Title: Fall of the Lyon
Author: Chastity Bowlin
Series: The Lyon’s Den
Publication Date: Sept. 16, 2020
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Synopsis: Enter the world of the most notorious gambling den in London, where matches are made… unusually. Welcome to the world of THE LYON’S DEN: The Black Widow of Whitehall Connected World, where the underground of Regency London thrives… and loves.
Faced with the devastating and impending loss of her stepfather and the all too real threat of unscrupulous relatives who would have her inheritance at any cost, Miss Margaret Upshaw flees to London. Her stepfather has tasked her to make her way to the Lyon’s Den to seek the assistance of Mrs. Bessie Dove-Lyon, the most scandalous matchmaker in all of London. Her matches aren’t made in the ballrooms of Mayfair, but over the faro tables and a notorious betting book in the gaming hell she rules with an iron fist in a velvet glove.
Leander Thurston-Hunter, Viscount Amberley, or Leo as he prefers, is a man with a very particular problem that can only be solved with money. And as a nobleman, there’s only one way to get a lot of cash and get it quickly—you have to marry it. When Mrs. Dove-Lyon informs him that she’s made the perfect match for him, he’s not exactly thrilled, but certainly willing to do his duty to preserve his family’s standing. But then he meets Meg Upshaw. Beautiful, vulnerable, terribly alone… and she makes him question for the first time whether a marriage born out of duty and necessity has to be an unhappy one.
But there’s one terrible catch… Meg’s family, the relatives who would have her fortune by any means, are the very ones responsible for the brutal events that nearly ended his life and left him permanently scarred. But that isn’t the only secret they’re keeping, and those secrets are worth dying for and worth killing for. Leo and his new bride find themselves in danger of far more than simply falling inconveniently in love.
Even in the Lyon’s Den, the stakes have never been higher.
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Meg and Leo both need a spouse. Meg wants the security of a husband so that her relatives can’t steal her inheritance, and Leo needs money to ensure his family name and to raise his sisters. When Meg and Leo separately seek the assistance of Mrs. Dove-Lyon, the owner of The Lyon’s Den and a notorious London matchmaker, Mrs. Dove-Lyon helps them organize a prompt wedding.
Meg and Leo aren’t expecting a love match. After all, they agreed to a marriage of convenience. However, they cannot ignore the instant connection they feel. As they get acquainted, they unravel mysterious ties between Meg’s family and the injury that left Leo permanently scarred.
Meg’s uncle and cousin will do whatever it takes to maintain their secrets, their connection to Leo, and to gain Meg’s inheritance. As Meg and Leo grow closer, their lives take a dangerous turn, and they must work together to ensure their happily ever after.
The relationship between Meg and Leo is quick to develop. This is out of necessity, and, luckily, they are very attracted to each other. I like that, though the couple enters a marriage of convenience, they respect and admire each other from the start, and their chemistry blossoms as they get to know each other.
I also like that Meg and Leo work as a team to figure out family secrets and dastardly plans. Leo admires Meg’s strength, resilience, and intelligence. Meg, in turn, enjoys Leo’s honesty, integrity, and protective nature. They complement and support each other well and help each other deal with emotional issues and concerns, which says a lot about the future of their relationship. It may not have started as a love match, but their respect for and attraction to each other has the potential for an epic romance.
Another aspect of the story that I like is the strong relationship between Meg and her father. The way Meg talks about losing him is quite touching. It is clear that she had a wonderful relationship with her father, and that his death is painful. I also like how understanding and intuitive Leo is. He knows that Meg is going through a difficult time, which is made even worse by her hateful uncle and cousin, and Leo’s understanding and support make him even more of an appealing partner for Meg.
This is a great story for readers who enjoy quick and suspenseful historical romances, and, though it is part of a series, it is a standalone story. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Dragonblade Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance, of course! 🙂 Meg and Leo have an unconventional and interesting love story!
- The mystery surrounding the ties between Leo and Meg’s family.
She always missed him, but the memories could cut like a knife on one day and have her laughing the next. There was no rhyme or reason to it and she had learned to simply accept them as they came and to know that any pain she suffered at his loss was worth the wonder of having known him in her life.