Review: Wolf of Arundale Hall by Jennifer Leeland

Wolf of Arundale Hall by Jennifer Leeland
Release Date: July 25, 2012
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc
Pages: 185
Source:  Publisher

Lady Elizabeth Arundale has been alone for ten years-or worse than alone. Her husband left for Jamaica soon after their wedding night, leaving her responsible for his catty, high-maintenance cousin and his wastrel brother. Elizabeth knows the secret that caused her husband to flee-when his passions are roused, he turns into a ravening Beast.

Lord Joshua has no choice but to return to Arundale Hall when his man of business tells him there has been a murder on the estate-a murder that bears all the hallmarks of the Beast. He fears that his brother, too, may have inherited the curse. And he fears that he will be unable to control his deviant desires. The dark sexual practices that keep the Beast at bay. The unspeakable perversions he wished to spare his wife. The brutal bonding his inner animal is desperate to experience with its mate.

 

Review:  Having enjoyed historical novels for many years and knowing that this story not only had the historical element that I love but included erotic and paranormal ingredients as well, this book sounded like it contained the perfect recipe for a story I would greatly enjoy.

As a caution to the reader, I do want to mention there are scenes that include BDSM and some minor male/male action as well. The story also contains a bit of male/female/male ménage and voyeurism. In my opinion, I felt this was very light and definitely not hard core but, because opinions and tastes do vary, I wanted to bring it to the reader’s attention just in case this isn’t your cup of tea.

Wolf of Arundale Hall has an eclectic mix of characters. We have the irresponsible/ drunken brother-in-law, the cousin you want to slap silly and send to the curb, and the grandmother that has done all she can to try to make life miserable for the Arundale family. The heroine, Lady Elizabeth, is a very independent woman who is at her wits end after having her husband’s family dumped into her lap while he ran off to Jamaica ten years ago thinking he was “saving” her from his family’s secrets.

Elizabeth was the gem of the story. She was loyal, independent, strong and determined, but we also saw a softer side to her as well. The side that wanted to be loved and was terrified he would leave her again. I loved the way she didn’t meekly forgive Joshua for being gone 10 long years. She made him grovel and work to earn her affections all over again. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy Joshua’s character since he did abandon his wife and brother but he was such a likable fellow that I did later come to respect him and rooted him on to win back Elizabeth’s heart and trust.

While initially it started a bit on the slow side, the plot really does captivate you and draw you in. There is a murderer running loose and everyone is speculating as to who the culprit is. Was it Perry? Everret perhaps? What about Melinda? The author does a really good job of keeping you guessing all the way through.

This was the first novel that I have read by this author and all in all, it made for an enjoyable read. I look forward to reading more by Ms. Leeland in the future.