I often see readers whine a story should have been this or
that way...sorry, I think they miss the point. You the
readers are listening to a storyteller. Ages ago, when the
bard stood before fireside and wove tales for
entertainment, no one stopped him and said, "I don't like
part change it or I won't listen." Would you have told a
bard to change the part where King Arthur finds Gwen and
Lance together? So I wonder why readers feel they have that
right today? Listen up, the world doesn't revolve for you.
A writer conceives the story, spends months, a year
bringing that story to everyone. It's her vision, you are
just one of many permitted, gifted, for the price of
a "ticket" along for the ride.
And Ronda Thompson gives us one wild ride in the second
book of the Wild Wulfs of London. Don't confuse this
Thompson with Dawn Thompson (also a Dorchester author with
The Waterlord, The Falcon's Bride and The Ravencliff
Bride). Ronda Thompson pens a nifty character-driven tale,
with the story of the second brother of Lord Jackson Wulf.
Not content with the inner beast within him, Jackson is
seeking to solve the riddle of the curse he and his
brothers must live under.
He first seeks out a witch, thinking to kill her, and that
might possibly end the curse. Easy to do, he assumes, kill
a crone. Instead of a hag, he finds the witch Lucinda is
beautiful. He comes upon her in the final stages of giving
birth. The birth is going badly, and Lucinda fears both the
child and she dying. She bargains with Jackson, help
deliver her unborn child and promise to provide for it, and
she'd give him leave to kill her. Jackson agrees, but then
cannot go through with taking Lucinda's life. Men have been
sent to kill Lucinda, but more specifically charged with
killing both her and her child. They break in and Jackson
helps her escape with her son.
Lucinda believes in the struggle Jackson was killed, so she
goes to London with the plan of passing herself off as his
widow. Things go along smoothly, until Jackson shows up and
confronts his "widow". Still thinking of her child's
welfare, she strikes a hard bargain, in return for lifting
his curse, Jackson must marry her and adopt Sebastian, her
son. Once the curse was lifted, she promised to go away,
leaving Jackson to live his life. Only trouble -- Lucinda
is a white witch and cannot work black magick and that is
what is needed to counter the curse.
While the first book in the series was breathtaking, this
is more character-driven, and Jackson and Lucinda captured
my heart. I applaud Thompson for stepping outside of
formula and permitting REAL flesh and blood characters to
come alive and control the story. Jackson is a properly
tormented, Alpha male, a complex man. His life had been
spent, wasted, in typical ton pursuits, and his meeting
Lucinda and her child, pulled him from this, saved him. How
could he not capture the readers heart when he falls for
the tiny baby. These characters are just vibrant, real
instead of two-dimensional Regency paper dolls that you
often see in this genre.
Very highly recommended for readers with discerning taste,
wanting something a bit more than formula.
Posted June 13, 2006
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 3, 2007
His torment can only be ended by love...
A RAPACIOUS BEAST
Running from angry villagers and the man who ravaged her, the witch Lucinda flees into the forest to have her child. But Lord Jackson Wulf hunts her down, believing her death will break the family curse that threatens his brothers' futures—a curse that has already transformed Jackson into a monster...
A SENSUAL MAN
Instead of killing the witch, Jackson is moved by both her beauty and her desperate plight. Lucinda seizes the chance to find safety for herself and her babe when a bargain is struck between this outcast woman and this doomed man—and sealed by their marriage in name only.
A DANGEROUS LOVE
In return for his protection, Lucinda has promised that her magic can free Jackson from his torment. But the pretty witch soon finds herself in danger of being seduced by Jackson's charms, and pursued by the man who would see both her and her child dead. Can she trust a Wulf with her safety and the safety of her child? Can she trust her heart to Jackson? To surrender to a Wulf is a terrible risk, for love will either unleash the beast within the man...or finally set him free.