The Pride of Lions

The Pride of Lions

by Marsha Canham

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440224570
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1997
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.87(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Marsha Canham is the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award-winning author of twelve historical romance novels and lives outside Toronto, Canada.  When she sat down to write The Pride of Lions, she had no idea the telling of Catherine and Alexander's love story would require three years, and take her through nearly 1,000 pages of romance, adventure, and tragedy, and every locale and setting from the glittering ballrooms of an English manor house to the heroic battlefield of Culloden Moor.

Watch for The Blood of Roses, the sequel to The Pride of Lions, coming from Dell in June 1998.

Read an Excerpt

"Tell me, sir, do they teach music appreciation in poaching school?"  Catherine asked.

"Dance appreciation too," Montgomery said, offering his arm.  "May I?"

She studied the rakish grin a moment before accepting.  She was aware of the heads swiveling to follow them as they walked past a row of whispering matrons, even more conscious of a pair of jade-green eyes spearing them from across the room as they merged with the dancing couples.

Montgomery's movements were fluid and assured, amazingly light and graceful for a man of his size.  She did not anticipate so strong a reaction to the feel of the steely muscles against her fingertips or the memory that came flooding back of him stripped to the waist, his black hair dripping water onto his naked flesh.  She did not expect the liquefying reaction in her own body each time he took advantage of the music to draw her boldly into his arms.

"I must apologize for being so abrupt this morning," he said, leading her in a delicate circle.  "I had been riding all night and was suffering a general lack of patience, having lost myself several times on the forest paths."

"Apologies hardly suit your character, Mr. Montgomery.  But why did you not say you were a friend of my brother?  It would not have excused your abominable behavior, but it might have helped explain it."

"He counts poachers and highwaymen among his friends?"

"I have been to his offices in London.  I have seen some of the company he is forced to keep."

They parted, exchanging steps with other partners in their quadrangle before dancing together again.

"An apology from you would not be remiss either," he said thoughtfully.

"An apology from me?"  She tilted her head up with a frown.  "Whatever for, may I ask?"

"Creeping up on me unawares.  Standing in the shadows watching me bathe."

Her mouth dropped open.  "I certainly was not watching you, sir.  Had I known there was anyone bathing in the clearing, I would not have gone within a hundred yards of it.  I was merely attempting to water my horse and--"  She stopped and clamped her mouth shut.  The maddening, all-knowing smile was back on his lips, encouraged by the distinct gleam of amusement in the blue-black eyes.  "Please take me back now.  I see Lieutenant Garner has returned with my refreshment."

"My dear Mistress Ashbrooke--"  He raised her hand to his lips and pressed the heat of his breath against her gloved fingers.  "It has been many long months since I have held such an incredibly lovely woman in my arms, and I am loath to forfeit the pleasure just yet.  I'm afraid the lieutenant will have to wait."

"I hardly think--"

"Do I still frighten you?  Even in a crowded room?"

She caught her breath and stared up at him.  Hamilton was moving toward the edge of the dance floor carrying the tiny crystal glass of water.  The orchestra was playing and couples were moving all around them.  Montgomery was smiling, challenging her, calling her bluff.

She raised her hand and settled it around his wrist.  She felt his hand tighten on her waist again and imagined she could hear the swelling of whispers that rippled around the room as she accorded a second dance to the stranger from London.  It was scandalous behavior, as scandalous as the way his midnight eyes held her, demanding her full attention, relegating all else--the music, the laughter, the buzzing of conversations--to the distant background.  She was only dimly aware of the flashes of colored silk that passed them, of the brilliant splashes of candlelight that reflected off the panes of the windows and doors.  She was not sensible at all to the fact that he whirled her away from the close confines of the ballroom and danced with her out onto the terrace, around and around, swirling her away from the lights and the noise until they had only shadows and the dusting of starlight overhead.

Drawing her closer, Montgomery embraced her in a way that made her feel molded to the hard contours of his body.  The circles they inscribed became smaller, their footsteps slower, until they were barely moving at all, hardly swaying to the strains of the music.  Catherine felt a mindless drumming in her blood and knew he was holding her too close.  The night was too dark, the air too fragrant with the scent of roses.  She lowered her gaze a fraction and it was no longer his eyes that held her transfixed, but the sensual curve of his mouth--a mouth that was descending toward hers even as his hand slid up from her waist to cradle the nape of her neck.

