Taming the Lone Wolff
by Janice Maynard
(Harl. Desire #2236, $5.25, PG-13) ISBN 978-0373-73249-4
***
Taming the Lone Wolff is part of a series, and there is a lot of motivation from each of the main character's pasts, which are also part of previous books, making it hard for new readers to get invested in the story. But the romance is hot and the two characters do not lie nor hesitate when things change.

Larkin Wolff is the middle sibling in a family whose mother was kidnapped and killed when he was young. Before the kidnapping, his mother was sick and abusive. While his older brother took the hits, Larkin's role was to protect their younger sister. Their father was often absent and years later acknowledged that he had no clue that this was going on. Despite the poor beginning and the tragedy, Larkin and his siblings, along with their cousins, were raised in the fortress known as Wolff castle in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. As an adult, he became a security expert and his business is flourishing.

Larkin is hired by Winnie Bellamy, an heiress who was recently named one of the richest women in America. The problem is that the honor brought paparazzi to her estate, an estate that she uses as a refuge for abused women and children. She wants Wolff to ensure her estate is protected. Their plan is to get her out while the work is being done and keep the press thinking she is off on vacation. In reality she will be hiding out in Virginia at the Castle.

There is not much to the storyline beyond their attraction, their agreement not to have a relationship beyond sex and the reasons why each have chosen their lonely paths. Both have secrets and feel they need to protect those secrets. But they are wildly attracted and soon come to realize that they care about each other. One of the main problems this reviewer had with the story was the timing. They only knew each other about a week and they were under rather unique circumstances. But the rationale is given that Wolffs' mate for life and often recognize their mates upon meeting. The only negative about that theory is this is given by Larkin's dad, who married the woman who ultimately ended up abusing his children.

I wanted to like this story more. Winnie is a good character with some depth, but she is also a little too naive for what she has experienced. Larkin is both an alpha male and one who shows some vulnerability. But his turn-around is quick and just a bit unbelievable.

Fans of the Wolff family series will enjoy this and for those who are not knowledgeable of the series, you will find this an acceptable story.

--Shirley Lyons


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