Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare

 He gets crankier and crankier as the moon gets full...
The rules of Society can be beastly—especially when you're a werewolf and it's that irritating time of the month. Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor, is rich, powerful, and sinfully handsome, and has spent his entire life creating scandal and mayhem. It doesn't help his wolfish temper at all that Miss Lily Rutledge seems not the least bit afraid of him, and in fact, may be as untamable as he is...

A woman whose charm is stronger than the moon... 

When Lily's beloved nephew's behavior becomes inexplicably wild, she turns to Simon, the boy's cousin and guardian, for help. But Simon's idea of assistance is far different than hers, and Lily finds herself ensconced in his house and engaged to the rogue.

They both may have bitten off more than they can chew when each begins to discover the other's darkest secrets...

Quickie Review:
First of the Westfield Wolves Regency paranormal werewolf series, I really enjoyed this historical romance. I didn't know what to expect but it turned out to be an interesting scenario. Lily, an on the shelf spinster cannot understand what is happening to her 12 yr. old nephew, whom she is raising. She goes to his guardian, Simon who is a duke - and a werewolf, like Oliver. She hopes Simon can help her, only the moon is waxing and all he can think about is how much he wants to take her to bed. Lily doesn't know anything about what Simon, his brothers and her nephew truly are. She's swept off her feet by Simon's passionate nature but is irked because she knows he's keeping a secret from her. I liked the fact that Simon is not a tortured man convinced he's cursed as a werewolf, though he's worried he'll hurt Lily and wants to keep his true nature secret from her. I'll definitely continue with this sexy and very hot series.

Lily Rutledge is an attractive spinster who is used to getting her own way.  She has been taking care of her nephew Oliver since her sister and her husband died together in a carriage accident.  Oliver, now an adolescent is growing in leaps and bounds and his temper is growing more and more as well with his moods which are becoming increasingly uncontrollable.  What happened to her sweet little Oliver?  It's starting to worry her and it's time she got his guardian, the Duke of Blackmoor to help.  Instinctively Lily feels Oliver needs the help of a man... a father figure.  Lily and the Duke don't get along.  She feels he's done nothing up to this point to help out as a guardian, living it up in society without a care in the world for his young charge.  Ignoring her and her letters in regard to Oliver, she takes it upon herself to show up at his front door - shortly before the moon is full.

Little does Lily know that the Duke (and his brothers) are all werewolves - as well as Oliver.  The refreshing thing about this book is that instead of looking at being a werewolf as a curse, they accept it (with some exceptions.)  There is even a club where they can go and be themselves and talk with other werewolves.  Mini-clubs within the best boarding schools exist at schools like Harrow where the boys can grow up together and have mentors to teach them how to live as a werewolf.  Of course, the general public has no idea what they really become at the full moon, it's a great secret, but all handled well.  Most werewolves are able to live comfortable lives, marry, have children etc., although not all.   Do their wives know about their secrets?  Eventually yes, they do, but not all can accept it.  Most do, but some cannot and become afraid - as what happened to Lily's sister, Oliver's mother.  I found it all very interesting as the story develops to learn more about this aristocratic werewolf world that Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor belongs to.

As the full moon approaches werewolves begin to "lose it."  They become wilder and it's harder for them to maintain their composure, especially in a sexual sense.  Lily shows up shortly before the full moon and Simon is hugely attracted to her.  Yet, he refuses to tell her about himself, something he fears he never will be able to do with any wife.  He's convinced no wife would be able to tolerate the truth, though he knows of other werewolves that have no problem with finding a mate, who relish the mating dance that goes on between them during the full moon.  Simon is convinced Lily would be repulsed at the knowledge.  Little does he know how wrong he is...  As they become closer he decides he doesn't want to live without her yet for some reason marriage is out of the question.  He comes up with the bright idea of setting her up in a cottage nearby on his estate as his mistress.  Fat chance that'll go over well with her.  But, when word gets out that she's been staying at his country house anyway, a marriage of convenience to save her reputation is in order.  Now what is Simon going to do at the full moon?  He can't keep lying to her forever?  Lily is no idiot, she knows something is up, though no one will tell her anything, although the duke's mother alludes to much without coming right out and telling her the truth.  Married to his father, a werewolf, she knows full well what her sons are like.

Through the course of this book, we see how Lily and Simon get tangled up together.  He, fighting his desire for her and she becoming increasingly suspicious of whatever it is she knows he's keeping from her, all the while hoping he can handle Oliver's sudden change of personality.  Their passion heats up as well, and I must admit, some parts of this book were incredibly hot and I loved how it all played out, of course leading up to what is going to happen to them on the full moon.

I highly recommend this series and will read on about Simon's brothers, one of the better werewolf paranormals I've read.  It has passion, humor and an original plot line regarding the werewolf lore and how an adolescent werewolf comes of age.  Simon is sexy and larger than life - a true alpha, but Lily is able to hold her own with him.  A pleasant surprise.


P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!


The Romantic Scientist said...

I liked this series as well, and they're all pretty good. I still need to read the 4th one, and they also wrote a Regency vampire series as well, which I haven't read yet.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I have the 2nd and 3rd in my TBR pile waiting to be read, I'm really looking forward to digging into this series. I met the authors (both collaborate as Lydia Dare) last year at RWA in NYC and bought the first of the vampire series, but decided to tackle this one first. Glad I met them and bought their book! Funny I told them I was looking for a good vampire historical paranormal and they sold me on theirs!

The_Book_Queen said...

I've only read one book by Dare--The Wolf Who Loved Me---and I loved it! I have all the other books on my list, I hope to get to them soon!

Great review--and Happy Mother's Day to you, and everyone else, as well! :)

TBQ's Book Palace

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

TBQ, thanks! Now, I'm really eager to read on with this series sooner than later!

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