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Awaiting the Moon by Donna Lea Simpson

Awaiting the Moon

by Donna Lea Simpson

Series: Awaiting (1)

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695267,572 (3.27)None
The wait for a new take on werewolf romances is over. It is said that werewolves roam the woods around Wolfram Castle--but Elizabeth Stanwycke, newly arrived tutor to the Count's niece, is not a child to be frightened by bedtime stories. Of more pressing concern is her attraction to the mysterious Count.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
It took me forever to review this book, and I have no idea why. It was the sort of novel that grabbed me in the beginning and was impossible to put down - the richness of mystery, the fascination with potential werewolf legend, and the budding romance cost me precious hours of sleep. Sleep-deprivation be damned, this book was unique and stood above the rest in this sub-genre, demanding all the attention I happily gave it.

Things generally work better when done differently, and here it's with the heroine Elizabeth. She's the ideal woman I like reading about in these types of books. Certainly no doe-eyed, virginal beauty who sits by idly while crocheting by the fire, instead she's a woman with a flawed past, holding firmly to strong morals despite her tainted decisions. Too curious for her own good, she never heeds her own advice not to wander into situations she doesn't belong, and never finds it too low to easedrop. (A striking contrast to her role as a teacher of being a proper lady with manners.) Her sexual curiosity isn't nauseatingly naive, propelling the realism of the story forward.

As for the hero? Well, he's hysterical with his overbearing attitude and impatient anger. It's hard to find much humor in this sort of novel, so when a sudden burst erupts from the serious tone, you sit up and pay attention. He's the typical haunted, dark, grave sort that dominates the small village with financial wealth and family esteem. Nothing unique here, but his earnest for Elizabeth still makes great reading.

Of course if a book is enjoyed, it can't have been written terribly. In this case the words are weaved almost hypnotically, using a curiously different style. The phrasing is a bit formal compared to other books, and this may be a turn off for some who don't hold the high reading enthusiasm I do. Simpson's writing blends well with the serious, stark atmosphere haunting the castle, showcasing the old-world stiff English thoughts of the heroine.

Sexually speaking, there's plenty here without the garish porn-like trails some romance suffers from. Erotic scenes are done delicately without trash and melodrama, yet not with just scant details that leaves the reader frustrated rather than satisfied. While not overly steamy in sensuality, the build-up is fierce and the release fun.

As to the paranormal aspect, it's barely present despite the back cover blurb. Werewolves are mentioned briefly and not often. Instead the history of the legend is wrapped around a decently tight mystery, one I wasn't able to figure out. Emphasis was not on the furry, but on Elizabeth and Nikolas. Hard-core paranormal addicts may be slightly disappointed as a result, but I still urge them to give this one a try. Mystery buffs should be enthused, romance fans enthralled, and Gothic fans absolutely addicted. A nearly ingenious blend of all the above, incorporating the right touch of mysterious family, old crumbling castles, bizarre howls and even stranger legend.

I, for one, can't wait to read more of this author's work!

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Elizabeth Stanwycke is leaving her home in England to work as a tutor in Germany. She will be staying at Wolfram Castle near the little town of Wolfbeck. She is employed by the very sexy Count Nikolas von Wolfram who lives with his kooky aunts and uncles. On her way to the castle Elizabeth's coach halts and she sees a naked girl being chased by a man on a black horse deep into the forest. To her dismay she tries to help but is stopped by the coach driver as it is not safe to go into the woods, there are wolves afoot, maybe even werewolves.

As with any gothic tale there are plenty of family secrets, a gypsy curse, and things going bump in the night. From the very beginning Elizabeth is strongly attracted to the very sexy Count Nikolas, and believe me he is very sexy indeed ! The attraction is mutual and very soon they are rolling around in bed together. The story then turns to a full blown Mills and Boon. Elizabeth should have known better than to fall for the count so quickly as she had only just left an awkward situation concerning a man. I think the expression is out of the frying pan into the fire. However if you take away the cheesy names and and most of the silly sex scenes the plot is not too bad. I acquired this book thinking it was going to be a gothic werewolf tale, not realizing it is actually a paranormal romance. I am just glad that I didn't keep this yarn for one of my Halloween reads. ( )
  tina1969 | Aug 25, 2010 |
Opening Sentence: '…”I’ve heard that werewolves roam the woods of Germany,” Elizabeth Stanwycke said, peering out of the carriage window into the dark wintery woods, the snow on the ground gleaming in the moonlight…’

Awaiting the Moon is delicious gothic. There is a castle, woods which mustn't be entered into, a mad aunt, the usual assortment of odd relatives, villagers who are frightened, a heroine who's an outsider, and the dark and brooding hero. Oh and the werewolf stories.

Nikolas is the classic gothic hero. He has the complimentary physical attributes (you know...tall, dark and handsome), but he also has an absolute sense of honour in carrying all the burdens for his family. He is a weary, tormented, and resolute.

On the other side we get Elizabeth...beautiful, poor and orphaned. Due to circumstances, and affair with the brother of a rich household, she gladly accepts the offer to tutor Nikolas' niece. She is a woman ahead of her time - too bold, too inquisitive and not afraid to speak her mind, and to contradict her employer. Unfortunately she hasn't learned from her sexual dalliance and starts one with Nikolas!!!

I actually had problems with Elizabeth's character, the whole I was used as a sex toy so will go where I can rescue my reputation - oh look another hottie I'll jump straight into bed with him thing was wrong!!! Considering that she desperately needs this job to start a new life, she constantly disregards explicit warnings and wanders around whereever, and whenever she wants. I am torn between admiring her fierce bravery and wanting to smack some sense into her. Still it is only a story :) ( )
1 vote sally906 | Aug 7, 2009 |
a delicious gothic. The castle, the woods, the mad aunt, the assortment of odd relatives, the heroine who's an outsider, the dark and brooding hero (yes, I know I said I didn't like brooding--he makes up for it, and demonstrates that there's an exception to every rule), and most of all the air of mystery. I've loved gothics since long before I knew they were romances, and this is an excellent one. The excerpt at the back shows a sequel--I've never seen a gothic with a sequel. I can hardly wait ( )
  Darla | Mar 31, 2006 |
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I've heard that werewolves roam the woods of Germany.
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