The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long
Series: Pennyroyal Green #11
Also in this series: Like No Other Lover, I Kissed an Earl, What I Did For a Duke with Bonus Material, How the Marquess Was Won, It Happened One Midnight
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
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Bound by centuries of bad blood, England's two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility . . . until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.
An Enduring Legend
Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond's heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount's proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade . . . and wagers on the return of an heir.
An Eternal Love
It was instant and irresistible, forbidden . . . and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it's time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families apart . . . or the stuff of which legends are made.
The Redmonds and Everseas have been rivals as far back as anyone can remember (it’s rumored one killed the other in 1605 over a stolen pig..or something…and that started the feud). When Lyon Redmond sees Olivia Eversea at a ball, he’s immediately draw to her, despite knowing his family’s history with hers. They can’t stay away from each other. ..until the night she betrayed him and forced him to leave.
For five years, Lyon hasn’t been seen nor heard from and Olivia decides it’s time to move on with her life, so she accepts the proposal of Viscount Lansdowne. She doesn’t love him…yet. But they have a strong affection for each other and she knows he’ll be easy. If she still isn’t quite over Lyon Redmond, well…no one has to know.
Lyon knows he and Olivia have unfinished business, so he engineers it so they have a week together. But this time he’s not going to bend to her. It’s time Olivia fought for him…for them.
I was worried this book wouldn’t live up to all the hype. Especially since their story was drug out over the course of the entire series. I’m happy to report I really enjoyed the book.
Lyon and Olivia’s story is told in alternating past and present chapters, so their story – both past and current – is revealed slowly. Their situation has never been black or white, but rather several shades of gray, some lovely and light, others dark and barren. Their love for one another came across easily, but both felt betrayed by the other, and letting go of those feelings was the true struggle.
Throughout the series, I’ve had the hardest time with Olivia. She seemed haughty and put on an air of being too good for others. That may not have been the case, but that’s what I took away from her actions in previous books. When we saw a bit of the situation from Lyon’s point of view in I Kissed An Earl, my negative feelings for Olivia solidified into outright dislike. Yet Olivia won me over and I was really pulling for her and Lyon. She ended up being a complex character who had many layers.
In the years since Lyon left, Olivia has lived in a suspended state, alternately praying for his return and cursing him for leaving. She finally realizes he isn’t coming back and decides to move forward with her life.
Which is, of course, when Lyon decides to kidnap her and take her aboard his ship. He’s spent his time away from Olivia alternately hating her and trying to become the man she expected him to be. But he can’t move on until they resolve what’s between them, and he doesn’t believe she can either. She nearly broke him when she sent him away from her the first time, but he realizes she’s worth fighting for..as long as she’s willing to fight as well.
At the heart of this story is Lyon’s determination to force Olivia to face her fears about them and the future.
“I believed you saw something fatal and irredeemable in me, and I quite simply couldn’t bear it, Olivia. Now I know that you were just a coward. It really wasn’t more complicated than that.”
Olivia could have been too much, but her quick acceptance of her part of the blame for their separation redeemed her.
All the rumors and legends were right.
She had broken his heart.
And in so doing, she had willfully, perhaps permanently, broken her own.
And everyone else’s who loved him.
All because she’d been too afraid to fight for him.
That’s not to say Lyon was completely blameless. When Olivia calls him out for leaving and not coming back, my heart nearly broke. For all her outward dismissal of his absence, her sense of abandonment and feelings of betrayal were almost palpable.
For all that, I believe their breakup and subsequent separation allowed them both to grow into the people they needed to be for their relationship to truly work. Both needed to grow up a bit, and accept their faults as well as develop their potential. Lyon especially needed to be out from under his father’s thumb.
I did become frustrated with Olivia at the end. I’m not sure why it took her so long – or, more to the point, why she let it go as far as it did – before she ceded to the inevitable. I was literally cursing her at the end. Yet I can’t deny the final resolution worked for me in a big way.
The epilogue was strange and I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. Is it the start of something new, or just a way for the author to end the series? I’ll be interested to see what happens with that.
This was a lovely tale, both heart-wrenching and exciting. Long excels at writing complex, beautiful stories and The Legend of Lyon Redmond was no exception. Despite their trials and tribulations, their story could have ended in no other way.
At the quiet heart of the storm of sparks around them was a strange, peaceful certainty. This person was meant for me.
4.5 out of 5