The Lion's Lady - Julie Garwood, Susan Duerden Knife attributed to Crazy Horse*; on display at crazyhorsememorial.org


★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! Susan Duerden does a wonderful job of narrating this one. Her voices are spot-on, especially her despicable Aunt Patricia. Her pacing is good, her male voices are more than acceptable, I liked her accents and inflections, and she sounds interested in the story. (Always a plus!)

Surprisingly, my least favorite voice was Christina’s, the heroine’s, making her sound – I thought at first – a bit too young. While I loved her toddler-Christina declaring, “My Eagle!,” I had to step-back and think about how she does her as a young lady. I didn't realize how much Christina switched dispositions, flying off the handle at Lyon, the hero, or starts crying. However, Christina - at 18 - is young; alas, honestly, Ms. Duerden delivered her multiple moods and tones suitably, too.

Being a big [a:Julie Garwood|6251|Julie Garwood|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1242648390p2/6251.jpg] fan, I just have to re-read one of her Historical Romances every once in a while. I say “re-read” because she has gone on to Contemporary and Romantic Suspense. Luckily, some of her older Historical Romances are coming out on audio now.

[b:The Lion's Lady|107783|The Lion's Lady (Crown's Spies, #1)|Julie Garwood|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348750925s/107783.jpg|3245791] spans from an Indian encampment in the early American West to the ballrooms of Regency England where Princess Christina finds Lyon, the Marquis of Lyonwood, her destiny and her warrior. There is a lot of humor and fun in this novel à la Garwood, as Christina is a charming fish-out-of-water.

Nevertheless, it is equally a good mystery, with the right amount of suspense for a Historical Romance novel. Each chapter starts with another snippet from Christina’s mother’s journal, which reveals more of why she fled her country while pregnant with Christina.

This is a novel filled with memorable secondary characters. Of course, there is the malicious, machinating Aunt Patrica – a woman I love to hate. Other brilliant secondary characters are Lyon’s best-friend, Rhone, who comes with his own little mystery, and Lyon’s naive – and oblivious – younger sister, Diana, who gushes awkwardly over the newly arrived Princess, and worries over what she’ll do with her grief-stricken mother. I also enjoyed the unsavory cutthroats in Bleak Bryan’s tavern, who become bespelled with the fiercely independent Princess.

Still, if you want to read my favorite scene in the book, look at my review of the paperback edition here. Ms. Duerden does a delicious Elbert, too, which elevates this hilarious scene between perplexed master, Christina’s ancient servant, and Lyon’s young butler, Brown. LOL!

I highly recommend this audiobook. All in all a GoodRead – or listen!

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*Crazy Horse was NOT depicted in this novel; however, he was from the Dakota area, which is where Christina was raised. I thought her knife, which played such a major role in the story, could have looked like this one.

From Wiki: Crazy Horse, literally “His-Horse-Is-Crazy” or “His-Horse-Is-Spirited,” was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S. Federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876.