Read Lions and Lace by Meagan McKinney Online


SHE PLAYED BY HIGH SOCIETY'S RULESThe gaslight's glow lit Alana Van Alen's golden hair. Born to luxury, she belonged with the Astors and the Vanderbilts at cotillions and soirees. But she shivered with fear and something more as she faced the handsome, ruthless Trevor Sheridan. He had bankrupted her fortune and would expose her family's scandalous secret unless she accepteSHE PLAYED BY HIGH SOCIETY'S RULESThe gaslight's glow lit Alana Van Alen's golden hair. Born to luxury, she belonged with the Astors and the Vanderbilts at cotillions and soirees. But she shivered with fear and something more as she faced the handsome, ruthless Trevor Sheridan. He had bankrupted her fortune and would expose her family's scandalous secret unless she accepted his outrageous offer, his emotional blackmail ... his heart-stopping kiss.HE BROKE THEM ALLBorn Irish, brought up in the streets, Trevor "the Predator" Sheridan learned early how to get the wealth and the women he wanted. An expert at games of power, he played one that would destroy every famous family who had snubbed him. Tricking the beautiful Alana was his trump card. But he never intended to want her ... until her beauty and her resolve stole his breath away.NOW THEIR DESIRES SWEPT THEM TOWARD RAPTURE ... OR RUIN...

Title : Lions and Lace
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440212300
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 417 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lions and Lace Reviews

  • Bubu
    2019-04-21 14:54

    Lions and Lace was one of the first HR's I read over 20 (!) years ago. This was long before Connie Brockway, Lisa Kleypas and Loretta Chase started setting a new tone in the romance genre, or at least long before they got the recognition they deserved. Although not literally a bodice ripper, I’d still label it as such, purely on the grounds that it shows very similar characteristics to bodice ripper characters. Mainly, a constantly scowling, frowning, huffing and puffing hero, a damsel in distress, and lots and lots and lots of miscommunication, or rather non-communication.Reading it again was like meeting an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. Familiar, and yet strangely awkward as in ‘Did we really use to spend so much time together? We are so different’, only to realise that I’d simply changed a lot. However, I settled in quickly and just enjoyed the ride. A blast from the past. That being said, it’s funny how the change of perspective made for a completely different journey.This book should be read from two different angles. One is the romance, the other the historical background. To simply call it historical background, however, would be unfair and belittle the love and care the author poured into the details she provided. The setting, the Gilded Age, acts almost like a secondary character here. The elaborate descriptions of ball rooms, gowns, houses that usually bore the hell out of me after a while (yep, I’m a skimmer!) create an atmosphere that is vital to the story. It’s difficult to explain but I’ll try. The main characters, Alana and Trevor, are very much products of their time, their biographies firmly created by the society they grew up and live in, and as such the details mirror their personalities. All these grand houses, gowns, the Knickerbockers etc. are part of who, or rather what they are. And, like the icing on the cake, we also get a glimpse into the lives of the Captains of Industry, those who marked the days of Industrial Revolution and Capitalism, and into the lives of those who were born on the wrong side of the track, here the Irish immigrants. All in all, the author created a vivid picture of a time that changed the social order forever and which, in comparison, I find much more interesting than the constantly re-occurring Regency period.Now to the romance. This is as much a marriage-of-convenience story as it is a from-enemies-to-lovers story, and the conflict can be boiled down to non-communication and constant distrust. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible.Oh the drama, the angst, the misunderstandings. It’s all in there. There’s a moment that illustrates them perfectly: They both seemed to fear words. Words were always the villain between them. They said too much, then not enough. Alana and Trevor have an incredibly antagonistic relationship with each other, and I must admit, I found myself annoyed enough to almost huff and puff like the H. Most of the resentment this couple nurtures, is created by Trevor’s inability to listen to Alana. On the other side, we have Alana who swings from being an Ice Princess to Crying Mess and back to Ice Princess with a speed that nearly gave me a whiplash. Funny thing is, when they first meet, she could have probably stopped everything by revealing her true motivation. Seeing how devoted Trevor is to his own sister, hearing her sister’s plight might have just melted his heart long enough to let her off the hook. But that’s only my assumption. It might or might not have happened. Obviously, it would have made for a whole different story. Looking at them, I know their romance could not be written like this today. And for a good reason, it’s simply too much.On the other side though, if I go back to the brilliant setup of the Era and its restrictions, I can see where both Trevor and Alana are coming from. Trevor, an Irish immigrant, who had to watch his mother turn to prostitution to support her family and then die in child birth, has put all this rage into the single-minded pursuit of becoming rich - close to the concept of Pursuit of Happiness that is associated with the Immigration history of the U.S. – and succeeded. The only thing missing? The entrée into the highest echelons of society, the Knickerbockers, the Four Hundred. He isn’t too fussed about them, in fact, he despises them, but they are everything to his sixteen-year-old sister Mara, and for Mara he is willing to endure them. Alana, the crown jewel of the Knickerbockers, symbolises everything he hates about these people. That Alana doesn’t act like them, doesn’t want to be part of them, is something Trevor has to learn over the time. Problem is, I understand why he is so full of rage, but I don’t like the fact that he takes it out on Alana.Alana…Ah, Alana. She’s a bit of a martyr and much harder to grasp in her personality. But then, how much wriggle room did a woman of her time in her situation really have. Nowadays, we would read about heroines who easily flaunt Society’s regulations and we would have a strong-willed, independent Alana. We would also have a more understanding H who would gradually accept her. But how accurate is it really? How much of these concepts cater towards our 21st Century delicate gender expectations? Could we nowadays accept the following situation where Trevor demands his marital rights and says: “You’re my wife, Alana, my legal wife, wed in the Catholic Church. I’ve rights. Go into my room, or I’ll get a policeman off the avenue to drag you in there.” That’s what a marriage was, in a nutshell. The wife was her husband’s property. See the dilemma? Whilst part of me appreciates the author’s attempts at historical accuracy, the feminist in me is howling in protest.Now that I have expressed my conflicting feelings in regards to Alana and Trevor, I can also point out that they do have tender moments. Alas, it’s one step forward, two steps back with them. The ending, though, oh the ending! Full on drama with a letter that had me in tears when I was a teenager, and still made me smile 20 years later. This book is well worth reading, but don't expect anything fluffy, nor an understanding H or a pro-active heroine. What you will get is a book rich in atmosphere.On a side note, this book is 417 pages long and is in comparison to the current HRs 100 pages longer. I’d love them to be a little longer and take their time building up an atmosphere according to the historical background used. What a difference it makes can be read in Lions and Lace.

