Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
So I stumbled across this series while browsing in the library. I got caught up in the first one and decided to grab the first three in case I liked them.
I did. They are not WOW awesome. But they were and fun and reading them was like eating popcorn, They were light and fluffy and a little salty.
The premise is interesting, there is a family known and the Wherlockes and the Vaughns who have supernatural gifts. These gifts range from things like prescience, being able to heal with a touch, being able to read a person's mind, being able to move items without touching them, compelling people to tell the truth etc. There are a whole bunch.
This strange history has led to persecution and heartbreak. In the past members of their families have been burned for witchcraft, stoned and murdered. Also marriages are notoriously unhappy. Often spouses will leave not having really understood the strain..or strangeness .. of having a husband, wife or especially a child with such gifts.
But the family is large and close knit, often sensing when one or another is in danger. Which if these three books are anything to go by, must happen a lot.
In all three books the heroines are of the Wherlocke/Vaughn clan who have special gifts.
In the first book, Chloe Wherlocke and a couple of her cousins have been watching Lord Julian Kenwood for years. He has been a victim in many ways that even he doesn't know. But as the book begins his enemies are about to strike decisively and Chloe is on hand to prevent it. Chloe has the sight but is cursed mostly with seeing terrible, often violent incidents. Some she knows she is unable to prevent, others she can.
In the second book Penelope Wherlocke is the one in danger only she doesn't know it since her gift is that she is able to talk to ghosts. It isn't until an abduction goes awry that she finally understands that she is in danger. And it puts her in the orbit of Lord Ashton Radmoor, the one man she can't have.
And in the third book Alethea Channing (née Vaughn) feels the torture and murder of Lord Hartley Grenville and knows she must prevent it from happening. However Hartley's impending murder is only the tip of a bigger, more treacherous iceberg.
The three books had a lot of similarities:
1) The villains were sexually rapacious, morally depraved, but very beautiful women
2) The heroines were virtuous, morally righteous, but also very beautiful women....
3)... who had no problems dropping the pantalets for the hero well before any sort of formal commitment is made.
4) Hero has a posse of good friends who helps him help the heroine and investigate and stuff
5) There is a discussion of just what all those rumors about the Wherlocke's and Vaughns are and they can't possibly be true.....
6) ... until the heroine and one or two of her cousins demonstrate that yup Magic is real y'all.
7) Big climactic scene where somebody is about to get shot or whatever until a group of Wherlocke's/Vaughns along with the hero's posse come to the rescue (after a lot of 'sensing' and stuff).
So... yeah, there was a formula. But I couldn't be mad at it because I was mad entertained.
One thing I really liked was that although this was a series, it did not feel like a series of sequels. There was no connection from book to book between the heroines, just the understanding that they came from the same family. But the family was big enough that that it was understood they didn't often see each other. Also the heroes had no connection at all to each other.
The other thing I liked is that, again, there are enough Wherelocke/Vaughns that different family members showed up in each book. There were some repeaters, but I like how the author illustrates just how big and far flung the clan is.
Of the three, my favorite book was the second. Mainly because I liked the story of Penelope talking to the ghosts and I liked the side story where she is like a den mother to a bunch of Wherlocke/Vaughn by-blow children (of which there seems to be quite a few) who had been abandoned by their mothers but still supported monetarily by their fathers. I liked that little extra bit of family lore added to an already odd and colorful family.
My least favorite was the third book, mainly because of the ultra-mustache twirliness of the vilainess. She was just too much and her motive amounted to 'Oooh, shiny!'
But this is a fun little series that is so light and almost silly that sometimes you just need to veg out on something like this. I think the thing that makes this stand out for me is that I like the various members of the family we've gotten to meet over the three books. In truth I find the whole concept of them to be the real draw.