Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Untamed One by Ronda Thompson

 Book Description:
Running from angry villagers and the man who ravaged her, the witch Lucinda flees into the forest to have her child. But Lord Jackson Wulf hunts her down, believing her death will break the family curse that transforms him into a monster. Instead of killing the witch, Jackson is moved by her beauty and desperate plight.  Lucinda seizes the chance to find safety for herself and her babe when a bargain is struck between this outcast woman and this doomed man--and sealed by their marriage in name only…

In return for his protection, Lucinda has promised that her magic can free Jackson from his torment. But this pretty witch soon finds herself in danger of being seduced by Jackson's charms and pursued by the man who would see both her and her child dead. Can she trust a Wulf with her safety and the safety of her child? Can she trust her heart to Jackson? To surrender to a Wulf is a terrible risk, for love will either unleash the beast within the man...or finally set him free. 

Another installment in the Wild Wulfs of London series.  This is book two, involving Jackson.  I like this regency historical paranormal series, which involves the notorious Wulf Brothers who must break the family curse that has made them werewolves whenever the full moon rises.

Jackson Wulf is on a mission.  He has learned that a certain witch who lives a reclusive life in a cottage deep in a distant forest from town might be able to break the family curse.  Yet, in order for her to do so, he must kill her.  Upon entering the lonely cottage, he meets a young woman, Lucinda, who is unexpectedly in the midst of giving birth.  It turns out she is the witch he has sought out.  He cannot go through with killing the young and beautiful woman.  He helps deliver her baby instead.   They form a bond and kiss afterwards, but immediately following the tender moment between them, the nearby villagers descend upon the cottage, intending to burn it down.  They fear Jackson, whom they know to be a werewolf and want to destroy him.  In order to protect Lucinda, Jackson saves her by turning into a wolf to fend off the villagers while she runs for her life with her newborn.

Months later, Jackson returns to London to find that the same witch, Lucinda, is firmly ensconced in his home, posing as his wife! She is also claiming the baby is his!  Jackson is taken aback at first, but he vividly remembers Lucinda and he cannot turn his back on her.  They strike up a bargain that if he goes along with the charade and does not reveal the truth that they were not really married, she will try and help break the spell.  

Due to a series of events, Jackson insists on marrying Lucinda in order to protect her from the baby's real father who wants both Lucinda and the baby dead.  He promised her directly after the baby was born, while still in the cottage, that he would see to it the babe would always be safe.  This promise comes back to haunt him more than once.  Lucinda had been defiled by the local lord of the manor (a distant relation to the king) while she was drugged and remembers none of it, except that she wound up pregnant.  Her baby bears the unmistakable family birthmark on him, which can only now pose a danger to his life.  Jackson is unaware of the circumstances that led to Lucinda's pregnancy or the birthmark, but he assumes she had been free and easy with her virtue and he considers her fair game for himself.  

After they marry, Lucinda keeps telling him their marriage is in name only, but Jackson has other plans.  His "werewolf" scent unconsciously drives women wild.  He is irresistible and terribly handsome.  It's all Lucinda can do to keep her hands off him.   He is single-minded when it comes to seducing her, but Lucinda is afraid to give in to him.  She doesn't believe he will still want her once she helps him break the curse.  Then where will she be?  Can they come to terms with each other and give in to their mutual passion, or will Lucinda keep putting him off over and over again while seeking the answer towards breaking the curse?

Overall this was a good story and I enjoyed it, though their constant misunderstanding of each other's feelings drove me crazy!  They love one another, yet neither one of them knows it!  Grr!  She thinks he'll drop her once he's no longer a werewolf, yet she wants to insure he'll take care of her baby if he does!   She's falling in love but they come from completely different worlds, how can she manage to pass herself off as a "Lady" of the ton?  He finds himself falling for her against his will even though he keeps telling himself it's only lust.  But he's growing attached to Lucinda and the baby he now thinks of as his own.  Too attached.  He hates the idea of losing them, they've become too important to him.  But, there's that damnable curse that says he must not marry the one he loves!  Yet, he's already married to her.  Does that mean Lucinda will die because of the curse?  Will she be able to figure out a way to break it?  Let's just say all these questions are answered by the end of the book.

A quick read which will appeal to werewolf and paranormal lovers who also enjoy historical romances.  A nice combination of the two genres.  But keep in mind, the whole thing is extremely far-fetched and there's not a whole lot of deep character development or anything that's going to make me remember this book forever.  Still, it kept my attention, the sexual tension went on for too long, but I liked it overall.  But please don't take it too seriously, it's just pure fantasy.  I like these passionate regency werewolves, so I'm eager to read on in the series!


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