About the Book:
Title: Lyon of the Highlands
Author: Emily Royal
Publication Date: Dec. 28, 2022
Publisher: Dragonblade Pub.
Synopsis: Marriage to an Earl destroyed her—can a highland beast mend her heart?
After surviving an abusive marriage to an older man, Wilhelmina Redstone retreated from society. Her stepson’s wife, Lily, once her rival, promises to find Mina the perfect husband—a man to love her as she deserves—by engaging the services of Bessie Dove-Lyon, proprietress of the Lyon’s Den, who secured Lily’s own marriage. On entering the Lyon’s Den, Mina glimpses a huge, savage Highlander among the dandies, and his appearance both terrifies and thrills her.
Laird Duncan MacLeish must marry for money—quickly—to avoid bankruptcy. Resigning himself to a loveless match, he sets off for London, and the infamous Lyon’s Den, where wealthy harridans are rumored to do, and pay, anything to wed a title. But, when he competes in an extraordinary game, he learns that the prospective bride is no harridan, but a widow with soulful eyes and a tragic past.
Carried off to the Highlands, a world away from the genteel society she’s always known, Mina begins to fall for the stranger she’s married—a man whose savage appearance belies his tender heart, and whose body ignites previously unknown sensations.
But, if Mina is to find the happiness she craves, she must first conquer the nightmares of her past.
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Anytime I see an Emily Royal book on NetGalley, I jump at the chance to read it. I love her swoon-worthy historical romances, and Lyon of the Highlands is no exception. The story is part of The Lyon’s Den world, and after reading half a dozen books in this world by a variety of authors, I was eager to see who Bessie Dove-Lyon, the proprietress of The Lyon’s Den, would pair next. And boy did she help to make a fantastic match!
The story follows Laird Duncan MacLeish, who goes to the Lyon’s Den because he needs to marry a woman of wealth to save his land from bankruptcy, and Wilhelmina “Mina” Redstone whose relative convinces her to make a match at the Lyon’s Den. Duncan is the only one who easily passes the unconventional test given, and though they seem a bit mismatched, Duncan and Mina are a wonderful pair.
Duncan is so kind, caring, and patient, and his treatment of Mina is lovely. He sees her so clearly from the first moments he meets her, and he is unbelievably supportive. I love how tenderly he treats her and how deeply he cares for her. Mina never really experienced love and caring from a man before, so to have this big burly teddy bear of a man show her affection and love is astonishing to her. I thought Duncan was super swoon-worthy!! He takes Mina under his wing, brings her into the fold of his family, and shows her what it means to be loved. It is sweet and heart-warming, as are many of the people that welcome Mina.
After an abusive marriage, Mina is broken. She is so timid and frightened, and she struggles with migraines, her need for laudanum, and her lack of self-worth. As she gets to know Duncan and his people, she slowly begins to heal, gain confidence, and see a promising and full future for herself. Her journey is transformative in the best of ways.
I also love that Mina is befriended by a strong and outspoken woman. Duncan’s cousin-by-marriage is feisty and opinionated, and she quickly takes Mina under her wing. She’s like a protective mama bear, especially when it comes to the treatment of Mina, and she puts more than one person in check. I think it’s great that Mina has a woman like this to support, encourage, and befriend her. There are great messages about female empowerment and friendship.
Though the story deals with heavy topics like addiction, abuse, and trauma, it is balanced by the friendships, the growth, and the love story. As I mentioned before, the book is part of The Lyon’s Den world, but you don’t have to read the other books in the series to follow this one. It is easily read as a standalone.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Dragonblade Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
Lyon of the Highlands is a great read for people who like touching historical romances with great characters and a wonderful love story!