anyone or anything decide what she'll do in her life.
William Fluery, the Ice Man as his friends call him, is always in control. As an attorney for the Amoveo council, he's impeccable in his three-piece suits and he's renowned for his cold, calculating assessments. Until, while helping his friend Dante down in the Bayou, he recognizes his destined mate, photographer Layla Nickelsen, a petite red-head with a lust for life and a soul-deep streak of stubbornness. She's the exact opposite of what he is and she's exactly what he needs. The problem is…can he convince Layla that they would be perfect together?
William's confusion over Layla's apparent indifference to him is the first crack in his stoic demeanor. It makes him work all that much harder to earn her acceptance. But as he follows her to her childhood home and begins to spin time with her, he finds his admiration for her growing until he realizes he's in love with her.
Unfortunately, just as he and Layla seem as if they're coming together, Rosie is attacked and nearly killed. He detects a dark energy near the injured Rosie that he assumes is one of the Purists who despise hybrids. With this threat to Layla and her reluctance to trust him, William despairs that he will ever have the love he craves from her. Even so, he can't and won't force her to be his mate. He wants her to want him, to love him, as much as he loves her.
Untamed has strong, admirable characters, a sizzling love story and a seat of the pants action plot. In other words, it has it all! William is a to-die-for hero -- strong, loyal and sexy. Ice Man? Hah! Yes, he's a man in control but that Ice Man thing? A façade. This man could melt iron! Layla is perfect for him with her vast independence. She cracks that icy façade to reveal the real man below. And as each of her secrets becomes known and dealt with, she becomes even stronger in her own right. I can see why William fell in love with her. The twist ending was a significant surprise for me (love when that happens!) and I'm looking forward to where that leads us.
All in all, Untamed is a MUST READ.