ARC Review: Always the Lyon Tamer by Emily E.K. Murdoch

About the Book:

Title: Always the Lyon Tamer

Author: Emily E.K. Murdoch

Series: Never the Bride .5

Page Length: 93

Publication Date: Feb. 24, 2021

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.

Always taming gentlemen but never getting her own—but the Lyon’s Den will change that…

Miss Rebecca Darby is tired of being courted by John Lennox, Marquis of Gloucester. After months of empty promises, it’s time to take matters into her own hands. Because John ‘the Lion’ Lennox is always surrounded by his pride of ladies, and she’s never able to get close. His flirting has led nowhere, and Rebecca won’t stand for it anymore. Not when the Lyon’s Den, the secretive club owned by Mrs. Dove-Lyon, promises to play games leading to happy matrimony.

John has no idea what faces him in the game. Rebecca has no idea whether her shyness will allow her to carry through with her plans, but if she doesn’t try, she’ll always wonder. He doesn’t recognize the mysterious woman in the mask. She knows this is her only chance to tame him.

In a world where women rule the roost, and gentlemen must do what they’re told, it will take a Lyon Tamer to bring John to his knees. But once the masks are removed, will Rebecca have her way, or will the Lyon escape into the night?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |       Amazon   

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My Review:

Always the Lyon Tamer is a quick, entertaining, and steamy Regency romance. The story follows Rebecca as she enlists help from the owner of The Lyon’s Den to help her in winning John’s heart. John is always surrounded by women, and he appears to be quite the charmer. Though it seemed as if he might care for Rebecca, he never took the next step and asked for her hand in marriage. Rebecca knows John is the man for her, but how can she convince him that they have a promising future together?

Rebecca stages a seduction at The Lyon’s Den, intent on showing John just how much she loves him. John is unbearably shy, as is Rebecca, and they both struggle to show their feelings. Rebecca is restricted by societal constraints that dictate a submissive role for females, and John is restricted by his shyness, inexperience, and self-consciousness. Luckily, the freedom of The Lyon’s Den allows them to reveal and embrace their feelings. I love that they both let their guard down.

Unfortunately, Rebecca plans it so that John doesn’t know she is the woman seducing him. Blindfolds and sexy bets help keep her identity secret. I do wish that this was revealed earlier in the story, as the seduction would have been even more powerful if John knew who his seductress really was.

I love that the story gives a more in-depth view of The Lyon’s Den, the notorious gambling den that connects all of the stories in the series. A place of sin and vice, people do things there that are unspeakable in polite society. Gambling, seduction, and more occur within the walls of The Lyon’s Den, and there are few rules.

If you are looking for a quick and sexy historical romance then you will probably love this novella! Thanks so much to Netgalley, Dragonblade Publishing, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance. Rebecca and John love each other, yet they struggle to declare this love. I enjoyed watching them figure things out.
  • The Lyon’s Den.

Favorite Lines:

I want marriage to me to be the best thing that ever happened in his life. Not a consolation prize at the end of a game.

She knew they belonged together like she knew the night would follow day.


This novella is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series which can be read in any order.

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