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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tall, Dark And Wolfish by Lydia Dare

Tall, Dark And Wolfish by Lydia Dare
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full (387 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

He’s lost the most important part of himself…

Lord Benjamin Westfield is a powerful werewolf—until one full moon when he doesn’t change. His life now shattered, he rushes off to Scotland in search of the healer who can restore his inner beast, only to find she’s not at all what he expected…

She would make him whole, if she could…

Young, beautiful witch Elspeth Campbell will do anything to help anyone who calls upon her healing arts. Then Lord Benjamin shows up, and she suddenly discovers she may need him even more than he needs her.
Ever wonder what it would be like to have something you always wanted to change about yourself actually happen and when it does, you find it’s not what you wanted at all? That’s the dilemma facing Lord Benjamin Westfield.

It’s always been there in the background, a certain hitch in the thought patterns about being different from the rest of society. Something tragic happens to shake up his psyche to the point that it prevents him from completely being who and what he is. The realization that he’s broken sends Ben on a search for healing and leads him to a fix of more than what he seeks. I liked Ben. He’s earnest, enjoys life and very protective of his family. He’s the sensible one. He faces the truth about himself; he actually likes who he is, and wants that part of himself back. The conflict is definitely internal and the poor guy runs himself ragged trying all sorts of weird things to find the cure. I’m surprised he didn’t OD on Vitamin C. He’s even driven to find something he thought didn’t exist. He sure found out differently when he found Elspeth.

Elspeth is a fun mix of innocence, saucy curiosity and acceptance. Her life has been hard but she’s made the best of it. Nothing showcases her reality than her friends, the really awesome secondary characters of Rhiannon, Blaire, Sorcha and Caitrin. In fact, Caitrin plays a very strong role in moving the plot along and working through the intricacies that surround Elspeth and Ben. It’s Elspeth’s reaction to them that also illustrates her own caring and courageous nature. She might be an innocent but she’s not dumb or foolish. She’s strong in her own right and she doesn’t let Ben get away with anything. When he messes up, she is in his face and lets him know exactly what’s what. I think Ben needed someone just like her. It makes for interesting reading because Ben is pretty clueless for awhile about that very fact.

There is an underlying thread for a secondary character that was introduced in the previous book, A Certain Wolfish Charm. Major Forster plays a definitive role in the courtship between Elspeth and Ben and his presence also lends itself to an unusual and well rounded happily-ever-after. Even though he was in the first book, Tall, Dark And Wolfish most assuredly stands on its own. It’d be nice to read about Ben’s older brother, Simon, but it’s not needed to completely enjoy the romance between Ben and Elspeth. They are more than enough to carry this book and the dance of their relationship is convoluted, humorous, exciting, sometimes painful and thought provoking, and sweet. Oh, I have to mention Alec MacQuarrie. He’s another secondary character that has potential to be so much more. Once again, Ms. Dare has presented this reader with another person who trips the “I wonder” meter. Even though he’s secondary, he has a strong personality and enough of a showing in this book to want to read about him too, someday. To say this world that Ms. Dare has created is rich and varied is an understatement. There is so much more I’m not telling.

If you are looking for a fresh and delicious read that combines historical romance with the best of what the paranormal has to offer, then look no further than Tall, Dark And Wolfish. It has a hero to save, a heroine who does the saving and a romance that is truly a joy to watch unfold. The story of Ben is going on my keeper shelf right next to his big brother, Simon.