His lips touched hers, and the shock trembled through her body.  A feeble protest shivered free on a sigh, but she could not even summon the strength or wit to make it sound convincing.  All of her senses became centered around the feather-light pressure of his mouth, on the teasing, taunting dalliance of his tongue as it sampled, tasted, prepared her for the bold intrusion that followed.

His arms tightened and his lips slanted more forcefully over hers.  A second gasp gave him the opening he sought, and his tongue slid possessively into the shocked heat of her mouth.  Catherine felt her knees give way and her stomach tum to jelly, hot jelly, heavy as molten lead that slithered downward into her limbs on each silky, probing caress.  Her fists clenched and unclenched.  Her fingers spread open across the velvet thickness of his frock coat and inched higher . . . higher, until her hands were circling his neck, clinging to the powerful breadth of his shoulders.  She pressed eagerly into his embrace, thrilling to the strength in his arms as they enfolded her.

She thought she had known every kind of kiss a man could offer--what mystery could still remain in the simple touching of lips?  Hamilton's kisses, to be sure warmed her deliciously and sent tiny shivers of satisfaction through her body, more so than those of any other man before him.  Yet he had never inspired this surge of liquid heat that was now setting her veins on fire.  His body had never commanded hers to melt against him, to move with him, to question the cause and cure for this incredible, burning tension.  Even her skin had grown tauter, tighter, and her belly was fluttering with urges that made her want to move closer, to feel the heat of him with her bare flesh.

She was kissing him back, she knew she was, but Montgomery ended the kiss suddenly, breaking away with an abruptness that brought a cry of disappointment from her lips.  His face was in shadow--she could barely discern more than the black slash of his brows--but she sensed a shared feeling of surprise.  As if he had not expected the rush of pleasure she could feel thundering through his chest.

He held her away from his body, as if he did not trust any further contact, and when he spoke he tried to make his words sound light and casual.

"I did warn you about unscrupulous rogues who would not hesitate to take advantage."

"So you did," she murmured.  "You also threatened to teach me a lesson in reality.  Was that it?"

"Reality?"  he whispered.  "I'm not even sure I know what that is anymore.  I thought I did. . . ."

Catherine shivered as he brushed his fingertips along the curve of her throat.  She turned her head slightly, the better to feel the warmth of his flesh on hers . . . and her eyes opened wide in horror.

The figure of a man was standing less than five paces away, his silhouette framed in the glare of lights that spilled from the open french doors.  His hands were rigid by his sides, the fingers of one fist crushed around a tiny crystal glass.

Catherine gasped and jerked out of Montgomery's arms.  "Hamilton!"

"I hope I am not intruding," the lieutenant said, his voice cracking with anger.

She took several halting steps toward him.  "Hamilton . . .it isn't what you think. . . ."

"Is it not?  Pray then, by all means, tell me what it is.  You send me for a glass of water, then dance away with a fe!low to whom you have only just been introduced.  Ten mmutes later I find you wrapped in his arms and"--he finished the sentence with a sneer--"you tell me it isn't what I think."

"Hamilton, please . . ."

"I think, madam, you were kissing this gentleman, and with no great show of reluctance.  The act hardly requires more explanation than that . . . unless, of course, you have recently formed the habit of kissing perfect strangers and see nothing untoward in the deed."

Montgomery gave up an audible sigh.  He reached to an inside pocket and extracted a thin black cigar.  "You are not giving the lady much of a chance to explain.  If you did, she might be able to tell you the kiss was entirely my idea, and that she simply . . . endured it."

"Endured it?"  Garner's face remained impassive, carved out of stone, as he watched Montgomery strike a sulfur stick and touch it to the end of his cigar.

"It is her birthday, is it not?"

"And you thought to take advantage of the situation by forcing yourself on her good nature?"

"I did not force anything on anyone," Montgomery said quietly.  "I was merely expressing my felicitations."