  • Summer
    2019-04-13 12:56

    Lions and Lace is a dark and emotional romance novel. Its has it all.. innocence, betrayal, love, confusion and lust. Trevor Sheridan, the Hero is a dark brooding and unforgivable character bent upon seeking revenge for his sister Mara. Nothing and no-one will stand in his way. When he meets the New York socialite Alana Van Alen, he blackmails her and uses her to take revenge on the Knickerbockers of the NY elite. Alana is a sweet and vunerable character and the way Trevor uses her is difficult and emotional to read. You find yourself rooting for Alana and wishing closure on the pain. However it is through their hurt and mutual pain that they grow closer together and Alana falls in love with Trevor. On the other hand Trevor is the last to admit his feeling for Alana which is really frustrating. This book is an emotional roller coaster and not a light hearted sweet romance. For me the 'sizzle-factor' between the two was missing and that's mainly because Trevor is a really cold character. However Meagan McKinney is such an accomplished author that she did a great job portraying all.. innocence, betrayal, love, confusion and lust.

  • KatieV
    2019-04-12 14:06

    Do you like those Harlequin Presents novels with the fabulously wealthy, older hero who is out to avenge a wrong done to his sister and happens to blackmail the innocent heroine into marriage as part of his revenge plot? Well, you'll love this. This is all that and more. Plus it is set in an interesting historical setting (late 1800's New York) and with much more depth and emotion than can be achieved in a ~200 page Hqn. The H's poor sister, Mara. I cried for her. I can imagine what it would be like to be 16 and crushed the way she was by snooty NY society. Her brother setup an elaborate coming out ball for her and she was so excited and adorable. But, NO ONE showed because they were Irish. I was feeling angry and vengeful too. If someone hurt one of my nieces in that way, I'd be out for blood. That scene was so sad.Of course, the H picks the one woman who actually was going to attend the ball to take his vengeance out on. Actually he financially ruins all the families who didn't attend, but he forces Alana to marry him because he thinks she'll give him enough social acceptance to secure a good marriage for Mara. And he was right. This was one shallow society with nothing better to do than care about people's "pedigree". Alana tried to tell him she was going to attend the ball if it weren't for her evil uncle locking her up to keep her from causing a scandal. He didn't believe her, because in his own way he was as big a snob as the Knickerbockers. The guy had a HUGE chip on his shoulder and he was so frustrating at times always saying the worst thing at the worst possible moment. Part of me would like to remove 1/2 a star for his drawn out BS at the end. But,hey,nothing is perfect and this was a great angsty read with a great heroine who was strong, sensible, and not TSTL.Very much recommended.

