Monday, November 22, 2010
Review - The Taming of the Wolf
The Taming of the Wolf
Caitrin Macleod accepts the fact her friend and sister in witchery has married one of them but that doesn't mean she particularly likes Lycans. In her opinion, they're overbearing, arrogant and sure to pose a hindrance, if not a danger, to her witchy circle. And with the married couples off doing whatever it is that Lycans and their mates do in the fullness of the moon, she feels safe enough to slip down to the library for something to read. Unfortunately, there's someone else in the library when she arrives. A tall, handsome man, a blond Adonis, whose mere touch makes her forget all her inhibitions and warnings. Until he bites her, that is. Good sense and not a little outrage sends her to her room where she orders her carriage prepared for immediate departure. She wants nothing - much - to do with the mysterious man whose kisses make her lose her mind.
That man, Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth, is a Lycan but until recently he simply thought he was a monster. With each full moon, he'd lock himself away so that he wouldn't hurt anyone while his body changed and his urges grew wild. But the beautiful blonde maiden he meets in the Duke of Blackmoor's library entices him like no other woman ever has. All he knows is that she's Scottish and that, for whatever reason, he's bitten her. When he learns that he's claimed the beauty with his bite, he still doesn't understand. He needs mentoring, training, so that he can live with his Lycaness...and to entice the lovely blonde to fall in love with him. Before he does anything else untoward, he sets out for the Scottish mentor who'll teach him how to control his Lycan half.
Through the cold, dark night, he fancies he can still smell the girl, Caitrin Macleod. He eventually realizes her scent is on the wind and his Lycan abilities are allowing him to catch her scent as she, too, travels to Scotland. Putting his plan to charm Caitrin into falling for him into action, he catches up with her at a coaching inn. Incredibly, the girl acts as though she hates him though she responds wonderfully to his every touch. What follows are moments of laugh out loud amusement, human angst, and growing love between the two protagonists.
Dashiel was a mysterious, dark antagonist in the preceding book of this series but in much of The Taming of the Wolf, he's depicted as more of an untried youth as he attempts to both learn and cope with his dual nature. He's been conditioned all his life to consider himself a monster. His main concern is that on the full moon, he may hurt Caitrin and he's desperate to find a way to control himself so that he doesn't. His mentor's best advice is to accept and celebrate his wildness but Dashiel has a hard time accepting it.With the warning that unless Cait falls in love with him, Dashiel will be doomed to a cold and lonely life, he's quite desperate. One of his less than honorable acts is to seduce Cait before they're wed, but his growing desire to do the honorable thing stops him. Once they are married, their romance turns fabulously hot. While Dashiel isn't perfect, there's enough goodness in him to shine through and we readers fall in love with him too.
Caitrin, too, comes across as less emotionally mature than she did in the previous book though given this is during a more regimented time in society, it's perhaps more acceptable. However, she does come across as headstrong and somewhat arrogant herself and she makes choices that aren't always honorable herself. But by the end of the story, she has redeemed herself and become someone all of us would admire.
While the plot is the basic boy chases girl, there was enough variation in it to bring freshness to any reader. For me, this was a quick read, a real page turner. Then I went back and read it again to savor each word and emotion.
With heartwarming romance, engaging characters and engrossing plot twists, Lydia Dare and her Lycan books are fast becoming 'must buy' books. I recommend them all.
FYI Sourcebooks is offering a giveaway of Lydia Dare books, go to
http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2010/11/guest-lydia-dare.html to find out how you might win a copy of the set.