Julianna's Reviews > The Lion's Daughter

The Lion's Daughter by Loretta Chase
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's review
Apr 30, 2008

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bookshelves: read-2008, historical-romance
Read in April, 2008

"3.5 stars" I didn't realize until after reading Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels that it was part of a series, and when I discovered this, I decided to go back and pick up the books that I had missed. Since Lord of Scoundrels is one of my all-time favorite romance novels, I had high hopes for The Lion's Daughter. Unfortunately, it got off to a really slow start for me. Nearly the entire first half of the book is about the hero and heroine's extremely long (or at least it seemed that way) journey through Albania. This part of the story is also heavily laden with historical facts and details about the country and the political climate at that time which in my opinion, only served to bog down the pace even further. I was just about to set the book aside and read something else when the journey came to an end, and that is the point where I felt the real story began. Up until then, I had a hard time becoming invested in Varian and Esme's relationship or believing that they were truly falling in love, but after that, both characters started showing more vulnerability which improved them quite a bit.

Esme was a little difficult for me to like throughout the entire story though. Early on, she was just so stubborn and indifferent that she seemed almost emotionless. She had a major inferiority complex when it came to her looks and made several hot-headed decisions based in part on believing things about herself that simply weren't true. Even though Varian was a libertine who had frittered away his family fortune, I still found him to be more charming and likeable in the early part of the story than Esme was. When his vulnerabilities started to show it only increased his likability, but overall I still found him to be just an average hero, not really a stand-out. The political intrigue in the book could have been really interesting, but I thought that it was overdone to the point of being incredibly complex and confusing. Even though the story got off to a very slow start and could have been much better overall, the last half had enough excitement to hold my interest and make it worth my while. If I had read The Lion's Daughter first, I don't know if I would have continued the series, but already knowing that at least one other book in the series was phenomenally good, makes me interested continuing it.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Eastofoz I've ordered this book after reading and loving Lord of Scoundrels and I was hoping it'd be almost as good at least . I dislike books with excessive history and background narration. You're right it does bog down the story :(

Julianna Well East, in looking at the reviews for The Lion's Daughter it seems that some people really liked it and some didn't. I personally didn't think it was nearly as good as Lord of Scoundrels. It just didn't have the same sharp wit and deep emotional connection. Yet it wasn't terrible either. Just know that if you read it and the beginning is moving slowly for you, it does get better about 150 pages in. After that the pace picks up and more things start happening. Based on the reviews, I suspect The Lion's Daughter is the weakest of the four books in this series.

message 3: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Julie:

Ya know ... I thought I had read all of Chase's books, but apparently I missed this one!

On a discussion board on Amazon, someone explained to me that Dain (LORD OF SCOUNDRELS) was an uber alpha male while the rest of Chase's heros were beta males. Could be the reason why you didn't care for this book as much? I know that I prefer the alpha male type!

Try LORD PERFECT. I'm sure you will like that one!

Julianna Actually Tammy, I love a well-written beta hero, but I also love a good alpha as much as the next romance reader. I think my overall favorites are the hybrids, or as I call them, alphas with a heart.;) The only types I can't stand are the really domineering alphas or gammas.

I can see where Varian (hero of The Lion's Daughter) was definitely more beta than Dain, but I thought he also exhibited some alpha qualities. He had an air of confidence in his irresistibility to the ladies, and as a penniless aristocrat, was totally living off of his charm and good looks.

I have Lord Perfect on my TBR list and I'm sure I'll get around to reading it one of these days. With all the great suggestions I get here at GR added to all the great suggestions I got when I was spending more time on Amazon, my TBR list and shelves have become nearly overwhelming. Sometimes it's just hard to choose what to read next.;)

Eastofoz I like primarily Alpha and Gamma heroes but not really "pure" Beta ones--I like the "hybrids" like you said Julie :) I'd agree with Tammy that Dain from Lord of Scoundrels is an uber alpha. I think it's moreso that sharp wit that I'm expecting in the other Chase books--it was just so well done in Lord of Scoundrels :)

message 6: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Chase definitely uses sharp wit in her books! I remember a few laugh-out-loud funny moments in LORD PERFECT too. (The heroine has a feisty daughter who steals the show.)


Isn't it funny how we're all spending less time on Amazon and more time on GR? I started visiting the Amazon boards less when all of the drama with Debra MacGillivray and the interracial sex man started!

I have the same problem with my TBR shelves piled to overwhelming. Last night I drove my poor hubby nuts when I kept pulling books off of bookshelves, reading the covers, making piles and then shoving them back onto another shelf. I couldn't figure out what to read next!! It can be a life-altering decision you know. = )

Eastofoz I "visit" the Amazon boards periodically too Tammy but there's too much "sniping" in a lot of threads --some people have got to r-e-l-a-x! It seems that posters are more often into incendiary posting and going on and on and on and on about the same old thing than talking about books :( I like the GR set up better too :D

I just had hubby HELP me clean up/organize my shelves this past weekend :D Of course he couldn't resist his peanut gallery comments or asking me what I was getting rid of (!) but he was a good helper in the end and now I have some decent piles so I'll know where to "look" depending on what I feel like reading. I even invited him to "help himself" (lol!)

Julianna I agree Tammy. I haven't seen as many familiar names over on Amazon as I used to. My time spent over there was slowly decreasing in direct proportion to the increasing amount of time I've been spending here, but I've really cut back since the DAM mess. I also agree with you East. It seems that especially since then, there has been a lot more sniping. The Amazon board used to be a much nicer place to hang out, but lately some people have been rather rude. Maybe it's because all of us left. I'll probably continue to check in there every so often, but I just went a whole week without logging in. I find that I prefer GR anyway now. Since I can actually compare my taste to all my friends, I have a much better idea whether I'm going to like a book that someone recommends. Even if I research reviews over at Amazon, the recommendations can still be a crap shoot. Some recs I've gotten from there I loved (like BDB) and others have just been OK.

Yeah Tammy, for me what book to read next can be kind of a life-altering decision. Since it usually takes me approx. a week to finish an average-size paperback, I can feel like I wasted a lot of time if I don't get a good one. I just counted up the number of keepers I read last year compared with the number I've read so far this year, and I'm pathetically behind. I think I need to start choosing more carefully. At least I can say the one I'm reading right now has been awesome. Now I just need to continue that trend.;)

♥ Vonda M. Reid ♥ Excellent Review. The points you made about this book were right on target.

Julianna Thanks, Vonda. Great to know someone else felt the same.:-)

message 11: by Jill (new)

Jill I also LOVED lord of scoundrels. LOVED it! Can you recommend another of her books or any other historical romance?

Julianna LOS is still one of my all-time favorites too, Jill. The only Loretta Chase books I've read so far are the entire Scoundrels series. The Last Hellion and "The Mad Earl's Bride" (from Three Weddings and a Kiss were both good, though still not quite up the standard set for me by Lord of Scoundrels.

As for other historical romance, my favorite authors include:
Diana Gabaldon
Lorraine Heath
Elizabeth Hoyt
Gaelen Foley
Mary Balogh
Jacquie D'Alessandro
Donna Hatch
Barbara Samuel
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Liz Carlyle
Catherine Anderson
Lisa Kleypas
Julie Garwood
Most of the books I've read by these authors so far I've thoroughly enjoyed.

You're also welcome to check out my Historical Romance shelf. Anything I've rated four or five stars I would recommend. Hope you find some great new books and authors to enjoy.:-)

Tammy Your review was spot on. You nailed everything I didn't like as well as what made me enjoy it in the end.

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