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In the Lion's Den: A House of Falconer Novel

Review

In the Lion's Den: A House of Falconer Novel

Ever since devouring the Emma Harte Saga over a decade ago, I have loved anything and everything written by the extremely talented Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Set during the Victorian era in London, England, which is a new period for Bradford, MASTER OF HIS FATE, the first book in her House of Falconer series, introduced readers to James Lionel Falconer --- a charming and ambitious young man who dreams of owning a department store filled with lavish goods, but whose life thus far has consisted of running a simple market stall with his father --- and Alexis Malvern, a young woman raised by her widowed father and trained to run his successful department store, or “arcade” as they were called at the time.

"Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and like MASTER OF HIS FATE, this one impressed me with its historical detail while also maintaining a strong plot and supplying a myriad of intriguing characters."

The sequel, IN THE LION’S DEN, begins with Alexis in deep mourning over the loss of her fiancé, Sebastian Trevalian, and sadly she continually refuses to return home to help her father, Henry Ashton Malvern, run his business empire. Luckily for Henry, James remains a steadfast employee, even though he still dreams of opening his own arcade someday. In fact, he has made quite the impression on his colleagues and employees, and his private work office is often referred to as “the lion’s den,” which explains the book’s title.

A handsome, charismatic man, James also yearns for love. At the end of MASTER OF HIS FATE, he thought maybe he had found love with Alexis. But now, with Alexis in a deep depression and retreating into herself more than ever, he realizes that his feelings are not reciprocated: “The love [his parents] had was what he yearned for someday --- a love that was kind and true. And nothing about Alexis Malvern made him believe he would find it with her.”

So, sigh. That was a disappointment I did not see coming, but the story soon moves on, meandering here and there as the reader gets reacquainted with beloved characters from the first book, including James’ friend/colleague, Peter Keller; his former secret lover, Georgiana Ward; and Alexis’ best friend (and the daughter of her beloved Sebastian), Claudia Trevalian. New and compelling characters are also introduced. Throughout it all, James continues with his quest for success and love. Will he find what he’s looking for in both business and pleasure?

Reading this second installment of the series continued to be like stepping through a magical door into Victorian England. The descriptions were vivid, the characters rich, the story line full, and I was completely drawn in and mesmerized.

Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and like MASTER OF HIS FATE, this one impressed me with its historical detail while also maintaining a strong plot and supplying a myriad of intriguing characters. IN THE LION’S DEN was worth the two-year wait!

Reviewed by Rebecca Wasniak on November 25, 2020

In the Lion's Den: A House of Falconer Novel
by Barbara Taylor Bradford

  • Publication Date: November 10, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250187427
  • ISBN-13: 9781250187420