Leisure, $6.99, ISBN 0-8439-5048-X
Historical Romance, 2002
People, this is not part of the The Carpathian series. Fans of those Carpathians’ mind-rape and utter subjugation of their weak-willed walking ovaries with breasts will also be disappointed – the “intensity” of the said Carpathian brutes’ bossing of their women is noticeably absent here.
Yeah, I kinda like this book, better than the Carpathian ones. Can you tell?
In fact, after what seems like a huge output of a million books a year, Ms Feehan is slowly showing a common but stereotypical evolution as an author: she has left the “heroines in romance novels needn’t have any personality, only a tendency to be perpetually in trouble” stage to move on to the “heroines have to be perpetually in trouble, but now they have to be strong, only in this case I still confuse ‘strong’ with ‘mouthing off like a feisty but braindead wench who has still no common sense'” stage. It’s a step up the evolution process. Maybe there’s hope of a truly great book by Ms Feehan one day.
Isabella Vernaducci (or is it Wannaduchy? Whataducky? Whatadouchebaggy?) braves death, storms, tempests, ugly surly butlers, and all to get an audience with the mysterious Don Nicolai DeMarco. He is perpetually shrouded in darkness, and is inclined to make italicized speeches. She must see him because she must save her brother! She must! Then she sees Don, marries him, and brother is apparently forgotten as she now wonders and tries to solve the mystery of Don, the lions… or something. Yes, there are lions in Italy.
Yeah, something, because to be honest, this book doesn’t have much of a plot, unless you count our heroine gasping and walking around in some dark creepy manor a plot. Lots of scenes of lions threatening our heroine are interspersed with Neanderthalia Italiano macho caveman loving, and frankly, it’s a hoot. This is a hokey, corny, and pretty amusing read, right up there with those Mistress Elvira movies, only minus the irony, unfortunately. If this story has set out to be deliberately corny and campy, it’ll be a keeper.
Evil women, helpful staff member, and nasty men who are forgiven because “Sarina, you know Betto as he really is, through the eyes of your love” (forgive the men, stone the bitches!) complete the whole lurid cornball that is Lair of the Lion. Sure, I have no idea what the whole thing is about actually, as plot points come and go, some never even coming close to being resolved, but it’s all silly fun really. Just be aware that the story really drags towards the middle. With no plot, there’s only so much Ms Feehan can do with her repetitious dumb-broad-groping-in-the-dark thing.