Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood

The Lion's Lady (1988) (Pocket Books)
Julie Garwood
Grade: C+
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
Crown's Spies: (1) The Lion's Lady
Romance RBC 2014: An AAR Top 100 Romance 1994 

No one quite knows where Christina Bennett has mysteriously appeared from, but her beauty, lilting accent and the intrigue that surrounds her takes society by storm. Brought up by the Dakota tribe in the Black Hills of America, it has always been Christina’s destiny to return to England and find her father. Adapting to rigid English customs isn’t easy given her upbringing and more than anything, Christina wishes she were back with her adopted family. 

Lyon, the Marquis of Lyonwood is not fooled or easily side lined by Christina’s charming evasions as his peers are. He knows that something isn’t quite right with Christina’s story and is determined to get to the bottom of her past. When they share a passionate kiss at a society function, Lyon gets a taste of the fiery lioness behind her cool exterior and becomes determined to lure this side of Christina to the surface …

The first chapter was very promising. Christina’s mother had fled England with her daughter, escaping from her crazy husband. The pair are taken captive alongside Merry and White Eagle, a mother-and-child from the Dakota tribe. The two women bond over their captivity and vow to help each other escape from their enemy’s clutches. When Christina’s mother is killed, Merry promises to raise Christina as her own – not an easy feat considering that Christina is white. It was highly amusing to watch.

The rest of the book – I wasn’t so sure about. There was a disconnect between the first chapter where Christina was a baby and then the rest of the book which centred around her adult life. Christina in England needs to maintain a demure and polite façade in order to convince society that she’s one of them. Like others for whom English is a second language, Christina has an amusing tendency to take a literal approach to colloquialisms, further adding to her charm.

The plot was a little far-fetched at times, but this could be forgiven because it was a funny read, as Garwood’s style usually is. Christina and Lyon had a tendency to yell at each other frequently which only incensed all parties, to the extent that they wouldn’t know if they were angry or aroused. I enjoyed reading the overall dynamic between the two protagonists – if only the story had been as strong to match.

Image courtesy of Book Depository.

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