Friday, December 14, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of LYON'S BRIDE, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell

A few weeks back, I started a discussion about series and gave away three copies of LYON'S BRIDE, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell provided to me, by Avon Romance, as an Avon Addict. I hadn't read it yet but since I've got a special posting coming up on Monday for the AVON ADDICT BLOG HOP featuring the next book in the Chattan Curse series, THE SCOTTISH WITCH, I thought I should read this one first. I saved one of the copies just for that purpose. I'll be parting with it in the next giveaway but more on that another time.

***Print copy supplied by publisher for reading, my choice to review and as always it will be honest and unscripted.

Blurb for LYON'S BRIDE:

"When a Chattan male falls in love, strike his heart with fire from above..."

They call him Lord Lyon, proud, determined-- and cursed. He is in need of a bride, but if he falls in love, he dies. His fervent hope is that by marrying-- and having a son--without love, perhaps he can break the curse's chains forever.

Enter beautiful Thea Martin--a duke's headstrong, errant daughter and society's most brilliant matchmaker. Years ago, she and Lyon were inseparable, until he disappeared from her life without a word. Now she is charged with finding Lyon's bride--a woman he cannot love for a man Thea could love too well.

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Thea Martin is a widow with two sons to provide for and who has been cut off by her family because they didn't approve of her marriage. She has turned to working as a matchmaker.  She's got quite a knack for it and because of her success has been summoned to aid an old friend. When she learns the circumstances of the man's need for a wife he will not ever love, she is quite disbelieving as to the reason.

Neal Chattan, Lord Lyon needs a wife, not a bride, not a lover - simply a wife. One he hopes to never find desirable enough to fall in love with but one who will merely suffice as a spouse and bear him children. Why would a man wish for such a thing? When a man believes he is cursed by an ancient old witch whose daughter was slighted and left broken hearted by a Chattan ancestor, he will do anything to survive. His own father had survived and was the first Chattan in centuries to sire more than one child only because he had no love for their mother. However, after his unloved wife died, he fell madly in love and quickly died. No Chattan can fall in love without suffering the consequences of the curse set upon them by the witch, Fenella of the Macnachtan.

Thea and Neal have a past together. As teens, they were heading toward a true love. Then Neal was warned by his father that any such relationship will only end in tragedy. Neal tore himself away from Thea, Neal set himself against marriage and Thea married for what she thought was love. They had parted ways, thinking to never reconnect until one fateful day when they found themselves together in a solicitor's office. Their feelings for each other had not waned and were quickly reignited.

LYON'S BRIDE by Cathy Maxwell is a good read. Is it a great read? I don't think so but it's the beginning of what appears to be a very intriguing series. Having already read the second book in this series which I will review on Monday, I can tell you without a doubt that this one, LYON'S BRIDE, is a must read if you wish to have an understanding of what is happening in the second book.

As a second chance romance, LYON'S BRIDE works very well. More importantly, it lends itself very well to setting the stage for what's to come in the next two books. This is definitely a trilogy that must be read in order to both understand the current story and the fight to end the curse that's been laid upon the Chattan family. By reading this story first, you learn some of the tale of the unfortunate suicide of Rose, the daughter of Fenella - the witch who cursed the Chattans.

Cathy Maxwell has set the stage for a mystery that will carry us through to the end of the third book and hopefully provide us with a Happily Ever After for Neal and Thea and Neal's siblings, Harry and Margaret. For if the curse is not ended, Neal will surely die followed by Harry and Margaret, if they fall in love as well. I found Neal a bit stuffy at first, but thankfully, Thea brings out the best in him and you can't help but pray that the curse will be lifted. Harry, Neal's brother, is the charmer and thankfully, the hero of book two. Whereas all three siblings had decided never to fall in love, so that hopefully the curse would end with them, you know that just isn't going to happen in romance novels.

I have to recommend LYON'S BRIDE by Cathy Maxwell not because it's a really wonderful romance, it was a good read, but rather because if you wish to enjoy what comes next, you definitely need to read this one. This is definitely a continuous series and we won't see any real HEAs until the series concludes. Come back on Monday and I'll tell you why!

Happy Reading Everyone!!

LYON'S BRIDE, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.


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