To Tame the Lyon (The Lyon’s Den)


When she is widowed by her husband’s foolish dueling, Clara, Duchess of Surrey must find a way to avoid marrying the man he promised her to. Her best protection is to marry someone first, so she seeks out Mrs. Dove-Lyon, a well-known matchmaker. Rather than marry just anyone, Clara hopes to maneuver her first love, Isaac, into helping her save herself but also to save him from his own spiraling behavior. Isaac, now the Marquess of Durham, has endured the deaths of most of those who were close to him, so everyone believes he drinks to distract himself from his grief. Actually, drinking is just an excuse for Isaac to frequent clubs and keep track of Clara. He’s shocked to find her attempting to force him into marriage. He agrees to protect her but is unwilling to risk his heart in marrying her.

This second-chance story features the uncommon theme of a husband posthumously betrothing his wife to another. Clara’s first marriage was not easy, but her resilience is only hinted at, and her characterization would have benefited from more backbone being shown in her dealings with Isaac. Readers who are leery of second-chance stories may appreciate this one as the previous relationship between the main characters is not dwelled upon in the narrative and is righted by a bit of honest communication. The main source of conflict here being Isaac’s fear that he is cursed feels rather flimsy, making his character seem immature, and the conflict resolution comes about quite quickly. “To Tame the Lyon” is an enjoyable, short read with an intriguing plot that would’ve benefited from a bit more development.

Niki Price