Fall of the Lyon: The Lyon’s Den


How does one protect his beloved stepdaughter from a fate worse than hell: marriage to an evil heir’s son? Well, send her to the Lyon’s Den, of course. As unusual as it sounds, on his deathbed, that’s what Sir William Ashby does. Mrs. Bessie Dove-Lyon runs a gaming hall but is also very good at matchmaking. When Margaret arrives at “The Lyon’s Den”, she expects to be married off to who-knows-what kind of man. Viscount Amberley is a pleasant surprise. Although he needs money desperately, he is a comely man with a sympathetic heart and falls instantly for Meg. The match is not without complications, however. Meg must deal with sisters-in-law she’s never met, and a dangerous scandal resulting in repeated attempts on Sir William’s life. 

A classic marriage of convenience tale, the “Fall of the Lyon: the Lyon’s Den” hits all the right notes. Careful characterization of not only the hero and heroine, but of the entire cast of this rich novel is superbly executed. The plot’s basis, a notion of Mrs. Bessie Dove-Lyon operating a scandalous gambling den while also acting as a notorious matchmaker, is delightfully fresh. The writing style is lively, with effective pacing allowing the reader just enough time to fully appreciate the growing affection between two people who have no choice but to pursue a marriage. Wonderfully heart-melting love scenes are tastefully written. The reader is hard-pressed not to fall in love with Viscount Amberley themselves. A truly well-executed take on what could be considered a well-worn trope, this book strikes gold!

FS Brown