I believe there is an entity loose, and it is responsible, not the man. He muttered an imprecation, flames flowing in his eyes. But I believe this man has forfeited his right to live. I should banish him from the valley. Send him home. Your mercy will earn his loyalty tenfold.
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I think too much time is built on going into the mystery and the dark forces out to get the heroine. I like my romance to focus on the attraction and the unfolding relationship between the hero and the heroine. I think Anne Stuart does this better than any other author, so I usually love her gothic romances. But I digress. There were elements to this story I really enjoyed.
I liked that Ms. Feehan wrote a historical that was set in Italy, not the usual UK setting. I liked that her characters were Italian and had the aspects of this culture. I also liked the medieval setting. As usual, I love her heroes and heroines. In this story, Isabella really shines. What a strong heroine she is. Several times, she put herself in danger to protect others, her selfless love for Nicolai. But she also showed a lot of pluck, telling this big, scary guy off with no qualms, when he deserved a good tongue-lashing.
Tortured to boot. I almost felt like he could have been in this book more, because he was usually hiding in the shadows or dealing with threats. But when he was in the book, and interacting with Isabella, it was great. Oh, yes.
And the passion. Well-done in that regard. And the secondary characters were well-drawn and added significantly to the story.
Feehan kept me guessing who was behind the sabotage that was occuring. It was an interesting premise, with the curse that destroyed generation after generation of marriages and wives, because of a terrible event in the past. Isabella being the key to their salvation. And I love cats, so it was very nice to see all the lions and how dangerous they were. Very unique spin on the Beauty and the Beast story, without trashing the essential elements of this tale.
Not my favorite by Ms. Feehan, but a very good book.
Lair of the Lion