Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Review: Jude Deveraux’s THE BLACK LYON – Fanciful Medieval Bodice Ripper with Strong Heroine and Stronger Hero

Set in what appears to be England in the 13th century (Edward is King of England, though his queen is “Eleanora” rather than Eleanor), this is the story of Lady Lyonene, a baron’s daughter, and Ranaulf de Warbrooke, 3rd Earl of Malvoisin, aka “the Black Lion.”

When they meet at her family’s keep, Lyonene and Ranaulf are instantly attracted. She is the golden lioness and he’s the black lion (a lot of lion images here). Over the next few days, he commits to marry her because she makes him laugh. Ranaulf has a dark secret in his past—an unfaithful wife who died condemning him. So he is ever suspicious of Lyonene being after his money and ever jealous of any man who comes close to her.

This story takes the reader on some wide swings from wedding night rape to a loving and attentive husband (though he remains arrogant to the end). Deveraux did a great job of portraying a winsome, clever and strong heroine and the dark, sometimes cruel and brutal lord. There isn’t much history in this tale, which often appears fanciful rather than historical romance but there is a clear medieval tone, which I very much enjoyed. And there is some lively dialog between Lyonene and Ranulf in the course of their many adventures with some wonderful secondary characters and an evil female villain.

All in all, it’s a worthy read if you like medieval romance, but expect some bodice ripping scenes and don’t look for serious history in this one.

I'm including the original cover because it conveys the emotion between the hero and heroine better.

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