Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-233485-5
Historical Romance, 2015
It is here! The Legend of Lyon Redmond is finally here. I know that there are many readers clamoring for this book for so long now, but to me, this book is like that bus that finally arrives after being so late. I’ve tired of this series for a while now, so when this book arrived at my doorstep, my first thought was that, at long last, we can finally move on from that bloody, seemingly-interminable series.
So yes, Olivia is about to marry some guy, who seemed charming in previous books but now is given some rather too-obvious “So not for our Liv!” traits to prepare everyone for the eventual arrival of Lyon Redmond’s Boeing on her landing strip. Lyon, realizing that Olivia’s airport is about to be rented off to another bloke, also accepts that he will never be able to fully cut her out of his system, so he arranges for his crew of one-dimensional if capable loyal people to lead her around until the opportunity arises for him to grab her and take her to sea against her will. Don’t worry, he’s hot, she’s hot, and everything is hotter when they are both hot, so the other bloke is left in the cold in the end. Oh, and Lyon settles some unfinished stuff with his father for closure. That’s a wrap, then, no? We can now move on, so this alone is a reason to celebrate.
Okay, you probably want to know about the book, how it is, whether those two do some frigging on the rigging – wait, that’s a different book by a different author. Well, I feel that the story is too big for its length. The author delves into flashbacks on what happened to these two five years ago, as well as deals with the characters in the present time of the story, and I feel that the non-flashback parts of the story suffers as a result. The flashbacks drive a strong case for why Lyon never made contact with Olivia in the last few years, but I’d like to have a better idea of why these two end up together again. I’d like to see more of this as much of the events that happened five years ago were already touched on or implied in previous books. I feel that the second time together is too reliant on the “they are soulmates forever, so deal with it, readers” thing, and the author is better than this kind of tired old thing.
The current day story is also disappointingly familiar. Yes, Lyon slept with who knows how many women while Olivia sits and scowls chastely for five years, waiting for him to come back and shove it into her without any decent foreplay. Olivia of course strings the poor other guy along only to ditch him at the altar – as if him being a snobby kind of guy makes him deserving of such public humiliation. And she is pregnant with Lyon’s brat while walking down the aisle, mind you! Both Lyon and Olivia often go back and forth between petty and breathlessly horny in an arbitrary manner, which probably explains why it takes five years for them to get to a happy ending. After all these years, I feel that readers deserve something more than this… mundane thing featuring two self-absorbed little brats as the penultimate of the series.
Oh, and I laugh at the epilogue. The author sets it in 2015, making sure that the readers get it – all those Redmonds and Everseas are all dead by now. Is the epilogue the author’s way of saying that she is absolutely done with this series? Who knows, but I can only cackle at the way the author throws a figurative dynamite into the readers’ faces by breaking one of the biggest unwritten laws of the genre: you don’t remind readers that their favorite characters are only mortals who would one day die.
Also, if you are new to the series, be warned that this is a very good example of a meta book. It is full of appearances of and references to characters from previous books, and given that much of the emotional resonance to our couple’s love story hinges heavily on the build-up in previous books in this series, it may be possible that you may be less engaged with this story compared to, say, a reader who has been around since the early days, hanging to every word in the Olivia and Lyon story arc in those books. Given that the story doesn’t flesh out the non-flashback moments as much as I’d have liked, I’d say that it may be likely that new readers may end up wondering what the big deal is between Olivia and Lyon. Also, the closures to the family feud may elicit a “So what’s the fuss all about again?” response. Much of this book is reliant on a reader’s emotional investment on the story arc of Lyon and Olivia in previous books to really drive home the emotional impact, hence it being a meta book.
Back to me – I think The Legend of Lyon Redmond is a flawed read; it doesn’t really bowl me over, It’s just another story in this series, only it’s a bit more special because IT IS THE LAST BOOK SO LET US ALL GO TO PARTY CITY AND BUY SOME HOT CRAP FOR HALLOWEEN, Y’ALL. Bye, bye, Lyon and Olivia – I’ve been stuck in this series for years and I’d like to get on the next bus out as soon as possible, so to speak.