  • MBR
    2019-04-15 14:48

    My search for romances that feature ruthless heroes is an endless one. A time consuming one at that too. Some might call these heroes the uber alpha heroes. Or some just call them anti-heroes; you love them and hate them in equal doses. And some call them gamma heroes too because they go beyond the boundaries that define who an alpha hero is.Authors of today who write such heroes have become far and few in between. Anne Stuart is my go to author for such heroes. Sandra Brown and Linda Howard are authors who have pushed that boundary time and yet again in some of their novels. For the most part, these type of heroes aren’t well received by almost half of the romance reading population today. With the change of times, with the feminist movement rising above, readers no longer like the heroes who are tad on the wild side, those who don’t conform to their definition of what a hero should constitute of and if you ask me, its such a damn shame.So a whole lot of boredom and a whole lot of internet searches later, I came across a website that had a list of books that features ruthless heroes. Now mind you, some readers define a hero as ruthless a tad differently to how I tend to define them. Luckily, this reader tended to veer towards my tastes and alas, I found myself with a couple of books I haven’t already read, that feature the heroes of the variety that I deem as ruthless but those with just that hint of redeemable quality that makes me fall like a ton of bricks for them every single time.Lions and Lace features such a hero. Trevor Byrne Sheridan, the Wall Street wonder who rose to the top with basically nothing to his name, is Irish, and persona non grata where society is concerned. A chip on his shoulder a mountain wide, Trevor remembers the slights, the mockery and the laughter behind his back though he is equally revered by the men for the power and wealth he amasses day in and day out. The tipping point comes when society refuses to turn up at his younger sister Mara’s debut. People say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, well let me tell you, they haven’t had their dose of Trevor just yet.Alice Diana Van Alen lives under the thumb of her uncle, her finances tied up under his name after the tragic death of her parents. Alice holds the secret of her younger sister close to her heart, a secret she is determined to carry to her grave. Alice lands under Trevor’s radar as one from the society who slighted his sister. His vengeance on her is swift, the revenge he takes on her forcing her hand into marrying him one that should have brought satisfaction to his heart. However, Trevor becomes a victim to his own plan, falling for a woman of the society, something he scorns with his very being.Lions and Lace is a novel that provides a ton of angst. Trevor is ruthless in his revenge and seemingly doesn’t care much about the pain he causes along the way. I think the fact that the author didn’t provide much in the story from Trevor’s point of view seemed to double the angst factor which I absolutely loved. Instead, the reader has to look for clues of his torment from his actions, the way his facial expressions tended to change and of course the volatile desire that courses through Trevor whenever his wife comes into the picture. He hates the very thing that his wife represents, his bitterness about his past refusing to let him move beyond that and see his wife for who she really is, and yet he can’t help but want to possess her for himself in every single way.Alice turned out to be a heroine who got on my nerves in the first half of the story and later on redeemed herself through her actions. From the firm grip Alice seemed to have on her emotions and what she wanted for her life, I thought that Alice would prove to be a worthy opponent where Trevor was concerned. But every time Trevor said something cruel, all Alice could seem to do was wring her hands in despair and run off crying. I wanted her to buck up and deal, to make Trevor realize the error of his ways and practically storm through his heart leaving nothing to chance. And eventually, Alice does get there and that is where I decided to forgive her and consider her worthy of the fall that Trevor would take from his pedestal.There was a thread of a secondary romance inserted in the story, in the middle of nowhere I would have to say, and I didn’t overly care much for it. I wanted Trevor and Alice’s relationship to be the core aspect of the story. Trevor’s control was one I wanted to be shattered so badly that when it did come, it did deliver on the fronts that I wanted it to. And ladies, prepare yourselves for one of the best declarations of love by a hero of this type; it did make tears spring to my eyes and that rarely happens.If you like your heroes ruthless and I mean really ruthless, Lions and Lace is a story worth digging into. I would recommend it if you can get past the first couple of chapters where the heroine could get on your nerves, but in the end gives in beautifully. Rating = 4/5 For more reviews & quotes,

  • Dee
    2019-04-05 15:02

    I finished this book in about a day. It was a good read but I had to give it 3 stars because...1) Trevor and Alana didn't get along for pretty much the entire book which was frustrating.2) I wanted Didier to suffer (maybe in the next book about Christal, he will?) 3) After the hero and heroine argued for pretty much the entire book, the payoff just waan't big enough at the end. I didn't consider the note and the little declaration Trevor made to Alana to be sufficient. I did like this book, but it could have been better.

  • Jennifer Leighton
    2019-04-19 16:44

    I struggled with how to rate this book, but I've finally settled between 3 1/2 and 4 stars. It's very well written, it kept my interest, and it made me FEEL, but oh the pain and hurt and misunderstandings just didn't let up. My heart was twisted into knots the entire time. I love angst, but I'm discovering I love it most when balanced with a bit of happiness. In Lions and Lace there were no happy moments for the H/h until the VERY end of the book, followed by the short epilogue. I didn't like how the hero (view spoiler)[revealed his true feelings for the heroine in a letter. After all the hell he put her through he should have had the courage to say it to her face. As a reader I needed more, more of a satisfyingly happy ending after all the heartache. (hide spoiler)]I did enjoy the secondary romance story very sweet, and a breath of fresh air after the constant turmoil. And I did love the unique setting and time period as well.

  • Olga
    2019-04-24 12:57

    No había leído nada de eta autora y gracias a mi sis, me anime y la verdad es que me ha gustado tanto la historia como los personajes ( aunque la historia de eagan me ha parecido demasiado forzada y rápida )...La historia es muy bonita , llena de inseguridades y malos entendidos por parte de los dos pero he sentido la angustia de ella y la inseguridad y las ganas de proteger a su familia de el...Lo mejor es que nos deja con los dientes largos por saber de cristabel en el segundo libro .

  • Lyuda
    2019-04-22 20:09

    "Anger Management to the rescue!"roars the lion.After reading some fluffy and gentle stories I was in a mood for some angst. And let me tell you: There is an angst and there is an Angst. The book setting is New York Knickerbockers society of the late 19 century when people like Astors and Vanderbilt ruled and outsiders were frown upon, specially if they were Irish. Trevor Sheridan, self-made rich man was both feared for his ruthless dealings on the Wall street and despised by being Irish. The extend of the scorn was revealed when no one from the Knickerbockers society attended a debutante ball that Trevor through for his sister. And now he wanted a revenge. He would bankrupt the lot of them. One of the innocent victims of the fall out was Alana Van Alan. She was a blue blood of the society and actually planned to attend the ball but was prevented from doing so by her uncle. Seeing Alana, Trevor designed a plan. She would become his temporary wife, a ticket to the society which would be forced to accept his sister. Due to certain circumstances, Alana didn't have a choice but to accept Trevor's plan. The story was full of drama. The hero could really benefit from anger management. He marches in constant anger with perpetual scold on his face. The heroine seems to be either on the verge of tears or crying. 90% of the story depicted them either shouting at each other, being in some kind of disagreement or giving each other a cold shoulder. The secondary characters (Trevor's brother and sister) were very appealing and had their own love stories and HEAs. But these storylines were pretty superficial, underdeveloped and overshadowed by the main one. Well, I've got the angst alright!

