Review: The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare

Tuesday, June 8

Title:  The Wolf Next Door*
Author:  Lydia Dare
Series: Westfield Brothers #3
Genre:  Paranormal Romance (light)
Publisher:   Casablanca Sourcebooks
Format:  mass market paperback & digital
Date/Year:  June 2010

*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review

Summary from the publisher:

They can’t even be in the same room together…

Ever since their failed elopement years ago, Prisca Hawthorne has taunted, insulted, and in every way tried to push him away. If only her heart didn’t break every time Lord William Westfield left her…

But staying apart is even worse…

Lord William throws himself into drinking, gambling, and debauchery and pretends not to care about Prisca at all. But when he returns to find a rival werewolf vying for her hand, he’ll stop at nothing to claim the woman who should have been his all along.

Can Prisca forgive the unforgivable, or are the moon-crossed lovers going to be forced into a battle of wills that could be fatal?

My Musings:

Prisca Hawthorne has grown up adored, loved, indulged, and protected by her family of all men.  From an early age she has been in love with her neighbor William Westfield, but she believes that she can never trust him with her heart because of the numerous gossip rags that have recounted his many exploits which were only reinforced by her brother’s recounts of their adventures together.

William Westfield has grown up with the Hawthornes and has always known that Prisca was his one true love.  When she jilts him on the eve of their elopement, believing he fathered a child with another woman, William tries to forget his love for the woman who no longer wishes to have anything to do with him by drinking, gambling and seducing too many women to count…yet he secretly seeks her out while in his wolf form where she unknowingly forms a lasting bond with him.

I found The Wolf Next Door to be a bit frustrating…mostly because of it’s heroine, Prisca, and her inability or unwillingness to believe in and trust in Will.   Even after she finds that Will was falsely named as the father of the child to another woman, she fears his unfaithfulness, thus starts four years of rejection for Will.  She even goes as far as testing his renewed attempts to build their relationship by asking her maid to try and seduce him, yet remained unconvinced of his sincerity even after he rejects the maid’s attempts.  I felt like Will was constantly being ridiculed, tested and rejected for virtually the entire story, but without any personal incidents to support Prisca’s fears it seemed like he was beating his head against an unwavering and solidly built brick wall.  Frankly, if I would have been Will, I would have given up on Prisca…and this may have been because the only Prisca that the reader gets to know is “rejection” Prisca, not the Prisca that Will knew and grew to love as a young man.

It seemed as if Prisca’s same fears were rehashed over and over again without any new incidents to explain her continued reluctance to give Will another chance (even though technically he was never unfaithful to her during their courtship).  Because so much of the story focused on Prisca there was very little character growth in Will’s character.  Unlike his  two brother’s story who both seemed to have some aspect of their Lycan nature to overcome while finding love, the only thing that Will had to overcome was Prisca’s reluctant pig-headedness, as well as his conflict with the rival for Prisca’s affections.

It’s not that I disliked Prisca, because honestly you don’t learn much more about her than she believes Will is a complete “hound dog” (pun intended) and that’s what was so exasperating and wearisome.  The reader can’t get beyond Will’s potential to be unfaithful because Prisca can’t get beyond it.  She accepts his wolf and his Lycan heritage much more willingly than she accepts his love.  Because their story focused on her fears for so much of the story it seemed very one dimensional compared to Ben and Elspeth’s enchanting love story in Tall, Dark and Wolfish.  Consequently, I was a little bit disappointed in The Wolf Next Door.  Despite my feelings about The Wolf Next Door I do plan on putting the next book in this series, The Taming of the Wolf, on my wish list because I enjoy the supporting characters and the writing style of Lydia Dare.

Overall:  3.25 stars
Sensuality level:  2.50 (one love scene, and a few intimate moments that are somewhat descriptive)

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alba June 8, 2010 at 6:08 PM  

Sounds like an alright story I will have to keep a look out for it.....
Like I dont have an already HUGE Huge to be read pile.....
Have a good one thanks for the review .

librarypat,  June 9, 2010 at 10:59 PM  

Sounds like my kind of book. Have liked other of her books I've read.

mbreakfield June 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

I agree, totally. Prisca needed to get a clue. I was a bit disappointed in this one, also. I'm looking forward to the next one, though.

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