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I Belong


Review: If He’s Daring by Hannah Howell

If He's DaringTitle: If He’s Daring

Author: Hannah Howell

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Wherlocke (Book #6)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 142013499X (Kensington/Zebra)

ISBN-13: 978-1420134995 (Kensington/Zebra)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

In a dazzling new novel in the Wherlocke family saga, New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell creates an unforgettable story of intrigue, jeopardy, and desire. . .

Stealing a stranger’s carriage is the second most reckless thing Lady Catrin Gryffin de Warrene has ever done. The first is succumbing to her powerful attraction to the carriage’s owner. Catrin has heard the rumors about Sir Orion Wherlocke’s family and their otherworldly gifts. He’s the one person who can keep her son and his inheritance safe from her late husband’s ruthless brother. As for how to protect herself. . .it may be too late for that.

Orion is facing the worst danger a man of his ilk can find: a woman he can’t walk away from. Catrin is an intoxicating blend of innocence and sensuality, and for the first time, seduction is far more than a game. But her beauty and fortune have made her a target–one that will dare him to risk everything he’s known–in pursuit of everything he’s ever longed for…

Quick & Dirty: A fast-paced historical romance that ultimately made me feel like something was missing, as I couldn’t completely invest myself in the romance.

Opening Sentence: The groan echoed through the small house, every note of it filled with pain and helpless fury.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

In the two years since her husband died, Catryn’s brother-in-law has been giving her nothing but problems in his quest to become heir to his brother’s estate. First, he proposed to Catryn. After her refusal, he decided to try and legally get himself named heir. Now that that too has failed, he has resorted to kidnapping her son. After her horse comes up lame whilst trying to chase down her brother- in-law’s carriage, Catryn finds herself stealing a nobleman’s carriage, not knowing that his 8-year-old son is currently inside.

Sir Orion Wherlocke is none too pleased when he catches up to Catryn and his son, yet he can’t help but feel sympathy for Catryn’s plight. Thus, at the encouragement of his son, Orion agrees to help Catryn track down her brother-in-law and retrieve her son. Being in such close quarters makes it hard for them to deny the attraction that is sparking between them, but neither Catryn nor Orion are interested in starting a romance. Will they continue to be able to deny their attraction to each other, or will they give in to the feelings they can’t help but have?

I’ll be up front and say that I have not read the first five books in this series; however, it did not affect my understanding of this book in the least. The history of the Wherlockes and Vaughns was explained very well, and Catryn and Orion’s story really didn’t seem to need more backstory than was given. So, I would say that this book could easily stand alone if anyone was interested in reading it prior to the others.

That being said, there just seemed to be something missing as I read the book, and it frustrates me that I can’t put my finger on what it was. The book moved quickly. The kids were adorable (although they at times seemed a lot wiser/older than their years). As a mother myself, I empathized with Catryn’s plight and was eager to see a quick resolution. But for some reason, I just did not find myself invested in the romance between Orion and Catryn, and as that is the main focus of the book, that is a big problem.

Another big issue I had involves something we learn towards the end of the book. I don’t want to delve into spoiler territory, so suffice to say a secret is revealed. If the events of this story were happening to me, discovering this secret would result in a much bigger reaction than that of Orion and Catryn. It seemed as if everyone gave a mental shrug and said “What can you do?” and went about their normal lives. I just would have liked it if the secret had been revealed earlier and we got to see more of how the characters adjust to the knowledge.

All in all, while the pace of the book was fast, I felt very apathetic towards everything that was happening and just could not connect to the romance at all. Suffice to say, I probably won’t be checking out the previous 5 installments of this series.

Notable Scene:

His face was so close and so very handsome. She could see concern for her in his beautiful blue eyes. His mouth was almost as pretty, the bottom lip a little fuller than the top. Catryn could not recall the last time she had been kissed by a man, and she suddenly craved a kiss.

Orion knew it was a mistake as he lowered his mouth to hers, but the way she had looked at him had been a temptation he could not resist. There had been a glint of want and curiosity in her sea-green eyes, and his body strongly encouraged him to respond. It took but one brush of his mouth over her full, soft lips to tell him that he could be risking a lot just to steal that little taste, but he ignored the warning.

Catryn curled her arms around his shoulders as he kissed her.

When he nipped at her bottom lip, she opened her mouth so that he could deepen the kiss. Her body trembled from the strength of the desire that flooded her. He tasted so good, his body pressed against her was a delight, and he even smelled wonderful. She wanted to sit there in his arms and keep on kissing him until the sun rose.

That thought was enough to make a warning bell sound in her mind and she gently pulled free of his hold. “I believe I need to write a message and send it to my father, for we must try to learn if there is Wherlocke blood in my family,” she said as she stood up and brushed down her skirts with shaking hands, knowing it was a ridiculously abrupt change of subject but desperate to get away from the man.

“Have him send an answer to Radmoor, the Earl of Radmoor’s country home, as we will stop there soon.”

“Good night, Sir Orion.”

“Sleep well, Cat,” he said, and smiled at the way her shoulders stiffened as she hurried away.

It had been an abrupt ending to a sweet moment, but he was not surprised. She had not shied away from his kiss but had not shown any great experience, either. It was yet more proof that he should stay far away from her, but he knew he would not be able to. Already he wanted to hunt her down and kiss her again. Licking his lips, he deemed hers the sweetest mouth he had ever tasted.

“There is trouble for you there, fool,” he muttered to himself as he headed back inside, but a part of him refused to heed any advice, actually anticipated running right after that trouble until it was caught.

Wherlocke Series:

1. If He’s Wicked

2. If He’s Sinful

3. If He’s Wild

4. If He’s Dangerous

5. If He’s Tempted

6. If He’s Daring

7. If He’s Noble

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FTC Advisory: Kensington/Zebra provided me with a copy of If He’s Daring. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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