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Pride of Lions 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was beautiful...the romance, the struggles between the character's, the scenery and the history. I need to start looking for the sequel, this one is one you will want to continue on reading into the next novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book! NOT your cut of the mill romance. After reading this book you will be HOOKED on everything Marsha Canham. One of the greatest romances ever!
PICKSHARON More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be one of the most beautiful romance novels I have ever read. I do enjoy reading Julie Garwood's novels, but her books are more of the breezy kind of lighthearted read. Canham's style is quite different. This novel and the sequel 'The Blood of Roses' are so emotionally riveting that it takes your breath away. It's historically enriching and very moving. The sequel picks up right where the first book left off. Her main characters, Alexander and Catherine are real people, and that fact makes it even more wonderful to read if you love historical romances. My all time favorite romance novel quote came from this book as Alexander tells Catherine'...I can admit quite freely that I love you...With my body if you will have it, my heart if you will trust it, my soul if you will take it into safekeeping.' This book will leave you breathless! If you are interested in the history of Scotland and the Jacobite rebellion in the early 1700s...pick this up now!
rainrunner on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Catherine Ashbrooke is a feisty, spoiled, and very witty member of elite English society. She pines for her true love, Lieutenant Hamilton Garner, a rather stuffy boor, in my opinion. On a hunt one day, Catherine decides to veer away from the crowd. Riding in a hidden glen, she confronts a gorgeous man washing by a stream. She's quite taken with him while telling him to get off her property at once. The scene is very well written and I had butterflies in my belly while reading it. The next night, during a ball, Catherine is introduced to her brother's friend, Raefer Montgomery - the man she encountered in the glen the day before. He invites her to dance and, while spinning around the floor, he kisses her. Hamilton sees this insult and challenges Raefer to a duel for Catherine's hand. Raefer wins and is thus betrothed to Catherine. And she isn't happy about it. At all.Once they leave London, Catherine discovers that Raefer is not who he says he is. He's not a London merchant but none other than a Highlander by the name of Alexander Cameron. Alex takes Catherine home to Scotland and they are both thrown into political turmoil. However, through this turmoil their love develops into a deep and caring bond.The Pride of Lions was a great read. Marsha Canham brought the story and the characters vividly to life in this historical romance. I recommend it.
lollypop917 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This book was a recent purchase which I admit to not having very high hopes for. I have read some reviewers comparing this to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series which I adore, but wasn't sure how a straight romance novel would live up to this comparison. I was very pleasantly suprised and found this book to be much more than I was expecting.This book contains everything one might expect a historical romance to have. The hasty unwanted wedding to a complete stranger who is not whom he says, kidnappings, lies, duels and all that wonderfull fluff that would draw you into the whole romance genre. What I was impressed with were real historical details and great writing adding so much more to the typical romance novel experience. There wonderfully detailed battles and much more attention is paid to the male characters than what I have come to expect. Catherine Ashbrooke is your typical beautiful headstrong female lead who is demanding of attention and affection from everyone in her company. She is of age to be wed and convinced that Lieutenant Hamilton Garner is the man for her. She is so confident of his attentions that she places a bet with her brother that she will be engaged by the end of the night. Little does she know that the events of the day will turn her life upside down.This was a very enjoyable read which I highly recommend to lovers of romance novels. There are plenty of heated love scenes to keep you hooked along with great historical details on the beginnings of the jacobite rebellion. This was a great mix of historical fiction and romance and a far superior read than typical for this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite all times books! Its a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out ok and ended ok. I can't say more than that. Too many useless words. And the heroin was a complete mean b##ch. Sorry I don't know how the hero could stand her. Also I like more romance less history. I will not read the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was set in England and Scotland. The male lead was alpha male and the female lead was selfish. There is adventure, suspense, and Romance. This was a great story that held my interest. I disagree with the laird decision and thought him a weak leader although he is tauted to be wise and strong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4theloveofdolls More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Just the right mixture of romance and history. Immediately upon finishing this book tonight I purchased the next book in the series.
Cynixra More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a heated-mind-blowing-one-night-stand smut, where there is a new sexual encounter every five pages; you've come to the wrong place. The Pride of Lions is a masterful creation where Marsha Canham brings you in, makes you care about the characters and their motivations as she brings you into a world, not of her creation, but set around historical events. Her action scenes and battlefields are descriptive and tangible. You can taste the gunpowder in her words and hear the roar of battle. Her ability to raise goosebumps as her characters discover a passion for each other is no less thrilling. Read this. Then read the sequel. Then go find her other books. If you appreciate excellent writing as well as romance, any of her novels are not to be overlooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sadly, you must buy the other book to see what happens, better writing and characters in Outlander. The main charcter went from spoiled and hateful to won over by love in a single paragraph.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to read the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JLdeBrux More than 1 year ago
I have read all three of the trilogy and they are all wonderful. The Pride of Lions and the Blood of Roses are by far the best of the three. The love story between Catherine and Alex is unbelievable and I was hooked from the very beginning. Wow, is all I can say! If you enjoy a really good love story with lots of history thrown in, you will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the main and minor characters and the historical events that formed the backdrop for the story added to the realistic aspects of the romance.
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