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Monday, June 19, 2006

Lion's Bride by Iris Johansen

Woven with searing sensuality, here is the unforgettable story of a woman who is carried away by a powerful Lord to a secret stronghold, where she becomes his prisoner, his tormentor...and his lover.

As most of you are aware by now, I'm extremely hard on romance heroines. I hate the sniffling, whining, doormat idiots who refuse to standup for themselves. On the flip side of the coin, I hate idiotic heroines who have a major case of penis envy and feel like they have to do stupid things to prove they're just as good as any man.

Therefore it is my extreme pleasure to report that Thea, the heroine of this particular novel, is neither of those things. She has just been added to my top 3 list of all time favorite romance heroines. A high honor, indeed.

*Once again, I'm too lazy to write my own review (and to be honest can't really remember all the pertinent stuff) so I'm taking the one from Publishers Weekly on Amazon.com

Johansen (Dark Rider) writes to her strength in a medieval romance filled with action, sex and the lively working-out of 12th-century gender differences. Indentured to a silk merchant, Thea of Dimas steals a basket of wriggling worms and sets out for Damascus to start her own embroidery-design studio and then effect the escape of her little sister, Selene. After her caravan is destroyed, Thea is rescued by blustery knight Lord Ware and carried (pressed up against his hard, unyielding armor) to his desert fortress, Dundragon. Ware, hunted by the Knights Templar because he's discovered the secret of their Lion Throne, must protect Thea from the deadly consequences to anyone who gets close to him. Thea, an ambitious career woman, must stop Ware from running roughshod over her big plans. Together the feisty lovers battle crusaders, Muslims and their own misguided agendas before settling down in the Scottish Highlands to breed lusty little bairns.

Thea was amazing. She held her own against the gruff Lord Ware, stood up for herself and made all the sacrafices she needed to to rescue her sister, all without irritating me once. Amazing, huh?

She went toe to toe with Ware, refused to back down against rude servants and bided her time when Ware forced her to go back into slavery to save her from the Knights Templar.

Lord Ware himself was a fierce, sexual being who carried a major burden of guilt around because he'd left the Knight's Templar even though he was supposed to be in for life. And he took the burden on himself for all the innocent deaths caused because of it.

Thea's little sister Selene provided a sweet side-story with the sexy Kadar, another knight who rides with Lord Ware (against his wishes, of course). She was just as headstrong as Thea and had just as sharp a tongue and I really hope there's a sequel with her and Kadar.

This book is an absolute must read. It stretches over years, but I never once felt like it was dragging on. There was a ton of character development, too, something Fickle Fiona just posted about more recent romance novels lacking.

Get thee to the store NOW and pick this up.

5 out of 5

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