Walking with: Meagan McKinney – Lions and Lace
Type: Historical Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Set in: late 19th century New York
Reread: so often that I know it by heart
Publishing date: 1992
I was so anxious when I reread this book. This was one of my all time favourites. I even had a “I want to mary an Irish” phase for a long time after I have read this book for the first time.
Anyways, it is always difficulties when “meeting” with old book or film flames. What if they had changed? What if I had changed? Fortunately, this book was as good as ever:
This is what the official synopsis reads:
SHE PLAYED BY HIGH SOCIETY’S RULES
The 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 ALL
Born 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
This is what I read: Marry me Trevor Sherdian!
Well, ok the official synopsis is rather cheesy. It is very 90s. The plot itself is very cheesy 90s historical romance. Basically she is this upper class New York heiress that is blackmailed into marrying a working class turned mega rich Irish hunk so that he can access the New York society.
Trevor is indeed a predator. He is an Irish immigrant which back then wasn’t that much fun. Ms McKinney did her research so well as regards the whole tension between the Irish immigrants and other immigrants and the always aloof New York “Knickerbockers”. She even explains Irish “insider” jokes from back then. I love it when I learn something, next to reading wonderful love stories.
He is a born fighter that climbed up the social ladder. This shows when it comes to his character. He is not an easy guy, nor is he the most funny or charming guy (he can be such a tool towards Alana sometimes) but he has this pure masculine appeal that makes him irresistible.
Alana is a well drawn character. Torn between her upbringing and the need to survive she makes the best of her circumstances with as much dignity as possible and she manages to stay genuinely nice.
This is not a light romance. There is drama and there are tears and sometimes you just want to throttle the main characters (especially him). But it is also a wonderful emotional ride with a wonderful ending.
To sum up, this book is not only great because the author did her homework and presented us with a very accurate picture of New York in the 19th century, Knickerbockers and Irish immigrants but also because this was a grown up love story with a brooding hero and a troubled heroine. The perfect recipe to create one of the best historical romance novels ever.