“If He’s Wicked” is yet another example of why Hannah Howell’s books seem to end up on my keeper shelf. She always seems to manage to take plotlines I may have read before, yet she adds a twist or turn that feels new and doesn’t bore me. As best I can tell, this book is the start of a new series (!!) about a family of people with ‘special’ abilities. I can’t wait for more!
Chloe Wherlocke is one of ‘those’ Wherlockes. Her ancestors have been feared, burned at the stake, and nowadays whispered about amongst the ton. She ‘knows things’ and woe betide those who don’t listen. When she rushes to her disgraced sister’s side, she assumes at first it’s just to help her sister deal with the death of her husband and birth of her child. But soon Chloe realizes the reason for her presence is much more sinister than that. She’s there to save, not her sister nor her sister’s unborn child; but rather the rightful heir to a Earldom.
Julian Kenwood is the Earl of Colinsmoor. He has wealth, good looks, and a title to boot. But he’s also suffered through his marriage to a vain, grasping, and faithless woman. He could have withstood it all if his child had lived. But the death of his only child has thrown him into a downward spiral via alcohol and whores. But someone has been watching out for him, and after the fourth attempt on his life, it’s time for them to step in and show him everything he has to live for.
This story is so much better than I can describe without giving too much away. Writing about it makes the plot seem unreal, but while I read it I was 100% IN the story and it was totally believeable. There’s not ‘magic’…exactly. Instead, the gifts this special lineage has are those of ‘the sight’, ‘the knowing’, and ‘reading’…more passive than what I consider straight magic. Anyway, the characters fascinated me and I want more stories about this family in Howell’s new world.
She’s one of my ‘never-miss’ authors because she pulls me into the era, the characters, and the plot she writes. When I finish the story, I need a few minutes to return to THIS reality. She’s that good. The plot, the character development, the growth in the romantic relationship, the feelings/understanding of and between characters, both primary and secondary, all weave themselves together seamlessly. I despise her ‘bad guys’ and want to be friends with her ‘good guys’. I also want to steal her heroes, just for a bit, and not always because of their looks. Hannah Howell writes about what makes each individual special; and she makes me remember that people today are all special in their own way too. “If He’s Wicked” is already on my keeper shelf, and the next, “If He’s Sinful” coming out in Nov 2009, is already on my to-buy list.