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The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Well, this was a doozy to start off my blog with, I have to say. After an almost solid month of dedicating myself to everything Mary Balogh has ever written, I decided I really had to branch out again and read someone else. (Confessional: it was mostly so I didn’t finish all of Balogh’s books in one go.) I actually remembered liking Garwood’s The Bride quite a bit, so I thought she would be a perfect option.

Wrong.

I generally have a rule about reading old romance novels: I don’t do it. The reputation that romance novels have developed for being chock full of rape and rape and more rape was deservedly earned in the late 70s-early 90s. Hell, it may still be the case, but I’ve, thus far, survived on only stuff that trusted people have recommended to me. One of my favourite review sites even had a really good review of this novel! So I was into it! Let’s do this!

Ughhhhh. I should have known to set this one aside when I opened the book and the first chapter (the prologue) features —- a prophetic dream from a Native American shaman. I knew better, but I persisted, because I really liked her previous novel I read! Oh the racism, it burrrrrns.

It turns out, though none of the summaries led to me believe this, this novel is about a very special, very beautiful, very white girl raised by the Dakota. Do the Dakota get to play an actual role in this beyond being the reason this heroine is a Very Special (The MOST Special) Snowflake? Hah! That’ll be the day. No, indeed, on the prologue actually gives them any time to be anything more than a kooky backstory for our heroine, Christina. Because, you see, it’s only their destiny to keep her safe until she can get back to England and Fulfill Her Destiny.

Which is where we pick up in chapter one. She’s been sent off with her (greedy) aunt in order to — well, that’s the crux of the issue. The plot of this novel was flimsy at best. It seems that her destiny is to finally obtain justice for what her mother endured at the hands of her father (treatment we find out about through diary entries at the beginning of each chapter) there’s also something to do with hidden jewels and — God, there’s really no point in detailing it because the plot of the novel never actually matters and is wrapped up in a grand total of about 15 pages at the very end.

But back to our heroine’s first real shindig in England. Did I mention she’s a Princess? She is. Of sorts. Her evil father was an ousted King of some made up place outside of Austria. Naturally. Enter our hero (if he can even sort of be termed that), Lyon (Marquess of Lyonwood) who has never met a woman or a man he can’t get an answer out of (he’s a former spy of sorts) until he meets Christina. Of course. She baffles him and angers him.

That’s a common theme in this story. Lyon descending into rage at the slightest provocation. So much anger. So much rage. So much threatening to harm Christina. So much so that their first kiss comes with him pressing her up against a wall and threatening to strangle her! ALWAYS A GOOD TIME. And while I will admit to enjoying the occasional farce wherein the hero gets frustrated and is like oooomg, this was …. after meeting her for 30 seconds. You see, she didn’t confess all of her secrets to him, so he decided he would force them out of her and when THAT didn’t entirely work he decided to forcibly kiss her (or maybe strangle her). Such charm! Very hero! Much romantic!

The book just continued in this vein the entire time. Christina has weird habits. Christina cuts her hair in grief. Christina doesn’t wear shoes. Christina doesn’t “trust the whites”. (Oh God, the laughter and the tears of aggravation.) Christina mistaking “Lyon” for “Lion”, and you see, her tribe called her their lioness, so it’s destiny.

Though I shouldn’t admit to it at all, all of this I could’ve forgiven if there was any reason at all to care about either Christina or Lyon. There wasn’t one moment where the chemistry or relationship between them felt like — well, anything. It wasn’t even adversarial, it was just non-existent. It was all tell and no show and yet there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot of telling going on either. It was all just chalked up to destiny and everyone went home happy. I guess.

And this is not to even touch upon Lyon’s anger-creating-backstory and his general distrust of all women because the woman he married (though apparently never loved) has an affair with his brother and died in childbirth — giving birth to said brother’s baby while Lyon listened to her wail for him.
  dukedukegoose | Jan 26, 2015 |
I'm just sick of the hero's idea that he can just boss the heroine around ... RRGH! ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
Christina Bennett is raised from the age of 2 by members of a tribe of "Dakota Indians" (Lakota Sioux presumably?) then returns to her native England to right some wrongs and bring her murdering father to justice. Although her plans are to help fulfill a promise to her mother and then return to America, she meets the man she is destined to be with, the Marquis of Lyonwood. Both characters are warriors for their own people. Although they fight all the time and deliberately confuse and confound each other (which is pretty funny), they are a perfect match. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Oct 31, 2014 |
I re-read this a while ago, so my recall is not fresh. That said, for a very dated bodice ripper, this was not bad. The two protagonists were not exactly great communicators, though. If they'd just bothered to actually talk to each other, there wouldn't have been any story at all. ( )
  PortM | Nov 30, 2013 |
2/27/13 - another re-read. This book gets better each time I read it.

11/10 - My sister-in-law borrowed this book and when she returned it I did a fast re-read. I just have one word: LOVE.

12/10 - I forget how much I enjoy Garwood's regency titles, especially The Lion's Lady.

More often than not it is Garwood's heroes who stand out for me, even though I tend to like her heroines. But Christina is the exception. I absolutely adore her and how unconventional she is. She was raised by Indians in the Black Hills of South Dakota, can use a knife better than many men, prefers to go barefoot and eats the leaves of bushes. She's wonderful.

Lyon is the perfect match for her. Though he starts out quite jaded and cynical, it isn't long before he realizes what a gem Christina is. I especially love that he totally "gets" her. She kept thinking he wanted only the "civilized" version of herself, but he proves time and again that he loves all of her..even her wild, savage side. Especially her wild, savage side. ( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Book description
Christina Bennett had taken London society by storm. The ravishing beauty guarded the secret of her mysterious past until the night Lyon, Marquis of Lyonwood, stole a searching, sensuous kiss. An arrogant nobleman with a pirate's passions, he tasted the wild fire smoldering beneath Christina's cool charm and swore to posess her...

But the fiesty and defiant Christina would not be so easily conquered. Mistress of her heart and of her fortune, she resisted Lyon's sensuous caresses. She dared not surrender to his love...for then, she must also forsake her precious secret...and her promised destiny!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067173783X, Mass Market Paperback)

Christina Bennett had taken London society by storm. The ravishing beauty guarded the secret of her mysterious past until the night Lyon, Marquis of Lyonwood, stole a searching, sensuous kiss. An arrogant nobleman with a pirate's passions, he tasted the wild fire smoldering beneath Christina's cool charm and swore to posess her...

But the fiesty and defiant Christina would not be so easily conquered. Mistress of her heart and of her fortune, she resisted Lyon's sensuous caresses. She dared not surrender to his love...for then, she must also forsake her precious secret...and her promised destiny!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Appearing suddenly on the London social scene, Christina Bennet entrances the Duke of Lynstead, but he is frustrated when she rebuffs his advances.

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