Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: Cursing softly, he finally admitted to himself that he wanted to be her hero.
Sir Orion Wherlocke has spent most of his adult life avoiding commitment and marriage. A confirmed bachelor, his childhood and various family members has shown him that marriage for the Wherlockes and Vaughns only ends in pain and sorrow. He has his sons and is more than able to find someone to warm his bed when the urges comes upon him…and walk away when he’s done.
That is until he meets the one women he may not be able to walk away from.
Lady Catryn Gryffin de Warrene is at a loss on how to protect her son from her late husband’s brother’s manipulations. He wants her son’s inheritance in his pocket, her in his bed and is willing to go to unbelievable lengths to secure both. She is determined to protect her son, no matter the cost to her.
That is until she meets the one man whose price may be to high for her to pay.
Sir Orion finds himself involved in Lady Catryn’s troubles when she steals his carriage, along his wayward son, to chase down the men who have kidnapped her son. As they cross the countryside, searching for the little boy, Orion and Catryn find themselves at the mercy of a madman whose defeat will require a whole lot of daring and a little bit magic.
If He’s Daring is the sixth installment of Ms. Howell’s Wherlocke series. A sensual entertaining historical romance series that gives voice to the more darker aspects of human nature. Love, humor, heroism, revenge, and redemption all combine to produce a winning literary recipe. Action and suspense go hand in hand as two lost souls come together to stop a mad man from destroying a young boy’s life and the lives of those who care for him. This can be read as a stand alone and you do not have to read the others in order to appreciate this story, though previous heroes and heroines drift in and out of the story at random intervals.
As with all of Howell’s heros and heroines, I was instantly smitten upon first meeting Catyrn and Orion. Unlike previous books, this installment has not one but two heroes-father and son. Heavily character driven, Howell excels at building dynamic characters whose complicated lives draws readers in effortlessly. Exciting plotlines open the door to a whirlwind adventure that pits good against evil. A strong paranormal base only adds to the intrigue and suspense.
Orion is a delightfully sexy alpha with a commanding nature, sensuous soul, and generous heart. Though his childhood caused him to barricade his emotions behind a stout wall and engage in affairs with expiration dates, I found his quiet sense of honor a delicious attribute. He is the quintessential reluctant hero. The events in book five brought change to his life, causing him to look beyond himself and his own wants and needs. One of those changes was his son, Giles. Giles is a delightful young man whose exuberance for life belays his tragic upbringing. Discovered living on the streets in book five, Giles is eight going on eighty. It’s because of him that Orion takes a chance on helping Catyrn; knowing that getting close to her could be his downfall.
A widowed woman with her own tragic secrets, Catyrn is not one to hide behind her gender or social status when faced with difficult tasks. Like Orion, her loyalty, honor, and love for her family is boundless. She is a pillar of steel wrapped in an attractive and deceptive looking package. Strong and intelligent, watching her war within herself as she struggles to remain cool, calm, and collected with each new revelation into her husband’s distasteful deeds that placed her on the road she’s on now was interesting to watch and spoke of her own emotional wall.
Catyrn and Orion’s romance begins slowly, taking almost the entire book to achieve fruition. Neither of them are looking for love or the complications that can come with it. Catyrn is not one to indulge in a short sweet affair and that’s all Orion thinks he has in him to give her. Their chemistry is a solid presence, slipping into your subconscious from the start. No games are played nor are we inundated with overly dramatic misconstrued events. As they are not married and in the public eye, they have to be careful in their exploration of their sexual compatibility which slows down the journey even more; but makes for some fantastic sticky sexual tension. There is a sweetness to their lovemaking once decisions are made. Their passions are quiet but explosive and you will swoon as each bare more than their bodies to one another.
A series of dark actions is the building block of this story. As the storyline reveals, we learn the true extent of the harm that has been visited on the heroine. We know who the villain is from the beginning but bringing him down proves not as easy as you would think. A well crafted persona of pure insanity, this villain exceeds all boundaries yet he never crosses the line into unbelievable. His downfall is both dramatic and fitting.
Dynamic vibrant secondary characters are everywhere yet you never feel overwhelmed. We see various Wherlockes and Vaughns from previous books and meet a few new ones whom I hope we see more.They really are a large and unusual family and Howell gives us a little more background on the families with each new book. The inclusion of the supernatural into the storyline holds a bigger portion than normal, but as always, Howell uses the characters’ gifts to enhance the main conflict, not as a catchall to solve all their problems and save the day.
If I had any qualms about the story, it was Catyrn’s ability to brush off her anger and pain over certain events. I wanted to see a deeper emotional outburst at all that had been done to her. She doesn’t really deal with it. Instead, she pushes it deep inside, hiding it away with the thought, “It’s over. There is nothing I can do about it now.”
Regardless, If He’s Tempted is well rounded enjoyable historical romance that is sure to be a keeper on any readers shelf who loves a dash of everything in their love stories.
Overall Rating: B