A Lily Among Thorns
Release Date: Sep 15, 2011
Retail Price: $ 14.00
Heat Level: Hot
It was him. Serena couldn't breathe. She'd been looking for him for years—the man who'd lifted her out of the dregs of London's underworld. She remembered that he'd looked like an angel. But either she'd embellished or he'd grown up. Because he didn't look like an angel now. He looked like a man, solid and broad, and taller than she'd thought. And now he needed her help.
Solomon recognized her as soon as they were alone in the dark. He'd not forgotten that night five years ago either. But Serena had changed. She was stronger, fiercely independent and, though it hardly seemed possible, even more beautiful. She was also neck-deep in trouble. Yet he'd help cook a feast for the Prince Regent, take on a ring of spies, love her well into the night—anything to convince her that this time he was here to stay.
Rose Lerner’s stunning prose and keen eye for detail come together to create a unique, spellbinding novel
Five years after Solomon Hathaway gave his quarterly allowance to a prostitute, he walks back into her life to ask a favor.
Serena recognizes Solomon immediately. She used his money to buy her way up in the underworld, eventually becoming mistress to several high-flying men before going straight and opening an inn. She wants to return the favor, but having him around threatens the barrier she’s built around her heart in order to survive.
I’m not sure I can find words to express how much I love Rose Lerner’s prose. A LILY AMONG THORNS is only her second novel; her first, IN FOR A PENNY, came out last year and immediately became one of my favorite books of 2010.
I didn’t think it would be possible, but Rose Lerner’s second novel is even better than her debut. Her intricately drawn characters break romance-novel norms. This is no typical gentleman/courtesan story. Selena is a lady who chose to leave her family’s wealth in pursuit of love and lust. And Solomon is a parson’s son who chose to become a tailor and—in today’s language—a fashion designer.
Their differences in class, and the ways they struggle against the constraints of society’s expectations of them, provide oodles of humorous conversations—like this one, which takes place long before the two of them are intimate, in a scene where Selena’s aristocratic father arrives at the inn to browbeat her for taking up with someone like Solomon. Solomon responds:
“Your daughter has done what none of your blood has done since the Conquest—kept an honest roof over her head with the fruits of her own honest labor! And you come here and insult her under it. Are you not ashamed?”
I highlighted so many passages that made me smile or made my heart clench. Rose Lerner is masterful at bringing out the details that make characters human, in a way that reminds me of Judith Ivory and Meredith Duran. I highly recommend this novel and can’t wait for her next novel.
Reviewed by Katrina Latham