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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

'The Wolf Next Door' by Lydia DARE

From the BLURB:

Rogue, Rake.Werewolf. Years ago on a full moon, Lord William Westfield gave way to his inner beast and nearly ruined young Prisca Hawthorne. Knowing he can never trust himself in the arms of the woman he loves, he throws himself into a debauched lifestyle. When Westfield discovers he has a rival for Prisca's love, he decides if she's going to marry a Lycan it damn well better be him. But time is running out as Prisca's other suitor takes an instant and potentially fatal dislike to Westfield.

This is the third book in Lydia Dare’s werewolf series (the series that does not actually have a title?).

This book completes the romance between middle Westfield brother, Will, and his childhood sweetheart, Prisca.
From book #1 Lydia Dare has dropped hints about a complicated romantic past between Will and Prisca ‘Prissy’ Hawthorne. And in book #2, ‘Tall, Dark and Wolfish’, Dare really lay foundation work for Will’s HEA.

It is revealed in ‘The Wolf Next Door’ that 4 years ago Will and Prisca were engaged to be married. But a nasty rumour about Will impregnating a local miss sent Prisca into a tailspin and breaking their engagement. The accusation was false, but Prisca quickly learnt through the grapevine that it *could* have been true. Will is a rake and for years he was a cavorting and unrepentant bachelor. Prisca panicked that he would not be faithful and thus ended their relationship. For 4 long years Prisca has built a wall around herself, to guard against Will and heartache. She has turned down numerous suitors and refused to enter into the marriage-mart. All the while she has been paying close attention to Will’s rakish behaviour as it’s reported by the society rags. Will, meanwhile, has been bedding anything in a skirt in an unsuccessful attempt to forget his one true love – Prisca Hawthorne.

This is one tangled romantic web Lydia Dare weaves. And it gets more knotted when one lord Dashiel Brimsworth sets his cap for Prisca. Will is less than pleased, especially because Brimsworth is a rogue Lycan. Will kicks into territorial-mode and is determined to win his mate back, once and for all.

I was so looking forward to Will and Prisca’s book, right from the moment Dare introduced their twisted love/hate affair in book #1; ‘A Certain Wolfish Charm’. In that book Prisca and Will were at each other’s throats – throwing taunting jabs and witticisms at one another to clearly mask their tumultuous feelings. In ‘Wolf Next Door’ all is revealed – though not all satisfyingly. The back-story to Will being accused of impregnating a local girl is offered, but not really followed up. I wanted to meet Will’s ‘accuser’ and to know more about the fall-out from 4 years ago. But Dare mentions it and then moves on. It seems a shame, especially because Will’s rakishness is the focus of this book.

That’s one thing I liked – the fact that Will’s past behaviours are what really hampers his romance with Prisca in the present. So often in regency romances a ‘rake’ is introduced, but reformed the minute he meets his sweetheart. Lydia Dare did an admirable job of moulding Will into a rake through book’s 1# and 2# and it all comes to a head in this 3rd instalment. I loved that. I loved the fact that Prisca threw Will’s past back in his face and that Will had to admit he made mistakes and bought regrets for himself. It made for a really meaty and complicated tension-filled storyline to get caught up in.

“How could you doubt that I want you Prissy?” He watched her face as he asked the question.
“I've no doubt that you want me, Will,” she sighed. “But I also know that you want anyone who wears a skirt and has a beating heart.”
Will nearly flinched at her words. But he deserved every one of them, truth be told.
She pushed against his chest, but he just tightened his arm around her. “No,” he said softly. “Let’s finish this before you pull away from me completely.”
“We can talk just as well if we’re several feet from one another, Will,” she rationalized.
“I’ll not let you go, Priss.”

However, the resolution between Will and Prisca wasn’t particularly gratifying. Throughout the book Prisca is rebuffing Will’s advances because she doesn’t think he will remain monogamous. Will does an admirable job of courting Prisca and soothing her worries. And during their trials and tribulations their lust and sexual frustration is a palpable thing to read. But dare writes only one sex scene between them. One culmination to all that pent-up wanting. After going through Prisca’s 4-year-long heartache and feelings of betrayal, and Will’s efforts to prove himself and his love... I just wanted *more* of them being loved up.

I did like this book, I didn’t *LOVE* it like I did the first two, but I did like it. I think maybe I had too high an expectation of Prisca and Will, which is my fault entirely.

3/5

Lydia Dare’s 4th book is ‘Taming of the Wolf’ which comes out November 2nd. I’m not sure about this next instalment... the heroine is Caitrin McLeod who had a minor role in ‘The Wolf Next Door’, but I don’t really like her. It might just be because Prisca didn’t particularly warm to Caitrin in this book, but I found her to be a prickly and egocentric character. Hmmm... I’ll definitely read the 4th book, but with a bit of trepidation.


2 comments:

  1. I kind of felt the same - Will was my favorite brother, but his story wasn't as full as I'd hoped it would be.

    I did read the sneak peek for the next book and although I didn't think I'd want to read past the brothers, the sneak peak has me wanting to find out what happens!

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  2. great review! I am so looking forward to checking out this series! Thanks for the review hon =)

    xoxo

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