The Legend of Lyon Redmond
By Julie Anne Long
Release Date: September 29, 2015
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.
For the past five years the residents of Pennyroyal Green have speculated about the reasons behind Lyon Redmond's sudden and unexplained departure from their village. Prevailing opinion is that a broken heart drove him away, the heart breaker, of course, being Olivia Eversea but she's not talking and nobody has seen or heard from Lyon in all that time. Until now.
For the past five years, Olivia Eversea has spurned every potential suitor, her heart belonging only to Lyon Redmond, oldest son and heir to the powerful Redmond family, enemy of the Everseas. Most of the suitors gave up when she showed no interest but not Lord Landsdowne. He persisted until Olivia finally acknowledged the fact that he wasn't going away, Lyon wasn't coming back and she wasn't getting any younger. Did she love him? No, she didn't, but she liked him and hoped that one day love might come even if it would never be the same kind of love she shared with Lyon.
It was the first week of February when Lyon Redmond received the message. She's getting married on the second Saturday in May. Of course, he knew who the "she" was. Was she happy? Was she in love? Had he waited too long? Was everything he'd done over the past five years for naught? There was only one way to find out. Lyon Redmond was returning to England and a reckoning with Olivia Eversea.
Throughout the Pennyroyal Green series, we've been teased with bits and pieces of Lyon and Olivia's relationship but, until now, only three people have known what really happened between these two: Lyon, Olivia and their creator, Julie Anne Long. The rest of us have been waiting a long time, almost eight years in some cases, for this story to be told. When a book is as highly anticipated as this one has been, for that many years, expectations are very high which means the possibility of disappointment is high as well. Unless we're talking about The Legend of Lyon Redmond. This book not only met my expectations, it blew them straight out of the water.
The book opens three months before Olivia's wedding when Lyon has been gone for five years. As the story progresses toward the wedding in "real" time, the story of Olivia and Lyon is told in flashbacks, beginning with their first meeting at the Sussex Christmas Eve Assembly five years earlier.
He wove through the crowd, leaving a little wake of turned heads. He might have even smiled and nodded appropriately, for such was his breeding, and such were his reflexes. Feminine hearts lifted and then broke as he passed.
Olivia lifted her head abruptly when he'd nearly reached her, as if she'd heard that gong. Her eyes flared for an instant.
And then she smiled.
But with absolutely no curiosity or surprise.
More as though she'd been expecting him.
That smile...it was like walking through a door into a world he'd never suspected existed. He understood, all at once, the word "joy," and why it was so small, just three letters. It was as simple and profound as a sudden flame in the dark.
For a moment or for a year, they stood silent and smiling like loobies, as if they'd already said everything they were ever going to say to each other, perhaps in some other lifetime.
No one else existed.
And yet later they were to discover that dozens were watching all of this via sidelong glances and outright stares and stricken glares.
"Of course," she said, finally, softly.
Julie Anne Long is, in my opinion, one of the best authors in the business and this book, again in my opinion, is her best work. Her writing is exquisite, with words that reached into my heart, eliciting every emotion. Her words paint vibrant pictures...of emotions, exotic locales, soul-deep desire, and a love for the ages. Reading this story, I ached for Lyon and Olivia. I felt their joy, their disappointment, their fear, the sizzle that snaps between them, their strength and their vulnerability. I could fill pages with quotes, passages, everything I love about this book - and there are many, many things - but I want every reader to travel this journey with Lyon and Olivia as I did; by slowly unveiling each twist and turn, every word, phrase, passage and page, and savoring it all.
Like a beautiful symphony, The Legend of Lyon Redmond hits every note perfectly, creating a masterpiece that brought me to tears and filled my heart with joy. It's my favorite book of 2015. Years from now, when people are asked to list their all-time favorite books, I fully expect Lyon and Olivia's enduring love story to be among those at the top. It really is that good.