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Book CoverLynneC’s review of  Lone Wolfe (Bad Blood Collection, Book Eight) by Kate Hewitt
Contemporary Romance published by Mills and Boon Modern Romance 1 Sep 11

All through the Bad Blood series, there have been snippets about Jacob – that he took off, spent time in a Tibetan monastery, took up architecture and made himself wealthy. So by the time we get to the last book in the series, Kate Hewitt’s Lone Wolfe, we’ve been primed to expect somebody awesome, deeply flawed, and perhaps with hidden secrets that we don’t yet know about.

From the first book we know that Jacob killed his father, stayed a year, and then left. Some of the siblings resent him for that, some don’t, they understand that he needed to get away. But we don’t know what caused him to leave so suddenly.

I have a few problems with that character. First, you can’t just “pick up” architecture. It requires a lot of training, if the buildings you design aren’t going to fall down. Even the medieval masons have their failures. I might have missed something, but I don’t remember any formal training being involved. So the fact that all of a sudden this man, who has been intent on finding himself, finds how to build large structures isn’t believable.

Also, all this buildup reminds me of numerous books where the last book is built up to such an extent that nobody could do justice to it. So when we find Jacob to be a perfectly acceptable alpha male, it comes as a bit of a disappointment.

The heroine, Mollie Parker, knew Jacob as a child and is friends with his sister, Annabelle. She has returned home from a break in Italy after nursing her father, who had dementia and used to be the gardener on the estate.

Jacob scares Mollie half to death when he accuses her of breaking in. But once they sort things out, he gives her a cheque for her father’s back pay, which his father withheld. Although she’s short of cash and needs some for a project of her own, Mollie doesn’t cash the cheque. I have a few problems with cheques being bandied around, since most of my banks are discontinuing them. I can’t remember the last time I wrote out a cheque. But meh, maybe at this point I’m looking for problems. So let it go.

Apart from her stupidity in not taking money that she’s entitled to, I start to like Mollie. Even when she starts the will-she-won’t-she dance so familiar to Modern/Presents readers. You know she will. They go to London together, and Jacob starts to relax with Mollie around. But he’s the kind of self-flagellating alpha, the “I’m not worthy” kind. They tend to irritate me a bit. Because this bright, intelligent guy who has spent years trying to work out his problems isn’t any further on than he was twenty years ago when he walked out.

There is a lot of introspection on both sides, and they both go through a lot of the I’m-not-worthy stuff. It tends to get old. There are no huge revelations in this last book, and in a way, I’m quite pleased by that, because that can come across as a cheap shot. A twist that most readers have seen in advance anyway. But Jacob needs something to live up to the awesomeness that is the oldest Wolfe, some Yodaness that will make him special. And he doesn’t have it. He’s a perfectly acceptable alpha.

While Hewitt does her best to live up to the rest of the series and wrap it up with a deeply felt book, it just doesn’t get there. Compared to some of the other books in the series, it falls a tad short. I’m not sure what I would have done in Hewitt’s situation. Given a Superman with a tortured soul, it can be really hard to make it work. I did appreciate all the work she did to give him a special character, but maybe it’s that there’s nothing new in the plot. Maybe if Mollie has a real health problem or they’ve been lovers years before or, I don’t know, something that means the book is more than the finale to a series, it might have worked for me better.

And I almost took a full grade off for the ending epilogue, which is so sweet it makes my teeth ache. But I’m guessing she had to write that one. So if you read this, you might like it much better than I did, but do yourself a favour and skip the epilogue.

But then, I’m one of the odd people who didn’t like Devilish when it came out (Rothgar is okay, but Diana is intensely irritating). So you don’t need to listen to me.

LynneCs iconGrade: C

Jacob…Master. Untamed. Protector.
After years of lying neglected, the walls of Wolfe Manor tremble as the master returns. Reputation in tatters, Jacob Wolfe licks his wounds alone. When Molly Parker takes her tentative steps across the threshold, she brings with her the light missing from his darkened soul. The lone Wolfe will never be tamed – but she knows that once he loves, he loves for life.

No excerpt available.