cover image If He’s Noble

If He’s Noble

Hannah Howell. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3503-9

Howell continues her venerable Wherlockes and Vaughns Regency series (If He’s Daring) with an installment that mostly serves to build the larger series arc. The Honorable Primrose Wootten and her brother, Lord Simeon Wootten, need help evading the deadly traps set by their Aunt Augusta, who wants control of Willow Hill and the barony. While Sir Bened Vaughn’s psychic gifts are helpful, Primrose and Simeon really need his battle skills to thwart the assassins lying in wait throughout the countryside. The bloodthirsty fights are a stark contrast to Bened and Primrose’s tender love affair, which is sweet but lacking Howell’s trademark passion. Bened may be a fighting man, but he wants Primrose to see him as a romantic lover with soft words and poetry. The plodding through the countryside to reach the final destination gets tedious despite the frequent ambushes; the brief scenes featuring the close-knit Wherlockes and their affectionate banter are the best part of this romance. Fans will wish the family played a bigger role in helping Primrose and Simeon, but Howell (If He’s Daring) does add to the family history a bit and sets the scene for future stories. [em]Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Aug.) [/em]