IF HE'S DARING - Hannah Howell
The Wherlockes , Book 6
Widowed Lady Catryn Gryffin de Warrenne's brother-in-law has invaded her father's house, beaten him, and taken her son Alwyn. Morris de Warrenne has been trying to get custody of Alwyn and the boy's inheritance through the courts. He failed, and has now resorted to abduction. Catryn takes off on horseback, following Morris's gaudy coach. When her horse injures a foot, she commandeers a waiting carriage and continues the chase. What she does not know is she has taken the carriage of Sir Orion Wherlocke, and the carriage has a young passenger inside, Orion's son Giles.
Giles is one of the weird Wherlockes. Society still finds Orion's family and the closely allied Vaughn family weird. Their ancestors were put to death, often burned at the stake, for their peculiar abilities, and while the families have entered society, rumors still abound, and so they are circumspect. Orion has the ability to find anyone. He takes off after his carriage and his son. Actually he has three sons, all born out of wedlock, all cast aside by their mothers for their child's strangeness. After years of living on the streets, the wily and tough eight-year-old Giles, whom Orion had not known about until recently, has come into Orion's care. It does not take long, and he finds Giles and Catryn having a picnic while resting his team of horses. Giles ensnares Orion into the mission of reclaiming Alwyn. Orion's reluctance fades once he meets the redheaded woman.
Catryn had an unpleasant marriage (in ways that she and the reader will find horrifying later in the story), has already rejected Morris's proposal, and isn't in the marriage market, but she finds Orion alluring. A confirmed bachelor, Orion has no interest in marriage but finds himself reacting to Catryn, while also learning that Morris, for some reason, is someone Orion cannot track. Mix in four troublesome young boys and more Wherlockes with different paranormal abilities, a chase that frequently changes course in dangerous ways, and you have an intriguing story. This is the sixth book in this series, but IF HE'S DARING stands alone; however, new readers will want to pick up the previous volumes.