  • Katharina
    2019-04-16 16:12

    I can't believe that I have never actually written a review of this book! It has been a month now since I have read the book and I clearly remember the storyline and the emotions the characters had to go through. This book really lingers in my mind and I almost feel like I should reread it already.This is a very well written HR with great and believable character development and overall characterization.The angst and the emotions felt very real and the plot development was steady and believable.That made it a very satisfactory read.This book basically had everything that I want when reading a historic romance and none of the elements that I do not want. The only thing that I was a bit unhappy with was that it could have done with a bit more elaboration at some stages of the novel. But that comes down to personal taste as the book was rather coherent the way it was and I doubt that more detail would have done much good for the plot and ultimately for the book in general.I think the fact that I still feel this strongly about the book is a good proof of how much I enjoyed it and how much I felt this book. It really is one of the few romances that really managed to capture me.

  • [Aengell]
    2019-04-06 17:00

    4.5 starsA great introduction to a new HR author I must try out again as soon as possible! The story is refreshing in its choice of setting - New York in the 1870's - and although the story line itself isn't a new formula in big wide Romance-Land, it was still an entertaining read. I won't say much to the plot, seeing that the premise of the story tells enough. It's a beautiful story with a very high angst-factor, very much drama and much, much mis-communication between the hero and heroine. The heroine, Alana, was not the most special heroine I encountered to this day, but she was likable and although she cried very often, it wasn't in the usual "crying-because-someone-says-something-not-friendly"-way. No, Alana really had quite a few sorrows and problems, so I didn't mind her emotional state most of the time. And I admire her for her love for her sister, which really got to me. The hero, Trevor Sheridan, was exactly how I like my heroes: cold, ruthless, unfeeling. He had a strong and fierce love for his family, meaning his siblings, and once again, I really adored him for that love. His sister Mara was so pity-worthy at the beginning, it nearly broke my heart and made me hate the society that existed back then. Which brings me to Trevor again, and what was a tiny little bit annoying: The fact that he and his family were outsiders among the high New York society, resulting in his ruthlessness and hatred towards them, but he tried so hard to "give it to them" and show them how he could fit in etc. It was indeed a little bit hypocritical and not very believable in my eyes. The secondary characters were great, especially Eagan and Mara, Trevor's siblings. The author brought two little side-stories about their characters and it was a delight to watch Mara fall in love in a sweet, 16-year-old way and Eagan changing his womanizing ways after encountering such a special scene with a mere maid. The pace wasn't to slow or too fast, I loved the author's narrating voice from the beginning because it was dark and emotional, with a few humorous undertones thrown in. A second little thing that bothered me: There was so much failed communication between Trevor and Alana, at some points I was becoming really desperate to read a sweet, tender, or just nice dialogue between them. I would have wished for them to overcome their stubbornness (I'm looking right at you, Trevor!) a little bit faster, so that I could have enjoyed more romantic and affectionate moments between them. "They both seemed to fear words. Words were always the villain between them."That quote describes the problem perfectly.Still, I strongly recommend this novel to everyone who loves Historical Romance, and especially an angsty, emotional and dramatic HR.

  • Misfit
    2019-04-21 20:53

    "Wall Street called him the Predator." Before discussing the book itself, I need to point out that the description on the back is very misleading. Please note that any plot developments mentioned in the following comments are from the very first chapters of the book. "He had bankrupted her fortune..." Ummm, yes and no. He did more or less bankrupt Alana (through her uncle who managed the money in trust after the death of her parents), but then Trevor did that to all the old-family New Yorkers who snubbed his sister by not attending her coming out party. Alana actually was going to attend, but she was locked up by her evil uncle."...and would expose her family's scandalous secret unless she accepted his outrageous offer, his emotional blackmail..." Yes, Alana has a big secret (her sister didn't die in the fire with their parents but is kept in an asylum), but Trevor didn't know this so it's not something he'd used against her. "Tricking the beautiful Alana was his trump card. But he never intended to want her ... until her beauty and her resolve stole his breath away." Ummm, no. Trevor had no particular plans for Alana and she wasn't singled out - her uncle was pissed at losing all that money and dumped Alana at Trevor's doorstep. That was when Trevor got the idea to (view spoiler)[ marry her and use her as a ticket to getting the invitations into the best homes (hide spoiler)]. Now how to rate this book, which I'm finding quite difficult since it isn't going to suit every romance reader. I thought the author did an amazing job with the old New York setting and the ins and outs of high society and it all flowed smoothly without clubbing the reader over the head with it (but then I'm a history geek). The secondary characters were very well done (oh that scamp of a younger brother!), and I am very much looking forward to the sequel about Alana's younger sister. While this book has all the appearances of a romance, Trevor is a pretty angsty/broody hero and it takes a long, long time before he finally opens up with his feelings and the reader gets some payola, most of the book is no-no-yes-yes, big-misunderstanding, would you two please just talk to each other already kind of stuff. While Trevor doesn't quite make the hero-is-a-walking-pity-party shelf, he is a bit of an ass to Alana and might not fit well with every reader. YMMV.

