Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Van Alen Sisters, #1
Publisher: Island Books
Hero: Trevor Byrne Sheridan
Heroine: Alice Diana Van Alen
Date of Publication: April 1, 1992
Started On: October 5, 2014
Finished On: October 12, 2014
My search for romances that feature ruthless heroes is an endless one. A time consuming one at that too. Some might call these heroes the uber alpha heroes. Or some just call them anti-heroes; you love them and hate them in equal doses. And some call them gamma heroes too because they go beyond the boundaries that define who an alpha hero is.
Authors of today who write such heroes have become far and few in between. Anne Stuart is my go to author for such heroes. Sandra Brown and Linda Howard are authors who have pushed that boundary time and yet again in some of their novels. For the most part, these type of heroes aren’t well received by almost half of the romance reading population today. With the change of times, with the feminist movement rising above, readers no longer like the heroes who are tad on the wild side, those who don’t conform to their definition of what a hero should constitute of and if you ask me, its such a damn shame.
So a whole lot of boredom and a whole lot of internet searches later, I came across a website that had a list of books that features ruthless heroes. Now mind you, some readers define a hero as ruthless a tad differently to how I tend to define them. Luckily, this reader tended to veer towards my tastes and alas, I found myself with a couple of books I haven’t already read, that feature the heroes of the variety that I deem as ruthless but those with just that hint of redeemable quality that makes me fall like a ton of bricks for them every single time.
Lions and Lace features such a hero. Trevor Byrne Sheridan, the Wall Street wonder who rose to the top with basically nothing to his name, is Irish, and persona non grata where society is concerned. A chip on his shoulder a mountain wide, Trevor remembers the slights, the mockery and the laughter behind his back though he is equally revered by the men for the power and wealth he amasses day in and day out. The tipping point comes when society refuses to turn up at his younger sister Mara’s debut. People say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, well let me tell you, they haven’t had their dose of Trevor just yet.
Alice Diana Van Alen lives under the thumb of her uncle, her finances tied up under his name after the tragic death of her parents. Alice holds the secret of her younger sister close to her heart, a secret she is determined to carry to her grave. Alice lands under Trevor’s radar as one from the society who slighted his sister. His vengeance on her is swift, the revenge he takes on her forcing her hand into marrying him one that should have brought satisfaction to his heart. However, Trevor becomes a victim to his own plan, falling for a woman of the society, something he scorns with his very being.
Lions and Lace is a novel that provides a ton of angst. Trevor is ruthless in his revenge and seemingly doesn’t care much about the pain he causes along the way. I think the fact that the author didn’t provide much in the story from Trevor’s point of view seemed to double the angst factor which I absolutely loved. Instead, the reader has to look for clues of his torment from his actions, the way his facial expressions tended to change and of course the volatile desire that courses through Trevor whenever his wife comes into the picture. He hates the very thing that his wife represents, his bitterness about his past refusing to let him move beyond that and see his wife for who she really is, and yet he can’t help but want to possess her for himself in every single way.
Alice turned out to be a heroine who got on my nerves in the first half of the story and later on redeemed herself through her actions. From the firm grip Alice seemed to have on her emotions and what she wanted for her life, I thought that Alice would prove to be a worthy opponent where Trevor was concerned. But every time Trevor said something cruel, all Alice could seem to do was wring her hands in despair and run off crying. I wanted her to buck up and deal, to make Trevor realize the error of his ways and practically storm through his heart leaving nothing to chance. And eventually, Alice does get there and that is where I decided to forgive her and consider her worthy of the fall that Trevor would take from his pedestal.
There was a thread of a secondary romance inserted in the story, in the middle of nowhere I would have to say, and I didn’t overly care much for it. I wanted Trevor and Alice’s relationship to be the core aspect of the story. Trevor’s control was one I wanted to be shattered so badly that when it did come, it did deliver on the fronts that I wanted it to. And ladies, prepare yourselves for one of the best declarations of love by a hero of this type; it did make tears spring to my eyes and that rarely happens.
If you like your heroes ruthless and I mean really ruthless, Lions and Lace is a story worth digging into. I would recommend it if you can get past the first couple of chapters where the heroine could get on your nerves, but in the end gives in beautifully.
Final Verdict: Trevor Byrne Sheridan; slow down my galloping heart.
In the years to come she would always remember her first sight of Trevor Byrne Sheridan. He stood in silhouette. She was not privy to the details of his face, but he left a deep and lasting impression on her. He held a walking stick, an unusual accoutrement for such a tall, muscular form. His straight, formal figure was pleasing, yet his stance left her feeling as if a frigid wind had just passed through her heart. He crossed his arms and tipped his head back to look down at her as she almost knelt on the wet marble stairway, and in the shadows he looked every bit as cold, dark, and forbidding as the night that mercilessly pelted her with rain. And she knew then, with a truth that pierced her very soul, that the devil before her now was sure to be worse than the one who had just left her behind.
“I am human,” she whispered. “If you just looked close enough.”
“I want to.” His breath feathered against her forehead. “I swear I want to.”
His mouth found hers in the moment she realized she’d yet to let go of his arm. He kissed her, offering damnation and salvation in one eloquent motion. She wanted to pull back, but something stronger—his arm, she thought— pushed her farther into his embrace until she was wrapped in his warmth and strength.
He lifted his head, and his mouth again captured hers, creating more heat between her thighs. The pleasure he gave her was like a band of rubber being pulled until it snapped and she fell, twisting in the air until he caught her, his hand beneath her hips to hold her closer, to make her pleasure complete.
“Trevor,” she moaned, chanting his name in surrender.
It drove him over the edge. He seized her and bit out the word, “Jeysus,” then fell against her, sated.
His tongue, hot and strong, thrust again and again into her needful mouth, a wild accompaniment to the thrum of the shower. Demandingly, he cupped her breast, his palm brushing the steam droplets that clung to her nipples like diamonds. He flicked open the buttons to his trousers.
She was hardly aware of what he did next. Her only sensation seemed to be his mouth on hers and the overriding instinct that he wanted her, ferociously.
She shook her head and said again to that unyielding back, “Do you love me?”
“I’ve never been in love before. I don’t know what being in love is like.”
“I’m asking you. Do you love me?” Her voice caught with unshed tears.
He paused as if thinking through each word. “I’ve nothing to compare it to, but if love is obsession, if love can be so powerful it overtakes a man’s reason and his will, if love is the feeling that one would rather die than live only to grieve its loss—” He turned, and she could see the desolation on his face. In one sweet rough whisper, he said, “Then yes, I love you, Alana. I’m doomed to love you. I’ll always love you.”