I honestly can’t remember the last time I so eagerly anticipated an historical romance as I did this one. Julie Anne Long artfully crafted the romance between Lyon Redmond and Olivia Eversea so well, that I would get excited by just the mention of them in the 10 books that led to this point. Not only is theirs the ultimate forbidden romance, it’s also a tragedy. And a mystery. Long has built almost impossibly high expectations for their story, and I am happy to report, she completely delivers in every way.
Before I say too much, I have to give props to the Avon art department on the cover of the book. It completely conveys the emotion of the story, the exaltation of this reunion.
The story, itself, jumps back and forth between the present and the past. For the first time, we actually see Lyon and Olivia together. We watch them meet. Fall in love. And we see finally what tore them apart. There is so much emotion there, and it’s even more apparent when juxtaposed to Olivia’s current relationship with her fiance. She likes him, respects him, but there’s no fire.
I really liked seeing the difference between the Lyon of the past and the Lyon of today. As we know, he is aware of Olivia’s pending marriage and obviously, that brings about their reunion. I won’t spoil the particulars, but when these two finally reunite, the emotion is totally palpable. I felt so many things from both characters. Anger. Hurt. Desire. Fear. And so much love. Again, those flashbacks provide great perspective, especially when you see the different choices they make the second time around.
The huge cast of characters built over the course of the series play a part here. They all tie in, but the biggest key player is Lyon’s father. What an interesting character he is. I don’t know whether to hate him or pity him and there is still so much we don’t know about his past with Olivia’s mother. It’s fascinating reading, though. Long does a great job showing us why her characters are the way they are; not just Isaiah Redmond, but Lyon and Olivia too. I could see and understand what brought them to this place –and even more so, why they needed to end up together.
Then there is the epilogue. It’s so disjointed and dissatisfying after such an amazing book before it. Not only did it feel like it was out of left field, it felt like a giant info dump of people and facts that I felt totally overwhelmed. Maybe if I could see that family tree they kept referencing, it would have helped me keep things straight. But as it was, I wish Long would have gone a more traditional route here –or had no epilogue as well. After all, Lyon and Olivia’s story gave me everything I needed or wanted in a series finale.
A truly fantastic romance.
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Legend of Lyon Redmond
by Julie Anne Long
Release Date: September 29, 2015