Title: Lion Heart
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publishing Information: May 19, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings, Fantasy
Series Information: Book 3 in the Scarlet Trilogy
Format: Hardcover, 348 pages
Source: Obtained an ARC for review via the publisher
Recommended For: Fans of strong heroines, and those of you needing some consolation after finishing Lady Thief
Related Reviews: Review of Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince’s clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?
Oh this series, I love it so. Scarlet is strong and feisty and an absolutely lovable heroine. Rob had to grow on me a little during the first two books, he was swoon-worthy for sure but I needed him to just put in a little bit of effort to try and work through his own “scars.” In Lion Heart, the secondary characters again stole my heart. I adored Allan and his antics, he was hilarious and though he was a jokester, it was clear that he had heart and cared about Scarlet as if she was his true sister. David is another new addition, and he is a perfect opposite of Allan. He loves and cares for Scarlet and her well-being, and is her dedicated knight so he is very adamant about doing things the “correct” way. That is to say, he doesn’t always go for Rob and Scar stealing kisses due to their lack of marriage! I loved the antics between Allan and David, and found them to be fantastic additions to the crew that I had crown to love from the prior two novels.
In terms of plot, if I am being completely honest I have to say that this book was lacking the multitude of edge of your seat moments, the angst, and the heartache from the first two books. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t still filled with these things, believe me when I say that Gaughen has not lost her knack for plucking at the heart strings, but these moments were just second to the overarching hope and love found throughout the novel. Lion Heart was made up with much happier moments than the first two books, a lot more love, a lot more relishing in hope. While reading Lion Heart I couldn’t help but think that Gaughen was giving her fans something to make up for all of the heartache that happened in Lady Thief. The ending, though a little rushed, was also rather fantastic. To say that Scarlet came into her own, and learned how to use her underlying strength to obtain her end goal would be an understatement. She stood up for her rights, and suffered many losses *weeps in corner* but in the end she was able to take a big step toward making things right.
Upon finishing I did feel as if the ending was a little abrupt, and that there were some loose ends needing to be tied up <highlight for spoiler>For example, I was totally seeing a little something romantic between Allan and David, SOMEONE TELL ME IF THEY FELT THIS TOO?!<end spoiler> so I reached out to the author on Twitter and she (kind of) confirmed that little spoiler up here ^ and dropped that she would ENJOY writing a novella or something to shed a little light on a few things. I say you guys go read this series, come back here, and we will petition to Bloomsbury to LET THIS HAPPEN. Sound good? Overall I found that Lion Heart was filled with even more strength and light and wonder than the first two books. I loved it, and thought it a great conclusion to the series. If you are looking for the swoons, the kisses, the sweetness that we have been waiting for between Scar and Rob, Lion Heart delivers. I absolutely recommend this series, in fact I can’t recommend it enough.