  • Regan Walker
    2019-03-28 18:44

    Superb Victorian Era American Romance with a Strong Irish Hero and a worthy heroine!I suppose I should say at the outset that I am a HUGE fan of McKinney’s historical romances. All her stories I have read are wonderful. This was the first in the Van Alen sisters’ duology that tells the love stories of two sisters from a prominent New York family in the late 1800s. Both are superbly told tales with strong alpha male heroes and worthy heroines. I highly recommend them!I always know when the hero starts out as an arrogant cad that he’ll be groveling before the end. And don’t we love it when he grovels at the heroine’s feet? Ah, yes. Well, handsome Trevor Sheridan, self-made Irish millionaire, is just such a man. They call him The Predator for his ways on Wall Street; his ways with women weren’t any different. (McKinney cleverly withholds his inner thoughts from us in the first part of the story so we think, except when it comes to his sister, he has no heart.) Trevor wants an entree into proper society for his sister, Mara, and can only get it through marriage to one of Society’s own, so he blackmails Knickerbocker Alana Van Alen to marry him, threatening to disclose the secret he knows she hides if she doesn’t. There’s no love involved in the relationship and he assures her there will be an annulment once his sister has a few successful seasons. Alana hates being forced to give up her dream of a simple love between two people, but since Sheridan destroyed her family’s wealth and she must care for her younger sister who is confined to a private mental asylum, she has no choice but to wed the horrible man.McKinney expertly captures the dialog of the upper crust as they show disdain for what they view as the lowly Irish. (Prejudice wasn’t limited to that among races in early America.) McKinney weaves the parts of her intricate story the way a master weaver does threads. The result is a rich tapestry, a keeper. You won’t regret getting this one!Book 2 is FAIR IS THE ROSE set in Wyoming. I read it first and can say that either is fine as a stand-alone.

  • Zumbagirl
    2019-04-07 12:57

    Having been a Judith McNaught fan for many years, I was looking forward to this book as it has been compared to her writing. Unfortunately, for me, it didn't work out that well and I actually remember reading this book years ago - didn't love it then or now. Alana and Trevor just had too many problems and issues. However, I did love the other characters - Trevor's sister Mara and brother Eagan and Alana sister Christal - all added nice dimension to the story. The setting is in New York - and being a native New Yorker I thought that would be appealing - but it wasn't. If you like a dark, brooding hero who seems impossible of forgiving anyone, a heroine who doesn't know what to do with said man, lots of jealousy and problems, this may be the book for you. But it just wasn't what I needed or wanted. They do have their HEA - but things needed to be resolved or somewhat resolved a whole lot sooner in the story. I also need to take a break from problem marriages and find some funny, light books - so my review may be skewed.

  • Carolina
    2019-04-09 14:10


  • D.G.
    2019-04-02 13:02

    **2.5 stars**This is my first historical romance set in Knickerbocker Manhattan post Civil War, so I enjoyed the setting a lot, even if I felt like slapping either of the main characters every other page. I've never seen a couple in romance so willing to misunderstand and hurt the other.Let's start with the heroine, Alana, who is part of the Four Hundred, the New York elite, but dreams of being poorer because she thinks the life will be simpler and people will be nicer. *snort* This is a woman who not even once in her life has put on a cloak by herself so this idea that it's better to be poor was utterly ridiculous - I hated that nobody disabused her of that notion. However, she needs to be in Society because her Uncle demands it - unbeknownst to anybody, her youngest sister is an insane Asylum and she needs money to pay the upkeep.Enters the hero, Trevor the Irisher, with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Grand Canyon. For some unfathomable reason, he wants his younger siblings to make it in society, even though he supposedly don't care for the Four Hundred. When the Knickerbockers don't make it to his sister's debut, he decides to bankrupt them all! Talk about an overreaction! Alana was in this group and finds herself at Trevor's mercy. Trevor then decides he will marry Alana to help his sister enter society whether Alana wants to or not. Instead of thinking with her head and making a binding deal with the man - he's a businessman after all - Alana keeps refusing (even though she won't have the money to pay for her sister's asylum) and Trevor keeps threatening and upping the ante doing crazy shit to force her hand, so she agrees to the marriage, but in name only.After that, the story is all about recriminations, giving each other the cold shoulder, insults, biting comments, you name it. I don't know exactly how but as soon as she marries him, she starts having tender feelings for the guy (above and below the belt) even though he's been the biggest asshole you'll ever see in romance.The conflict with the sister was predictable and didn't make any sense whatsoever. I'm not sure I'll read the next book, as this is set in the West and I don't care that much for that setting.

  • Dorothy Downey
    2019-03-28 17:11

    One of the most boring books I had the misfortune of reading. Hero and heroine are put on this earth to frustrate each other for the minutest and most trivial of reasons, again and again and again. Final two pages they declare their everlasting love for each other. Devoid of romantic love, devoid of sensuality this book pelts you with disagreements and misunderstandings and misinterpretations every other paragraph. When I finally finished it, and it took me two weeks to do so, I took an aspirin. What little there is of love and sex was not worth the torture of reading about these two. The angst bit, for which this book is famous for, did not do it for me. It felt more like writer's manipulation of the plot rather than an organic part of it. This is the second 'famous romance' I read that has failed big time to live up to its reputation.

  • Susan (the other Susan)
    2019-03-28 16:44

    In Angstville, somebody's got a case of the Mondays... I went through a phase where I'd read any bodice ripper I could get my hands on. Discovering an author with real talent and an evident devotion to her craft became something to celebrate. But this lady specializes in the kind of unalieviated angst that I just can't enjoy in a sustainable way. If you're into heroes whose bitterness and anger shadow every moment but the final HEA; heroes who don't even deserve an HEA after all the abuse, humiliation and betrayal they've inflicted on some powerless woman, then by all means, buy a stack of this author's vintage novels and plunge on in. She's good at what she does, but she is the Queen of Anguish.

