Loretta Chase's THE LION'S DAUGHTER drove me to the brink of swearing off all romance stories altogether. It also goes to show you that different isn't always good or necessarily enjoyable. I've created a new score (zero) specifically for such terrible novels such as these. I'm shocked I finished THE LION'S DAUGHTER. THE LION'S DAUGHTER drums out a child-girl's insecurities over her appearance while highlighting a dissolute rakehell's god-like appearance. In fact, many of the male characters admire the hero's god-like appearance, and we as readers are supposed to be heartened by a 28 year-old god-like libertine falling for a child (both in appearance and personality) a decade his junior. While this is common during the medieval ages, I found it jarring during the regency time period, especially considering the heroine's child-like appearance. I think we're supposed to laugh at the child-girl's constant bickering and snide, superior attitude towards everyone and especially the profligate hero (throughout). Predictably, everyone in the novel encourages the child-girl's superior, bickering attitude as though it's the new fad, like it's "in" to be superior, spit out scathing words 24/7, and lack an ounce of a desirable appearance. Someone needed to shut up this child-girl more than even Henley's Eleanor from THE DRAGON AND THE JEWEL. The rakehell hero was little more than a handsome puppy dog for the child-girl to cuddle with and service the child-girl's "passion" at her becking call.
Let's just say I didn't find any of this entertaining and the fact that I'm wasting time writing about this novel even more odious.
The plot was different for a regency romance. Not better different though. Taking place mostly in Albania, it tells of an Englishman dubbed the Red Lion and his 18 year-old child-like daughter's plight for revenge after learning her father was murdered. My gawd, the plot was bad, I think similar to the child heroine, there's only one way to describe it: an inchoate cesspool. There's supposed to be intrigue and adventure but it consisted mostly of adolescent conversations and vacuous thoughts. Oh and by the way, there's no settings, and the prose was bad, bad, bad.
I wouldn't read it for the romance or the sensual scenes either. They're on the same base level of quality as the plot, settings and characterizations.
The Story (briefly).
THE LION'S DAUGHTER attempts to impart a plot of intrigue. The Red Lion Jason Brentmor stages his own death so the villain in the book (Ismal) would not go abduct his daughter and consequently tie the Red Lion's hands. Ismal goes after the child heroine anyway. The hero Varian St. George -- widely known as a wastrel, profligate and rake -- arrives on the scene with Esme's cousin (don't ask). Varian sees the 18 year-old Esme and mistakes her for her 12 year-old cousin (both are similar in outward features) and manages to almost get himself killed attempting to save Esme from Ismal's goons. Ismal's goons capture Esme's cousin Percival instead.
Esme acts all high-and-mighty with Varian nursing him back to health, exploiting any opportunity to give him a good drubbing. Varian finds he's attracted to the child and can't keep his hands off her (eeww?). I found myself cringing.
Everyone (including the villain Ismal) gets captured by the Albanian ruler Ali and the convoluted plot splinters into a thousand pieces at Ali's court. Mostly weak dialogue comprises the majority of the novel accompanied by repeated references to how Esme is comparable to two warriors.
Oh the Red Lion's brother (Esme's cousin Percival's father) is corroborating with the villain Ismal, and there's a very valuable chess piece loose (the Queen). There's also Esme running away, Varian chasing after her and getting himself killed again (drowning). Uhm, Esme and Varian go at it (EEWW!), they marry, they return to England like nothing ever happened in Albania, Varian tries to rebuild his estate so long in disrepair, he chances on a magical inheritance negating his debts, Ismal follows Esme & Co. to England, there's a fight at the end.
Just trying to forget it all now. Please, if you have any respect for yourselves and sanity, avoid this one.