Thursday, May 21, 2009

If He's Wicked-Hannah Howell

If He's Wicked
Hannah Howell
Zebra, Jun 2009, $6.99
ISBN 9781420104608

Like generations of her ancestors Chloe Wherlocke has special skills; in her case she has visions. In 1785 she sees her sister dying while giving birth to a stillborn followed by men bringing a living newborn to exchange for the dead baby. In hiding Chloe sees what she envisioned occur. Chloe and her cousin Leo Wherlocke raise baby Anthony.

Three years later they rescue a drunken Julian Kenwood from an assassin. Julian informs the Wherlocke cousins that his man-eating adulteress wife Lady Beatrice and his Uncle Arthur want him dead. He also mentions his wife gave birth a few years ago to a stillborn. He is shocked when he meets his son Anthony and how duplicitous his spouse is having exchanged their live child for a dead infant. Leo offers to protect father and son starting with spreading a rumor that the Earl died and sometime afterward taking the fight to the evil duet. Meanwhile as the two Kenwood males become acquainted, the older falls in love with Chloe, who reciprocates.

This Georgian romantic urban fantasy is an exciting suspenseful tale of love, murder and adultery. The lead pairing of Chloe and Julian is handled smartly to overcome the obvious anticipation that they will fall in love. In spite of the villains being so outrageously vile they are over the top of Big Ben, fans will appreciate Hannah Howell's enjoyable historical as the beleaguered in love heroes try to keep Anthony safe while struggling with staying alive against incredible odds and insane evil.

Harriet Klausner

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