  • Emma
    2019-04-13 12:57

    DNF.I gave up about 70% of the way, for I had enough of the anger and the repetitious arguments and the forced disagreements. Some people call that 'angsty', me I call it not being able to write angsty and confusing it with something else. This book is boring beyond human endurance. If you are to write a romance where your main couple constantly states their intention not to be together then perhaps you should not write a romance. Or while having your lovers be at each other's throats at the same time you should take the trouble (and the skill) to write some scenes where they convince as lovers. And I don't mean the last three pages full of declarations of love. All we have here is two people who should never be allowed in the same room at the same time let alone make them central characters in a romance. I personally was bored to tears with the constant 'scowling' and 'growling' and 'being livid'. The heroine got on my nerves as much as the hero, if not more -and, what you know, she is always mentioned as one of the best historical romance heroines (you could have fooled me)! She either cries or is angry with the hero. She is also utterly inconsistent in her logical deductions. 70% into the story and these two are not in the slightest convincing as a couple destined for eternal love. Even the supposed lust they seem to feel -when the writer runs out of more anger to write into her story she remembers she is writing a romance, so she throws a little bit of 'stirring parts' and 'darkening eyes' to signify horniness- never rises above the level of boring and the 'who gives a shit'. I suppose all those five star reviews have more to do with the fact that McKinney knows how to write a sentence or two -a sign that she received some serious schooling in her days (unlike the more recent writers who cannot even construct a sentence that does not stink of 21st c. teen talk)- and not with the story or the characters of her book. Unless you like your couple fighting all the way up to three pages from the end, when they suddenly, I bet, profess their passionate love and have six babies, I advise you to waste your time in a more enjoyable way (like sleeping or getting sloshed). I had this book on my TBR list for the past three years and I'm glad it can now go in the bin and never come back.

  • Zoe
    2019-04-04 12:56

    oh I read this fabulous book so many years ago and loved Trevor and Alana's story. Alana is my kind of heroine, proper but strong, soft but determined. Trevor is my kind of hero, conflicted but never truly unkind, struggling but cannot help but have a soft spot for Alana. Trevor asked Alana to marry him for his younger sister. Being rich but Irish, the younger sister was never going to be accepted by the snobbish polite society of New York City. But with Alana as her sister in law, the younger sister would have a respectable match. Alana, suffering from a great family tragedy and battling her evil uncle, had little choice other than agreeing to Trevor's demands. Then they started their slow journey towards each other. Trevor, walking with a cane and being "socially inferior", never gave me the impression of being "weak" or "inferior". His strong will comes through the story and the image of "lion" is truly fitting. Alana being the fragile flower, weathering hardships in life and survived, needed Tervor but she held her grounds. This is everything I love in a romance novel. The highlight of the book though, was when Trevor sent Alana the plain music box with an emotionally intense note, when he could have bought her jewelry worth of a fortune. Alana, having read the note, came to confront him and asked him whether he loved her. Trevor's answer shows me that Ms. McKinney truly understands the anguish of love, the "I don't know what to do" and "I wish I had done things differently." What a powerful answer Trevor gave Alana. A man can say he loves you and gives you flowers or presents. But what Trevor said to Alana, well, that is a man who finally learned about love. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did as a young girl. I still have the book and still cherish the memory of it. It is not often you come across a book which captures the sweetness and bitterness of love all at the same time. Read it ladies!

  • Joanna Shupe
    2019-04-07 15:09

    Perhaps my favorite romance of all time. Knickerbocker New York, a tortured hero, and a heroine who's more than she seems. Love, love, love. I re-read this every year.

  • Chantal ❤️
    2019-04-23 17:09

    What a great book. He was such a gentlemen and she a real lady. I loved how he saves her in the end. Really powerful.

  • Cheesecake
    2019-04-19 16:07

    Alana the persecuted and Trevor the persecutor. I loved this book going into it, but after 50 pages or so I started to worry it wasn't going to be as romantic as I'd hoped. Well I guess it depends on your taste.The writing is lovely and the author has researched the time period well. It's during the industrial revolution, when gas lamps lit the nicer neighbourhoods and robber barons became richer than Gods. Alana is the beautiful maiden of the Nickerbockers (Older money Dutch immigrants) who lives a life of privilege. But looks are deceiving and her life is far from happy. Trevor is the enormously wealthy Irish 'upstart' trying to enter the exclusive upper crust society of the Old Dutch twits. He is cruel to those who piss him off, but he mercilessly crushes those who upset his young sister. Alana's family is swept up in his latest retribution and the only escape is to marry him. Marriage by blackmail, never a good start for a couple. The author does a lovely job creating the stage and you can see old NY from her eyes. But their marriage begins in deceit and prejudice, and the story doesn't pull itself out of that quagmire but gets darker. There are two younger sisters of 16, one is tortured by madness and the other is sweetly hopeful. The POV is always from Alana, so Trevor remains a broodingly enigmatic mystery straight through to the end. Although the prejudices of the Nickerbockers are obvious, Trevor's prejudice is actually worse. Alana's marriage becomes more and more hopeless. Honestly I don't see why readers think Trevor is such hot stuff. I thought he was a self righteous ass at best. All he does is push her away. There's no glimmers of tenderness, and no hints of softer feelings. He shows these things for his family, but never treats Alana like family. Yet he constantly reminds her that she is his 'wife'( as I say not as I do). It was demoralizing reading this story.Then the ending... Well.. It pissed me off. BIG SPOILER if you want to know (view spoiler)[ There's a big party with all the mucky mucks, and Trevor basically shuns his wife the entire evening while some rich blond bimbo sits on the arm of his chair caressing his arm. He smiles. He never smiles for Alana, but he smiles for the bimbo. Alana goes home alone and cries. She finds a letter addressed to her, declaring his love... I'm like WTF? Did I miss a few pages??? Anyways, this is the only time he suggests his feelings... in a LETTER. Alana made all the overtures in their marriage. And she's the one wronged! SO Alana reads the letter and then on the last page of the the story he comes home, she asks him if he loves her and he says he's "..doomed to love her" she runs into his arms like a ninny and... That's it. The End. Romantic? NOT!(hide spoiler)] So just like that, the end. There's a very brief epilogue that felt tacked on and he still doesn't smile for her. Why does the author made a point of this if she's not going to have him smile in the ending??? Tevor is such a inconsiderate hypocrite. The one good thing is that Alana wasn't a doormat.3 stars for the writing and setting and characters, but no more because it was NOT romantic imho.

