Many a Regency hero and heroine will meet their match at the masquerade ball held tonight in the Lyon’s Den, an infamous gambling hall.
A Lyon With No Name (Chasity Bowlin)
This was a solid start to the collection, with the tried-and-true pairing of wickedness and innocence being refreshed by William’s awareness that he must pull his affairs together for Ellie and his estate’s sake.
The Lady and the Lyon’s Scandal (Ruth A. Casie)
Eva is a clever character, and I enjoyed how she and Drew’s conducted their flirtation over gossiping about other people’s scandals. However, I didn’t like how quickly Eva flip-flopped on her opinion of Drew when he tried to discuss the scandal in his own past, and wished I had gotten a better grip on Drew’s character in general.
In Pursuit of a Lyon (Sandra Sookoo)
I enjoyed the premise and backstory of this novella, and Astrid’s social mobility made for an unusual heroine. However, I thought that the actual events of the story were rather underwhelming, with the physical aspect overwhelming the emotional components of the romance. I also found the dialogue and exposition stilted at times.
A Lyon’s Word of Honor (C.H. Admirand)
This was a funny, light-hearted read with some action tossed into the mix as well. Alasdair and Eglantine are both loud personalities, but they work together well and I enjoyed their banter. However, I did think the larger plot of the poisoning didn’t really work very well from a logical standpoint.
Don’t Tempt the Purring Lyon (Sara Adrien)
Though I thought the opening of the story was a little clunky, it rapidly hits its stride as Seth and Lucy get to talking – they make a cute pair! I enjoyed reading about a Jewish hero and heroine in a distinctly anti-Semitic era, and was intrigued by the hints of the broader world built by this author.
Unmasked by the Lyon (Belle Ami)
This is a really cute story! I liked how Lucien managed to pursue Lizzie without being obvious about it, and helps her gain more self-confidence in the process. The author manages to pack plenty of swoon-worthy romance in the limited page count, especially in the scenes at the ball and in the ending.
To Tilt at a Lyon (Abigail Bridges)
This is another second-chance romance featuring a couple that never fell out of love with each other despite being parted for nearly a decade. I liked how Gordon and Ella came to reunite at the ball and the conversations between them, but I wish we had seen more of their love story from the first time round, not just how they parted.
The Lyon’s Wager (Jenna Jaxon)
This is a short novella, but unfortunately it felt disjointed to me, maybe because Charles’s wager and Bess’s unwelcome engagement when put together felt like too much plot for four chapters. I also thought that the issue of the engagement was too easily resolved and that we didn’t really get to know the leads. The story could have done with more depth.
Crossing the Lyon (Jude Knight)
This story is rather different in tone from the rest of the collection, with a fairytale-esque twist and a focus on revenge and not romance. I enjoyed how Mrs. Dove-Lyon stood up for the sisters and how Lady Karzel’s plot eventually played out in a truly unexpected way. However, I did feel like the romantic leads were almost window-dressing on a story which is more about family.
Mistaken for a Lyon (Rachel Ann Smith)
A longer novella, this story uses the night of a the masque as a launching point for the romance but ranges away for the plot. I liked the partnership between Crown agents Charlotte and Camden, both for work and romantically, and liked how they both had chances to show their skills in the case. However, I felt that too much context about their prior relationship was missing, and the story ended very abruptly without much explanation about what was up with the traitor.
The Lyon’s Last Chance (Aurrora St. James)
Closing out the collection, this is another second-chance romance between a couple whose first relationship never really got off the ground. While I enjoyed the basic storyline, I wished that we’d gotten a chance to dig more into the characters – Owen and Grace both have strange family backgrounds but they come up as as throwaway details, and without much more defining characteristics they never really came alive for me.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.