Friday, April 9, 2010

ARC Review: A Certain Wolfish Charm

A Certain Wolfish Charm
Lydia Dare
Historical Paranormal Romance

Werewolf series/Book 1
Sourcebooks/April 2010

ARC from publisher

From the publisher's website ~

In Lydia dare’s debut trilogy, Regency England has gone to the wolves!

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…

A werewolf in London, Regency London that is. It may sound like a different scenario but it's very similar in ways of a typical historical romance. Society still holds an influence over our hero, the werewolf, and the heroine. They are forced to marry because of what society is saying about the heroine's virtue. Then there's the "Big Secret" that the hero is hiding. The heroine knows he's hiding something and she's resolved to find out just what his secret is.

Lily is a sheltered 23 year old spinster (her word) who is the caregiver for her 12 year old nephew, Oliver. Oliver is the son of Lily's deceased sister Emma and Emma's husband Daniel, cousin to the Duke of Blackmoor. Recently Oliver has been going through some changes that Lily attributes to him getting older and becoming a young man. He's gotten difficult for her to deal with so she's tried to contact Oliver's guardian, the Duke of Blackmoor, to ask for help. Blackmoor's idea of help is to send money. Lily decides to pay Blackmoor a visit, right before the full moon. Simon finds himself attracted to Lily but is also desperate to get rid of her before his secret is exposed. The impression Simon gives Lily is one of an overbearing, arrogant man who cares very little about his deceased best friend's son. Despite all of Simon's attempts, Lily ends up staying and Simon eventually gives into his attraction to her.

The way Lily's background is portrayed, she has had very little experience in the world outside her home in Essex. That's why it was hard for me to believe the way she more or less fell into bed with Simon so quickly. It was a "no, I can't" then "yes, I want you" but "no, I must not" then "yes, I need you". Way too much back and forth from Lily. And the next thing you know, they're married. Lily was a contradiction in that she could be mature when dealing with the well being of Oliver. Her immaturity showed when dealing with the very handsome and desirable Blackmoor.

Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor, is a typical titled nobleman. He enjoys his clubs, women and all the things that go with being a wealthy nobleman but every month he must remove himself from society to become what he was born to be. I liked Simon, didn't always agree with his logic but I liked him. He was written in a way that you could see the paradox his life had become. He has to give in to his werewolf side every month but he also has the responsibilities of his title. Those two lives become very difficult to balance when Lily becomes part of them.

Simon also has two brothers, Benjamin and Will. Benjamin was only mentioned but Will made his appearance in A Certain Wolfish Charm. I adored Will. He was charming and funny and I can't wait to read his book. Benjamin is a mystery which makes him intriguing since we know very little about him. Looking forward to reading his book too.

The werewolf aspect didn't come into play in the sense that the hero wasn't running around on all fours, attacking people. It was a secret that caused distrust between Lily and Simon. She eventually realizes he's hiding something but can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone. Given his rake's reputation, she has plenty of things to speculate on regarding what he might be hiding. When she does find out, well it doesn't go over well but she keeps coming back to all the evidence that points to the impossible - that her husband is a werewolf.

I do wish the werewolf twist had been more present in the story. We get so few historical paranormals. Simon's two brothers will also have their stories told. I look forward to reading those and hope the werewolves have a greater presence in their stories. Overall, a solid start to a new series.

Rating: B


  1. Hmmm, not sure I'm going to give this a try. For some reasons, I don't like my paranormal romance to take place in historicals ^_^; and Lydia sounds like a typical heroine. That's one of the reasons why I like historicals less... the heroine's virtue. Meh.

  2. nath ~ I'm the opposite, I like the added paranormal to historicals.