  • Anna D.
    2019-04-14 12:50

    I adored the angst in this book! I really enjoyed the deep wanting both the H/h had to be loved, understood, and accepted. Although they had a HEA in the end, the amount of emotional turmoil from the angst due to their insecurities, distrust, lying, and misunderstandings was not balanced out by happy things. As the story went on, I was so ready for the good feeling of when they finally get their HEA, but by the time it came the book was over. We were at 98% of the book before all negativity between the H/h was gone and we could finally get honest reciprocated love between the two. That’s only about 5 minutes! and in those 5 minutes, there was so much more that could have been shown with the music box gift and that letter was lackluster. The ending was simply not enough! Also, there was not enough passion/heat; rather I should say that it felt like the heat came mainly from their fighting words and hatred, not from attraction, lust, or unrequited love. I think my new complaint about a lot of books lately is when I’m left wanting in the end. It leaves me with an incomplete and unsatisfied feeling and I just can’t love a book when I’m left wanting, right? That’s one difference between a 4 star book vs. a 5 star book.There were also some other odd and inconsistent issues I notice. First was how the marriages of Trevor’s siblings, Eagan and Mara, were tacked on quickly at the end. Did Trevor really not give a dowry for Mara? We never got a reconciliation between the Trevor and Mara and the Duke. Secondly, in the elevator when Caitlin was having her baby, she could barely speak English but 2-3 weeks later she was communicating, in English, just fine. Lastly, I find it hard to believe that Christabel who was sheltered all 16 years of her life can survive on her own, and that she’s moving around internationally so she’s not found. Are we really supposed to believe that the most talented detectives that money can buy can’t find a green 16 year old? Perhaps this last thing is a set up for Christabel’s book, we’ll see!All that being said though, I truly did enjoy the book. I give this author a lot of credit for her ability to write angst and admirable characters. Trevor is a great tortured, self made hero. Alana is a strong heroine. We respect her for her pluck and also the struggle she went through protecting her sister and having to fake a happy life when she really felt trapped. The secondary characters were also lovable, though they sometimes felt one dimensional. I really wished that Eagan got his own book because his character had so much potential to showcase a rake hero in the shadow of his successful brother.I will admit that the bar for the type of hero Trevor is has been raised a long time ago when I met Derrick Craven in Dreaming of You and I have yet to really meet another to match him…though many have come close.

  • Tinsoni
    2019-03-26 17:12

    This book was like plunging into a cold lake of emotional agony with only few breathers to make the experience bearable and not drown into the misery. It was too emotionally draining for me...and after that long cold almost-drowning experience you hope to receive some warmth in the form of their happily ever after...only to realize its already over before your blood has thawed. But the masochist that I am enjoyed the read as much as I detested it. The story begins with Alana's brave but failed attempt to attend Mara's debut, and Trevor's vow to destroy everyone who broke his young sister's heart. Until 55% of the book I didn't mind the emotional turmoil the characters put themselves through but after that it became too much. Alana wanted something but communicated otherwise...Trevor understood his mistake yet continued to torture Alana unjustly. After their first love scene I anticipated resolution none came....after Trevor questioned the maid I knew things would improve but they got worst....and after that shower scene I just couldn't believe the gut - wrenching pain he continued to inflict on her. So when the happily ever after came in the last ten pages it was too little too late for me. The secondary stories took more pages than I liked. I understood the need for Mara and Christal's side stories but Eagan's was random, abrupt, and completely out of the blue and unnecessary. In all it was a well written I am glad I read but will not be returning to for seconds or thirds...

  • Kate Sherwood
    2019-04-22 13:55

    Meh.I think it did a good job of what it set out to do, I just don't like what it was trying to be.The hero was WAY too much of an asshole, the heroine loved him because... why? and the big misunderstanding just got dragged out for too long.I honestly didn't mind the hero, exactly - he was a vengeful asshole and that's fine with me. But I just couldn't respect the heroine at all, not after she gave in to EVERY demand, got pushed around and manipulated and abused, and then fell in love with him. I mean... what the hell?So, not a success, for me. But, like I said, it was pretty well-written. And I liked most of the secondary characters quite a bit.

  • Julie
    2019-04-03 13:50

    I loved, loved, loved this story! I could read this story all over again. It's definetly one of my favorites now.

