Publisher: Bantam Books
Published: February 1996
I was sure I could not finish reading this book before the year ends, but I was glad I did. To be honest, I did not give this book any thoughts until I stumbled upon this author's new release, The Treasure, which was released in hardcover this month. Since The Treasure is a sequel to this book, I figure I should read this first although both books could be read as stand-alone.
Anyway, this is a classic historical romance sets in the 12th century in Constantinople where gender differences and slavery are not uncommon. And of course there are the battles that endanger everyone's life in the village.
Thea of Dimas, the heroine in this story, run away from the House of Nicholas where she is kept imprisoned and hoping to set foot in Damascus to start her own embroidery business. Meanwhile, she is also planning to free her younger sister, Selene and she is waiting for the right time to strike. After her caravan where she seeks refuge is destroyed, she encounters a dark warrior Lord Ware during her journey to Damascus. Feeling dead exhausted and almost dying from thirst, Thea is sure she would embrace death in no time but the brooding and powerful Lord Ware rescued her, with some coaxing from his right-hand man cum friend, Kadar. He took her to his desert fortress in Dundragon despite her refusal.
Lord Ware wastes no time in her defensive behaviour, for he is pressed with other critical issues like battles and being hunted by the Knights Templar after his discovery of their secret Lion Throne. However, it seems that his enemies have found his weakness by killing those who are close to him. Thea is a strong woman with a mind of her own; she refuses to take orders from an arrogant man like Lord Ware but once she realized and understand what Lord Ware had gone through, she stays by his side after he has promised to free her sister on her behalf. And although there is always danger lurking around the corner, still they cannot fight the attraction they have for each other as the days goes by. I think there is no need for me to elaborate further as I figure the readers could very well imagine what would happen towards the end.
I think I would have enjoyed Lion's Bride more if I were to read this book a few years back. Probably because I have not been reading a lot of historical romances lately, hence they have somehow lost its touch to me. Still, I think the premise and the characters are great, although I have to admit that reading about the women who were being treated badly and unfairly at those times are disturbing. Lord Ware strikes me as a man who may appear cold on the exterior, but actually he has a soft heart. I also enjoyed reading about Thea's younger sister, Selene and Kadar, whom the latter was asked to rescue Selene by Lord Ware. And this is where their story will be told in Iris Johansen's latest release, The Treasure. I am looking forward to reading the sequel; and I am also hoping that I would be reading more historical romance in the coming year. I cannot promise I will, but at least reading this book is a good start.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!