Karen Keyte's Reviews > A Certain Wolfish Charm

A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare
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's review
Apr 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: adult-historical, adult-paranormal, adult-romance
Read from April 18 to 19, 2011

I love historical romances, particularly those set in the Regency period. I also have a weakness for shape-shifter stories, so giving A Certain Wolfish Charm (the first novel in Lydia Dare's Regency Werewolf trilogy) a try was a no brainer for me. I probably would have liked the book even if it had been merely mediocre, but I was delighted to discover that it was so much more than that. Ms. Dare has a real talent for story-telling; just a few pages into the book I was totally hooked. The plot is intriguing and the paranormal aspect is a completely natural part of the landscape (albeit a secret one). Best of all, the characters were all fully-developed and true -to-life.

Miss Lily Rutledge has never been more exasperated with a man than she is with Simon Westfield, Duke of Blackmoor and she hasn't even laid eyes on him in six years. At nearly twenty-four Lily is firmly on the shelf as far as marriage prospects are concerned but she has absolutely no regrets about what put her there. After the death of her adored sister and her brother-in-law six years ago, Lily volunteered to raise their son, Oliver York, Earl of Maberley. No child could be more beloved and, until very recently, Oliver has been both sweet and obedient. In the past few months however, both Oliver's personality and his physique have undergone startling changes. He has grown immensely, eats enough to feed a good-sized family and has become downright surly. Lily is extremely concerned about Oliver and she has written a number of letters to Blackmoor - who happens to be the boy's guardian - asking for his advice and assistance. Letters, Lily is furious to note, that the Duke has clearly not bothered to read since the only response she receives is money. It's obviously past time for a more direct approach.

An infamous rakehell, Simon Westfield is not a happy man. His werewolf nature drives him in ways that he's sure would horrify polite society and that's without ever giving in to his baser animal instincts. Every time the full moon approaches, Simon quits London and heads to Westfield Hall, his secluded Hampshire estate. Once there Simon can relax and give in to the changes that inevitably come in the nights surrounding the full moon. That is what he fully intended to do this time as well. He has no interest in entertaining Miss Lily Rutledge who, much to her own unknown peril, has arrived on his doorstep unexpectedly for the express purpose of discussing his ward. It is simply not safe for her to be here, so Simon dumps her unceremoniously back into her carriage and tells her to return to Maberley Hall forthwith. It's only after Lily's departure that her words seep into Simon's brain. Oliver York is obviously approaching his first transformation as a Lycan, which means Miss Rutledge will be in even greater danger at Maberley.

Simon is determined to take Oliver in hand and to help the lad learn to control his werewolf nature. He sends for the boy and, with his brother Will in tow, sets out to fetch Miss Rutledge back to Westfield Hall. Once he has them both under his roof, Simon intends to tell Lily that her services will no longer be required. Perhaps he'll even provide her with a dowry so she can settle down and raise some children of her own. But Simon hasn't reckoned on Lily's fierce determination not to be parted from her nephew, nor has he anticipated his own intense longing to make Lily his own.

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