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Lair of the Lion Mass Market Paperback – January 31, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 244 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for her vampire romances (Dark Guardian, etc.), Feehan adds a gothic twist to a classic fairy tale in this eerie and engrossing 19th-century romance. In a desperate attempt to save her brother, Lucca, from the evil clutches of the grasping lord who has imprisoned him, Isabella Vernaducci, a courageous but impoverished noblewoman, ventures into the Alps to search for the elusive and dangerous Don Nicolai DeMarco, believing him the only man powerful enough to save Lucca. To her surprise, Nicolai offers her a deal: he will aid her if she consents to be his bride. Isabella agrees before learning of the DeMarco curse which condemns the DeMarco men to be seen as "the beast" and prophesies that Nicolai will "rip the heart" from the one he loves. Suspense simmers in the DeMarco keep, where chilling cries are heard long into the night and Nicolai's "pet" lions roam. Though the relationship between Nicolai and Isabella is overwrought at times he frequently tries to save her from himself by attempting to send her away they're a perfectly matched pair in terms of temperament, and their steamy sex scenes heat up the pages. With its guileless heroine, masterful hero and mystical overtones, Feehan's inspired retelling is likely to garner her the attention she deserves.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The Beast . . .

Rumor said the powerful Nicolai DeMarco could command the heavens, that the beasts below did his bidding . . . and that he was doomed to destroy the woman he took as wife. It was whispered he was not wholly human—as untamed as his tawny mane and slashing amber eyes.

The Beauty . . .

Impoverished aristocrat Isabella Vernaducci would defy death itself to rescue her imprisoned brother. She’d even brave the haunted, accursed lair of the lion—the menacing palace of legendary, lethal Don Nicolai DeMarco.

The Bargain . . .

Then Isabella met a man whose growl was velvet, purring heat, whose eyes held dark, all-consuming desire. And when the don commanded her to become his bride, she went willingly into his muscled arms, praying she’d save his tortured soul . . . not sacrifice her life.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062021359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062021359
  • ASIN: 0062021354
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy Christine Feehan's books, but this was not one of her best. To describe it as overwrought would be an understatement. The heroine, Isabella Vernaducci feels "evil" and "chills up her spine" at least twice in every chapter. She breaks down in tears or is near tears regularly. I suppose though, that tears would be warranted since she is stalked, attacked, and/or injured in practically every chapter. Honestly, the beginning of each chapter became a guessing game: "How Will Isabella Get Hurt/Trapped/Attacked This Time?" I don't mind heroines in danger, but this was ridiculous.
Another aspect that hurt this book was lack of clear storytelling. The vagueness of "the curse" for instance. The explanation of why and how it originated was clear enough, but how it worked with the hero, Don DeMarco was not. First, only Isabella can see him as a man (not a beast). Then others can see him that way as long as she touches him. Later he explains that he can sometimes control his own image as a beast or a man. It seemed to change constantly and was unnecessarily confusing.
Also, the time frame for this book was never given, much like in Feehan's other (but unrelated) Italian palazzo book (The Scarletti Curse). It's obviously historical (despite some characters' annoying use of contemporary phrases like "going berserk") but a time period would have been nice.
Christine Feehan is an engaging author, and while the characters in this book were interesting, they couldn't overcome the heavy handed treatment in the book. Feehan seems more in her element with her vampire novels.
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I know everyone utterly adore's Christine Feehan's Carpathian Saga's, and I am a fan as well, but I think she really shows her true talent in The Scarletti Curse and now this this one.
She single-handedly brings Gothics back into fashion with an updated style, giving us the brooding hero, the fearless heroine and all the spooky shadows guaranteed to keep the readers on the edge their seats.
The story is basically a beauty and beast redo...the cursed Don Nicolai DeMarco doomed to destroy the woman he marries and Isabella Vernaducci defying everything to save, first her brother, and then the man she loves.
Feehan breathes life into the faded Gothics and Faerytales alike and I say MORE MORE MORE!!
So fans of the old series Beauty and the Beast - here is a treat for you!!
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"Lair of the Lion" by Christine Feehan is a compelling gothic romance perfect for curling up with on a cold winter night. I became utterly absorbed in the story right from the start, and Feehan's passionate storytelling kept me turning pages well into the night. The main characters are intriguing and well matched, and Feehan's take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale becomes something original and wickedly enticing under her talented hand. "Lair of the Lion" is an all-around solid effort that is sure to be enjoyed by a wide range of romance readers.
Isabella Vernaducci is a courageous young aristocrat who has had everything that once belonged to her family stolen away by the ruthless and power-hungry Don Rivellio. On top of that, the pitiless Don has imprisoned her brother Lucca and sentenced him to death. Desperate to save her brother, Isabella makes the treacherous journey to the home of the powerful and mysterious Don Nicolai DeMarco in the Italian Alps. Don DeMarco is the only man who can save Lucca's life, but no outsider has ever survived the journey to his palazzo. Supposedly the victim of a terrible curse, Don DeMarco is rumoured to have the ability to control the heavens and to make the beasts on earth do his bidding.
But when Isabella arrives at the palazzo of Don DeMarco, she meets a man unlike any other she has ever met. His intense tawny eyes, flowing mane of hair, and devilishly handsome face make her heart pound double time. Though his commanding presence fills Isabella with fear, she is undeniably drawn to Don Nicolai. And she does not see the monstrous and heartless beast of legend when she looks at Nicolai, but a dedicated and compassionate man who has worked tirelessly for his people.
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Wow! Oh My! I have loved every book that Christine Feeham writes and this one is no exception. Now this isn't a Dark series book but I'm hoping it could be a start of its own series. Hint, Hint!
This is a gothic tale that will have you craving more.
The story starts off with the heroine, Isabella searching for the only man who can save her brother. He is shrouded in darkness and mystery. Many have died trying to get to him but she knows that she has no other choice if she wants to save her brother. She soon finds herself infront of the man who is the answer to her problems. The don Nicolai, is enchanted by her even before he meets her. He knew she was coming and why. He will help her only if she agrees to marry him.
Now Nicolai has a deep secret that could destroy them all. He must keep the beast within himself tightly chained at all times. He fears for the future and believes that he can only have Isabella for a short time. Isabella must show him that he means the world to him and that together they can conquer the beast.
The love scenes are highly erotic and leave the reader breathless. I highly recommend this book.
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