Love of a Lioness

Sawyer Belle
Love of a Lioness
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Kindle Direct Publishing
Release Date
January 2014
Historical Romance

The Hundred Years' War has begun…

She roams the English Channel, striking from the shadows like a wraith, and the entire French navy is at risk. The Lioness is thirsty for the blood of her enemy: a traitorous knight responsible for the fall of a noble house in Brittany. As she captains her infamous Black Fleet in pursuit of revenge, a war rages within her own heart, for the piratess is the author of a great deception. She has rallied a king and a strong crew to her cause and captured the loyal heart of a hero. Is vengeance worth losing what she sees in his eyes and what she's found in his arms?

The moment she awoke under his protection he felt drawn to her in a way he could not trust or resist. She was deadly and dangerously beautiful, but she needed his sword. She lured him to the sea like a siren, and he vowed to protect her at all costs. When the truth comes to light in a sea of blood and lust, he is pinned between his love and his king. The knight's vow is put to the test, and he must make a sacrifice. He must decide whether his honor and courage can withstand all that is required to claim the Love of a Lioness.

From the court of England's king to the forests of France, they craft a danger greater than they could have known and bury their brothers where legends are made.

Book Review by Rebecca (author,reviewer)
Apr 29, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
146 people found the following review helpful
LOVE OF A LIONESS by Sawyer Belle is a fascinating historical romance set in the 1300s in the time when France was ruled by King Philip and England by King Edward III. The story focuses on Isabeau de Ardres, the daughter of a knight, Sir Christien, who has raised her to be independent and competent, so much so that she is renowned for her skills in archery. Her father pledges his allegiance to England to assure security for Brittany but he and his Lord, Olivier de Clisson are betrayed by Sir Antoine Beauchart. Isabeau becomes consumed by vengeance against this man whom she has always hated and mistrusted, not least because he forced himself on her as a girl when she refused his advances.

Isabeau is left for dead by Antoine but is rescued by Sir Guy Dampierre, known as the Bastard of Flanders, the hero of the story. She is suspicious of him initially and she goads him by persisting in calling him "bastard" but she cannot help but feel a strong attraction towards him. She is taken to King Edward in England and she does not correct their misapprehension that she is Joan de Clisson, Olivier's widow, believing that this will help her to achieve her revenge on Beauchart. Indeed, the King supports her request for ships and crew and Sir Guy is sent with her to assist her with her quest and also to try and learn more about her as there is something about her that suggests she cannot be trusted.

Isabeau aids her cause by taking on the pseudonym of the "Lioness of Brittany" and gaining a fearsome reputation as she sails the English Channel preying on French merchant ships and seeking out her arch-enemy, Sir Antoine. Sir Guy and Isabeau are drawn to each other and their romance develops quite quickly but the secret of Isabeau's identity and the feisty banter between the two help to keep the tension going.

Isabeau is a strong, attractive heroine who manages to assert herself in a world dominated by men. The author does a good job of showing how Isabeau is initially scorned as a woman but how she proves herself, displaying her skills and joining in with the same trials and work as the men to gain their respect. Guy is also a likeable character and has a history that helps to make him more interesting, especially when part of that history, in the form of his brother Louis, pops up later in the story. Guy helps Isabeau to form a closer bond with the men and the characters of some of the crew members are well-drawn and assist in the development of the plot, especially Hughes and the plump, eccentric and amusing Jean, the chronicler.

At the beginning of the book, the author gives the reader a snippet of a scene from further on in the novel. This is probably in order to whet our appetites regarding what is to come but I found this to be superfluous. I also thought the prologue was unnecessary for the same reason. I prefer a build up to the combative scenes and the rest of the writing is interesting enough to engage the reader's interest without these kinds of literary devices.

I did have a few plausibility issues with the storyline. For example, I found it hard to believe that King Edward and Guy would be fooled regarding Isabeau's true identity for so long, especially when Joan de Clisson was known to be an older woman who had been married twice and borne children. I also found it a bit too much to believe that there would be a copycat Lioness of Brittany, another successful female pirate who was terrorizing the English instead. I also would have preferred it if Isabeau had shown a little more reluctance in embarking on a physical relationship with Guy, especially considering the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Antoine. However, I was certainly never bored and the lively writing and characters along with the depth of research that had clearly been done more than made up for these slight niggles.

LOVE OF A LIONESS by Sawyer Belle is a sweeping love story full of history, adventure and romance. The protagonists are appealing, the plot is fast moving and there is a wealth of authentic detail without sacrificing imagination. If you are willing to overlook a few unlikely scenarios and you like a courageous and enterprising heroine and plenty of action on the high seas, then you will love this book.
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