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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare

In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Chivalry is far from undead...

Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell, is one of the few men in the ton who can claim to be a knight in shining armor- because that's precisely what he was before being turned into a vampyre. When he spies a damsel in distress in the midst of a storm in Hyde Park, his natural instinct is to rush to her aid...

But not every woman needs to be rescued...

Weather-controlling witch Rhiannon Sinclair isn't caught in a storm-she's the cause of it. She's mortified to have been caught making trouble by the imposing earl, but she doesn't need any man-never has, and is sure she never will...

But when Rhiannon encounters Matthew again, her powers go awry and his supernatural abilities run amok. Between the two of them, the ton is thrown into an uproar. There's never been a more tempestuous scandal...

A man born in chivalrous times past is no match for a feisty and seductive Scottish weather witch, and watching the lightening flash and his fangs pop is only the beginning of the fun in store for readers in Ms. Dare’s latest romance.

First, this is a great stand alone book. For fans of the series, they’ll get to see one of the Westfield brothers again and one of Rhiannon’s sister witches. If this is the first time for a reader, those same people will come across as interesting and fun secondary characters. Either kind of reader will find entertainment and humor throughout and should find that Ms. Dare has once again provided a great storytelling experience.

Rhiannon has her story this time around and she is written as a woman who is loyal, fiercely protective, loving and giving but with bit of a temper to rival Zeus or Thor when crossed. Perhaps it has something to do with her propensity to hurl some well placed lightning bolts or two but the results are giggle-worthy and it was fun.

In the past, I believe I got a sense that her dad was a bit absent minded and at first, it didn’t seem that big a deal. The author lets a reader in on a big secret that presents a very real and touching emotional hook. It made me want to give Rhiannon a hug. Having a parent who seems disinterested in a child has deep ramifications no matter how adept the offspring become at hiding its affects. I was pretty impressed with how the author wove those sentiments throughout the story, and how it touched and influenced the other characters.

One person in particular gets the brunt of the heroine’s ire and saucy teasing and that’s Matthew, the hero. I was tickled when I found out that this man who’d given up on hope and accepted his life’s course should actually find love. I tremendously enjoyed watching him fall apart. Ms. Dare was deliciously coy with the details; it started out small, like a pebble going downhill turning into a landslide. It picked up speed and bowled the poor guy over with the truth. For all his knowledge and experience over his vast existence, the hero simply had no clue about the true power of love. It was pure romance.

As I mentioned before, there are some great secondary characters that spice up this tale and many revolve around the heroine’s best friend Cait’s husband, Dash. He has brothers and they all become protective of Rhiannon to the point of hilariousness. Don’t get me wrong, there are some serious, all out spooky moments where I didn’t know if someone was going to get shredded to ribbons or dead. Ms. Dare balanced the drama and suspense well enough that it never bogged the story down but enhanced the telling of it. There is also one special character that really had the makings for a vicious enemy. The person was certainly capable of evil and nasty attacks and I couldn’t figure out which way to think. Amazingly enough, the author chose the high road in a very unconventional battle that tested the mettle of the heroine. It was Rhiannon who made the difference and who saw clearly what the true nature of the threat was. What an impressive bit of writing!

The only person or part I didn’t care for was Aunt Greer. I guess I’m more vengeful or bloodthirsty because I would have not done what was ultimately done with her. I’ll let readers decide if it was foolish or magnanimous.

In the Heat of the Bite is a delightful romance that paranormal fans can sink their teeth into and find sweet-tart entertainment from beginning to end. The happily ever after was poignant and beautiful. The scenes leading up to it were vastly amusing due to Rhiannon’s fascination with Matthew’s teeth. I found myself laughing and sighing all at the same time. I can’t wait for Alec’s story; it can’t come soon enough.

One thing I do know is it’s a guarantee that Ms. Dare’s next book will be an auto-buy for me. For some reason, I can’t get enough!