  • Sarah Z
    2019-04-16 19:58

    Yes I gave it 5 stars, despite my issues with this book, but I can't help it. I still loved it. I just keep confirming the fact that I am an early 90s HR fan and the newer stuff just can't compare. Talk about an emotional roller coaster, sheesh!! If you love angst, then this book is for you. And I gotta say, I love an emotional, angsty read. However, this book could have been perfection if it was slightly less depressing. A few tweaks and it could have been an all time favorite. Well, it still sort of is. I will definitely be rereading it! Here are my issues with it: the hero. I was so excited to read about his character at the beginning. I loved when he told off the uncle for hurting Alana. He had so much potential to be a favorite of mine, but as I read further into the book, he started to disappoint me. He was almost too mean, for lack of a better word. And don't get me wrong, it made sense why he was that way, but it was too much. Or maybe if his character was a little more developed, I wouldn't have minded his rudeness as much. I guess I just wish MM threw in more glimpses of chivalry and kindness. Just sharing a little of the attention he gave to Mara with Alana would have helped. But how it stood, I just didn't get why Alana fell in love with the guy haha. Alana, gosh I really loved her. Even though she cried like every chapter, I enjoyed having an emotional, yet strong heroine. A lot of books I read have heroines that don't cry. Like hello, we are hormonal women, we cry. That doesn't mean we aren't strong. My only problem was like I mentioned above, what made her fall in love with Trevor? Don't get me wrong, they definitely had chemistry, but lust is not love. And how do you love someone that continually hurts your feelings and makes you cry? Not only did her crying not seem to affect him enough, but then he never really did anything to make her happy or atone for hurting her. I felt like the book ended way too soon (and from reading other reviews I know I'm not alone). I could have read another hundred pages. If you know me, you know I hate when characters fall in love too fast. This book wasn't too bad, even though it did happen kind of fast, it didn't feel that way so I didn't mind too much. The problem was though, that there wasn't enough groveling!! Trevor hurt Alana SO many times and he barely gave an apology. He didn't even really say it, he wrote it! And then we are supposed to believe that he truly loved her by the couple paragraphs at the end of the book? Ugh I dunno. Such a beautiful end but WAY too short and barely any resolution. I'm not saying I need everything spelled out in black and white, but I feel like there were random things left hanging throughout the entire book. I did enjoy the secondary characters, especially Mara. I'm so happy she got her HEA. Eagan was great too, I just didn't enjoy his love story, it was random and not believable. Okay, so you are probably wondering why I rated it 5 stars. I love Alana, I love being on an emotional roller coaster that I can't put down. When I'm forced to put the book down, I love that I can't stop thinking about it. Now that it's over, the fact that I'm getting so worked up over it is actually a good sign. I just want perfection and if Trevor was just a little more lovable or he groveled just a bit more at the end, it would have been perfect to me. But alas, I cannot change the book. They really deserved an amazing HEA and they weren't quite given it. I want to read Christal's book and I'm hoping we at least get to see Trevor and Alana in love there.

  • Ivy H
    2019-04-01 16:44

    This was my first foray into a Knickerbocker historical romance. It was fabulous ! I LOVE Trevor Sheridan. He is awesome ! He is so sexy that even his slight limp makes him more attractive in a weird way. His personality ( not his looks ! ) sort of reminds me of Victor Newman from The Young & The Restless but he is not a horn dog man whore. Trevor's the ultimate alpha male business tycoon romantic hero. I love how he is proud of his Irish heritage and doesn't care a F about the snobbish bitches like Mrs. Astor but understands that his little teenage sister Mara wants their acceptance. That's a hard pill for a proud man like Trevor to swallow but he loves his sister and will do whatever he can to make her happy. He decides to hold a coming out ball for Mara and invites all the members of the New York Knickerbocker society. The heroine Alana is the only one who was dressed and going to attend until her evil uncle locks her in her room. Nobody turns up to the ball and poor Mara is destroyed. It was so sad.Trevor decides to use his financial acumen to destroy as many of the invitees who failed to attend. The heroine loses all her money because she's one of them. The story then moves to a marriage of convenience between Trevor and Alana, because it will be the one way to ensure Mara's acceptance into the society. Trevor was at first very cold and uncaring to Alana but as time went by he soon grew to care for her a lot. They had such great chemistry once they started getting to know each other. Alana was the perfect lady and the ideal counterpart for a man like Trevor. They're perfect for each other. The side story line about her sister was developed into the second novel in this series.The best comeuppance that Mrs. Astor and the Knickerbocker's get for their treatment of Mara happens when a visiting English duke proposes marriage to Mara. That was great ! There was also the side story line between Trevor's rakish younger brother who saves a new migrant Irish maid that's pregnant. I enjoyed seeing all three Sheridan siblings find true love and from what I can remember in the next novel in the series, Trevor and Alana end up having 2 sons. This novel was just as good the second time around. Definitely a perfect re-read !

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-06 17:51

    I’m so torn about how to rate this book. I love the setting. It’s set in the era when the Knickerbockers and Mrs. Astor still dominated high society in New York, though tiny cracks in the façade are beginning to show. Our hero, Trevor, an Irish Immigrant and self-made million tries to break into a society where so may others have failed. His desire to break through is not entirely self-serving: he wants to see his young sister succeed in a way that he could not and wants to introduce her to society through a grand “coming out” party. The plan fails when Ms. Aster issues the order that polite society should not attend. Our heroine, Alana, the bluest of blue bloods and an orphan, decides to ignore the decree and prepares to her to the ball, but her guardian/uncle locks her In her room. When no one shows at the party, Trevor reeks his revenge on everyone who failed to attend his sister’s party in a way that feels disproportionate to the snub – he financially ruins everyone who failed to show. This man is alpha, alpha, alpha. And it’s too much for me. There are aspects of his personality I like, mainly his devotion to his siblings and willingness to help the poor. but he never redeems his bad behavior in my mind. In many ways he’s no better and often worse than the Knickerbocker society against whom he rages. It also troubles me that he only acknowledges his feelings for Alana after he verifies that she tried to go to the party. Apparently there’s no room for forgiveness in his world. As much as I enjoyed the books setting, the character’s were too one dimensional for me. The backdrop lends itself to more depth so I’m a little disappointed. 3/5

  • Mermarie
    2019-04-13 17:13

    Trevor kisses like Sean Culhane. *giggle*I wish I knew how to rate this book; review will come later. The elaboration of the book demands a review that highlights the historical aspects more appropriately than my typical tangents.