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Friday, August 6, 2010

The Witch and the Wolf by Tricia Schneider

The Witch and the Wolf by Tricia Schneider
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short (64 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.

Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...

On a wild and snowy night, a lady turned Popsicle falls into the arms of a drunken nobleman who sobers up in a hurry when his arms get hold of her frozen deliciousness.

North is a man consumed and tormented by a big secret. His secret is about to manifest within the day and here comes this woman who falls into his arms and he doesn’t know quite what to do. He needs to hide. He yearns to be with her. He wants her to stay and then he needs her to leave. It’s just a hint of the internal struggle and conflict North goes through during the course of this story. To make it more complicated, the woman brings to life dreams – dreams of which he feels he’ll never have a chance to see come true or even pursue. It broke my heart because he seems like such a responsible and earnest kind of man. He served his country and I think men like North deserve to be happy. His manservant and friend Amery agrees with me too. But what kind of woman could possibly love a monster?

Lillian is the frozen damsel in distress. She’s got her own problems to deal with and they are haunting her. She too wants to be happy but being a female back in the day, she’s out of options and hope. Until she stumbles upon North’s home and hope is revived. She’s plucky, optimistic and not without defenses but nothing prepares her for protecting her heart. Thank goodness for the mysterious teachings of Aunt Petunia, who I really wished I could meet. She sounds quite the character. As it is, Lillian refers to the advice she’d received while growing up and it holds her in good stead. Somehow, however, I don’t see Aunt Petunia envisioning quite the way Lillian decides to use her knowledge. I thought it was grand but I think the aunt would have had heart palpitations. Actually, I think that’s funny. In any event one of her internal conflicts is figuring out who to trust. And how in the world does she even start to reveal her secrets? Fate has a hand in that decision.

The external conflict explodes onto the scene in a flurry of pomposity and effective annoyance. By that I mean the author did a great job in giving me the willies. I really didn’t like those disgusting villainous and highly inappropriate men and Ms. Schneider did a great job of insuring my distaste.

I highly suspect there is going to be a sequel to this story because Lillian has a sister. She’s in just as much danger as Lillian and I really want to see how Ms. Schneider is going to keep Melora out of their vile clutches. If she’s anything like Lillian, then I expect another fascinating and absorbing read just like this one.

I enjoyed the dialogue, the descriptions and the way the author had the characters reacting to each other. I liked how she revealed each of their secrets and I found their responses to be strong indicators of their personalities and a solid predictor of their assured happily ever after. There is humor, minor suspenseful tension, a wonderful sensual interlude between North and Lillian; and a good showing of loyalty and level headedness when the drama reaches its peak. I had a great time reading this tale and look forward to finding out what happens next. What a fun book!