Author: Lydia Dare
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Hadley Brothers #1
(Westfield Brothers/Regency #8)
Genre: Regency Romance, Paranormal
Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
A new sexy Regency paranormal trilogy by bestselling author Lydia Dare features hunky werewolves who need to learn how to behave in polite society. Can this pack of ‘gentlemen’ be trained in the ways of the ton, or is it too late to teach an old Lycan new tricks?
Lady Madeline Hayburn Has Money Problems…
Specifically, she has so much of it that she’s dogged by fortune hunters, including her bewilderingly attractive, penniless neighbor, with his wild nature and uncouth manners…
Weston Hadley Has An Identity Crisis…
Specifically, he’s just turned into a wolf while Madeline was watching. Now it’s up to the regal lady to tame the wild beast…if she can…
What I’m talking about:
Welcome to Regency-period England, where ladies are excitable and men are werewolves. The Wolf Who Loved Me kicks off the third set of books in Lydia Dare’s enjoyable paranormal/historical setting. The current series, dubbed the Hadley Brothers Trilogy, follows the three (secret) brothers of Lord Dashiel Thorpe, who was the hero from The Taming of the Wolf. The Wolf Who Loved Me is a “fresh start” to the overall series and can be read as a stand alone. For those that follow the Westfield Brothers books – this book takes place about 3 years after the start of the last book, Never Been Bit (but four years prior to the epilogue in that book).
Wes Hadley is the youngest of the three Hadley brothers – but only by a few minutes, although his twin, Gray, likes to constantly remind Wes that he is the younger of the pair. The Hadley brothers are not part of the upper-crust crowd that their brother, Dash, lives in. They are misfits and a bit rebellious. Yet, they are forced to attend the social gatherings from time to time, even if they don’t always behave. It is at one of these gatherings that Lady Madeline Hayburn catches the eye of young Wes.
Fast forward three years (and the start of this book), Lady Madeline (aka Maddie), is being preened and shown to suitors in hopes to attract the “right sort of man” to wed. She is not happy and does not want to marry someone “proper” because that is what she’s supposed to do. When Wes gives her a much needed reprieve from her admirers, Maddie realizes that there may be more to Wes that meets the eye.
Late one night she follows Wes into the stables where she witnesses him transform into a wolf. When she tries to return home, Wes kidnaps Maddie and takes off to Scotland where they will elope — the reasoning is that only mates are allowed to know the true nature of Lycans.
The Wolf Who Loved Me had some great moments and an enjoyable story line. This was the first book that I’ve read in the series (I’ve read book #4-8) where the couple actually married early on (and before sex!) and subsequently faced much conflict. I loved the drama surrounding Maddie witnessing Wes shift. They are both innocent in so many ways, it was amusing to see them both indecisive as to what course of action to take.
Maddie and Wes are very sweet together. Although he did kidnap her, Maddie had several chances to return home, but she chose to stay with Wes and follow through on the marriage. One of the best moments in the book is when Maddie was faced with her father pounding on her room at the inn’s door and her future husband standing a floor below, outside her window, hoping she’ll jump. My heart stopped for a few moments – I didn’t think she’d do it.
Along the way Maddie and Wes meet up with a fellow Lycan, Dovenby (“Dove”), and his mistress, Lucy Reed. I wasn’t sure at first why the interlopers were introduced and was extremely frustrated to find out that the “fun-loving” Lucy and Wes shared a past. So when newly married Maddie witnesses Lucy and Wes sharing a kiss, I was a bit annoyed. Of course it wasn’t as it appeared, but Maddie runs and wants to return home. She seeks solace with Dove, who plays along and agrees to take Lucy home. I am not a fan of these type storylines – where a simple misunderstanding throws a wrench into the flow of the story. It always seems contrived and unnecessary. I actually had to put the book down for a while because I was so annoyed.
However, to my enjoyment, the plot quickly changed with a twist that I didn’t really see coming until too late. It added new life to the story and kept me up into the night so I could finish reading!
Overall the story was entertaining. However, the paranormal aspects of this world were sorely lacking. It was used as a device to get the couple together, and that I liked. But other than describing the quick healing abilities and some of the other extra sensory properties, being a Lycan meant very little in the book. I would have liked to see more paranormal in the romance.
The ending of the book was tidy and neat. I have to say I usually don’t like the long build up towards the end, with a one or two page climatic finale, but it worked here. I loved how Mattie took charge of her future and ran towards what she loved.
Overall, The Wolf Who Loved Me is an enjoyable and quick read. Although I was a little annoyed over the mess and misunderstandings with Lucy, I ended up enjoying her character. I look forward to find more about Lucy (and Gray) in an upcoming story.
Liked it – recommend (B+)