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Monday, August 29, 2011

Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare

Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (363 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rting: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The glittering world of high society is the playground for the rich, titled, and reluctantly undead…

Alec MacQuarrie’s after-life has become an endless search for pleasure in an effort to overcome his heartbreak and despair. Wandering through the seedy world of London’s demimonde, he’s changed into a dark and fearsome creature even he doesn’t recognize until he stumbles into a magical lass he knew once upon a time and sees a glimpse of the life he could have had.

But the ton is no match for one incorrigible young lady…

After watching each of her coven sisters happily marry, Sorcha Ferguson is determined to capture a Lycan husband of her very own. When she encounters Alec, she decides to save her old friend from what he’s become, all while searching for her own happily-ever-after.

Over his dead body is Alec going to allow this enchanting innocent to throw herself away on an unworthy werewolf, but that leaves him responsible for her, and he’s the worst monster of them all…

If I was a puppy, I’d be wagging my tail hard enough to knock someone down. I am excited to share the news that the youngest member of the Coig not only gets her man but the ending was simply delightful and so adorable, if it had cheeks, I’d pinch them.

Sorcha is the cute one. I’m not talking about in looks, though the hero is certainly smitten with them. I’m referring to her sunny personality. I have to give credit to Ms. Dare for her consistency. For me, that’s a major point because I’ve read many books where a reoccurring secondary character totally changes in personality, or dialogue or actions from what a reader was expecting as soon as they become the main focus. I do understand that the difference in perspective will alter the voice of the story somewhat, but I’ve been let down before – to the point where I wondered who I was reading about because certainly it’s not the same person. Ms. Dare had Sorcha be her regular, endearing and chipper self. Her innocent charm is intact and her enthusiasm for all things wolfie made me giggle numerous times. Being upbeat and an eternal optimist doesn’t mean Sorcha is a ditz, or daft or weak. She has a temper, she has courage and she has determination. She’s also intuitive at times which takes her fellow characters by surprise at interesting points in the tale.

The most entertaining element of Never Been Bit is the romance. Sorcha and Alec have known each other all their lives. They see with eyes of the past and their roles in it. But a lot has changed over the years. Both Sorcha and Alec have experienced things that made them grow up, be aware of the wider world and take a stand on certain issues, all while setting goals for their lives. The one thing they both wanted and thought unattainable ended up being found in the depths of their own hearts – in each other.

That whole process of cluelessness, awakening and then pursuit was alternately heartbreaking, hopeful and many times hilarious. Okay, a lot of it was hysterical. I had the best time reading this book because they truly were great together. I loved their dialogue with each other, the plots and plans and the things that went awry. I enjoyed watching their feelings stir and their passions flare. And I got the greatest kick out of Caitlin, one of the heroine’s best friends, and her machinations to interfere but not actually interfering. It was a delicate dance of friendship that drove Sorcha nuts. She knew that Caitlin knew something but couldn’t get a hint out of her. But you know what they say, actions speak louder than words and I’m not saying a peep more.

Unlike the previous books in the series, the main conflict and the only one that mattered was getting Sorcha and Alec together. They were their own worst enemies. The culmination was like a family reunion. Hurts were soothed, friendships were strengthened and/or renewed and a most wonderful and heartwarming happily ever after unfolded to my immense delight. There were even some unexpected surprises that tickled my fancy that made the book so much richer and well rounded. The editing was perfect, the dialogue thoroughly entertaining and the characters, both main and secondary, are great together, giving the tale a robust and natural feel to it.

Never Been Bit is saucy and dazzling with a sweet romance full of fun culminating in a sigh-worthy happily ever after. I can’t think of a better book to recommend to my friends because it’s so full of love and laughter. Of all the stories about the women of the Ciog, Sorcha’s romance is the one I liked best. I was so thrilled with Alec’s redemption and awakening. I enjoyed the heroine’s adorable quirks and her charming schemes. I think the hero and heroine make a wonderful couple and I believe the happy ever after to be a strong and solid one. My satisfaction is due to the talents of the author. Ms. Dare has written another winner and I couldn’t be happier. Readers of paranormal romance or romance in general are in for a treat because it’s just that good.