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TITLE: If He's Wicked (May 26, 2009)

AUTHOR: Hannah Howell

13 ISBN: 9781420104608

10 ISBN: 1420104608 

5 STARS!

 Miss Chloe Wherlocke comes from a long line of people who are gifted. For many generations the Wherlockes and their cousins, the Vaughns, have been whispered about or called eccentric. Few actually believe the rumors. The rumors, however, are true. Chloe's gifts are "visions" and "knowing". When a vision informs Chloe that her sister will die from giving birth to a stillborn babe, she rushes to her sister's side. Neither sister is surprised as the event unfolds. They both know the next part of the vision will come in the form of men bringing another newborn infant in and swapping it for the dead one. The men do not know Chloe hides nearby. Following the orders of Lady Beatrice, they take the dead back and leave the live one to perish along with Chloe's sister. One of the men leaves proof of the live infant's identity, in the long shot that the dying woman may somehow live and raise the boy until he can reclaim his rightful heritage. Once all is done, Chloe comes out of hiding and takes the boy to safety.  

 

Lord Julian Kenwood, Earl of Colinsmoor, knows that someone keeps hiring thugs to kill him. Yet having learned of his wife's many acts of adultery he is too hurt to care enough to do anything about it. Everyone in London seems to know about Lady Beatrice's many lovers. This time Julian is too drunk to fight off the hired thug. Rescue arrives just in time and he is taken away to heal.

 

 Lord Sir Leopold "Leo" Wherlocke of Starkley and his cousin, Chloe, have cared for Julian's son for three years now. The child is named Anthony. Julian had believed his son had died at birth. Leo, with the Home Office, and Chloe tell Julian just how evil Beatrice and his uncle, Arthur, truly are. As Julian heals from his wounds, word spreads in town that he is dead. Julian and his allies plan the couple's downfall. At the same time, Julian and Chloe's attraction for each other deepens. The group faces more than just the adultery and attempted murders from Beatrice and Arthur. They will face spies, neglected tenants, and a mad man. Only then will Julian and Chloe be free to consider raising some "rabbits".

 ***** This is one of the best novels I have read all year. Everything I told in the synopsis is know very early in the story. Nothing is a spoiler. The author hides nothing. However, with so much happening there is no need for hidden plots or sub-plots. There are plenty of secondary characters with gifts for the author to use in future stories too. I have high hopes that this is the first of a series. I want more! *****

HUNTRESS REVIEWS

Reviewed by Detra Fitch

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