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REVIEW

"character-driven romance"

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

SUMMARY

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.

 

The Untamed One
(Wild Wulfs of London: Book 2)
by Ronda Thompson

St. Martin's Press
May 1, 2006
Available: May 2, 2006
ISBN #0312935749
EAN #9780312935740
320 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Ronda Thompson

Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel
Love At First Bite
The Dark One
Midnight Pleasures
Walk Into The Flame
Call Of The Moon
Violets Are Blue
Desert Bloom
After Twilight
In Trouble's Arms
Prickly Pear


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