Read Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna Online


Prague, 1610Ludmila Novakova--Mila--has barely set foot outside Prague Castle in her seventeen years. But with the choice between braving the bandits and wolves of Bohemia's uneasy roads or being married off to a disgusting old baron, she's taken what she can carry and fled. Escape won't be easy. Even Mila has heard the rumors of a rebellion coming against the court. The pPrague, 1610Ludmila Novakova--Mila--has barely set foot outside Prague Castle in her seventeen years. But with the choice between braving the bandits and wolves of Bohemia's uneasy roads or being married off to a disgusting old baron, she's taken what she can carry and fled. Escape won't be easy. Even Mila has heard the rumors of a rebellion coming against the court. The peasants are hungry. The king hasn't been seen in months. Mila's father, the High Chancellor, is well known and well hated. But Mila can't sit behind a stone wall and let fear force her into a life of silk gowns and certain misery. Her mother's death has taught her that much. She has one ally: Marc, the son of the blacksmith. A commoner, a Protestant--and perhaps a traitor, too. But the farther she gets from the castle, the more lies she uncovers, unraveling everything she thought she knew. And the harder it is to tell friend from enemy--and wrong from right . . ....

Title : Lions in the Garden
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781601835093
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 250 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lions in the Garden Reviews

  • Carrie
    2018-11-08 12:26

    Mila's father is a high ranking member in the royal court. When Mila finds out that there is a plan for her to marry a baron almost three times her age she decides to run away from the castle. Alone in the woods and with her horse injured she finds herself in danger from a couple of thieves. Out of nowhere Marc comes to her rescue and gives her a ride on his horse back to the castle. Mila is immediately taken by Marc but he is the son of blacksmith and a Protestant. There is unrest between the Protestants and the Catholic led royal court with rumors of an uprising being planned. To thank Marc, Mila invites him to the castle for a party for the unveiling of the royal jewels. What neither know though is that Marc's younger brother is in on a plan to steal the jewels to fund the rebellion. There were a lot of things I really loved about this book and a few that I didn't. It felt like the book got off to a somewhat slow start for me even with the immediate encounter in the woods. But once it got going I really got hooked on the story and the relationship between Marc and Mila. Yes, this is a book with a case of the old insta-love but the relationship did develop over a week under intense circumstances so that really didn't bother me but be warned to those that despise it. It's a typical connection between the sheltered girl and the commoner boy, Marc was the knight in shining armor and attractive rescuer when Mila was running from a horrible arranged marriage situation so the relationship made sense to me. At times the historical aspect seemed to be really good but other times it seemed little details didn't feel quite as accurate. For instance, Mila's character was obviously very strong willed since we start the story with her running away but it would also seem that she would worry a bit more about her virtue or act more like a proper young lady having been raised in a castle. I did completely enjoy the story line of the opposing religions and the royalty versus the commoners aspect to it though. When reading I found if I ignored the few flaws I was completely engrossed in the story and loving it. At the end it ended up being one of those "where is the next book??" moments when I'd just love to continue reading on to see what happens next. I really think for me this one turned out to be more exciting and engrossing that I was expecting with an action packed plot along with the historical romance. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
    2018-11-11 12:21

    DNF at 21%.I'm not feeling this one right now. It's really similar in style to Melanie Dickerson and I've only just read one of her books.I'll definitely come back t it though!

  • Emma
    2018-10-27 19:46

    I received a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.A historical fiction novel with a great premise. I did not know much about the history of this time before reading it, but after reading this great book, but it really intrigued me. I am not a big fan when the main theme is romance so I was glad that there were plenty of other themes running through the book. But there was a enough romance for romance fans.I loved the action and all the plotting and scheming. The characters were great, really in depth, even found myself feeling for some of the smaller characters. Because of this book I would be interested in reading more books set in this time.Often when books deal with religion, I find that it can be preachy, samey or just feels like a sermon. But everything about religion in this book was fact/ history, no long sermons, it was all integral to the plot.I am looking forward to the next book in the series and I think it will be even more up my allet with it being more focused on rebellion, (I hope).4 out of 5 stars.

  • Lisa Pickle
    2018-11-06 19:25

    This was my very first ARC and the very first ebook I read. Exciting! I know I mentioned in my recap post that I wasn't going to be reading//reviewing as diligently, but this is one of the ARCs I received before I made that decision, so I will still review it, since that's the whole reason I received it in the first place. Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books!~*~I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. This isn't really the type of book I would pick up off the shelves and read, based on cover and blurb. (but that cover is really pretty XD)I definitely enjoyed this book. It gives a really good glimpse at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and how it affected people of different social status and background. It's not perfectly accurate--the dialogue is modern, not historically accurate for 1610, but I was completely okay with that. The author didn't try to straddle both worlds and have partly historical dialogue and partly modern-day speech habits. It was completely modern. But I didn't have a problem with that at all because the author was consistent, and it made it very, very readable. It didn't feel dried out or drowned just for the sake of authenticity.I don't think I'd ever read a book set in this exact time period before? I think it represented the Reformation very well, while still remaining interesting and readable. Yes, the historical aspects fade a little in lue of the fictional part, but the fiction was well based and grounded in the historical setting. I thoroughly enjoyed it.The characters were strong and I enjoyed the relationships and connections various ones had with others. Again, it was realistic. In the first chapter, there was a lot of telling vs. showing and to be honest, I groaned a little, hoping the entire book wouldn't be like that. It got better as it went along though. It could have been better overall, but it wasn't cringe-worthy.At one point the main female character is almost raped, which is very accurate for the time period and situation. But it wasn't overly-detailed, which I very much appreciated. While in a dire situation, two characters also shared a bed, though didn't have sex. Because of my personal beliefs, I wasn't happy about it, but I could understand the situation and again, historical accuracy. That doesn't mean I agreed with it.Overall, it was a good read and I don't have any specific complaints.Lions in the Garden will be available March 1, 2016.I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • nisha (paper cranes)
    2018-10-22 19:46

    *thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book*THIS BOOK, this book! Honestly, I have so many feelings about this book, so I'm just going to write them all, even fi none of them make any sense whatsoever. First off, I read this right at that wonderful time when I was craving a good romance, and that made me love this book so much more. The romance in this book develops wonderfully, and the characters seem to develop their feelings very naturally, which I enjoyed. The author writes scenes between the two love interests that make you crave for more. Second, I found the setting so interesting. I've never read anything that took place in Prague right around the Protestant reformation. I'm not that into historical fiction, but this book make me want to read more of the genre. Third, the writing grabs you, then pulls you in until you can't get out. This book goes by so fast, and by the time it's over, you are going to be craving for more writing. I believe this is a series, and, after this book, I am definitely up for reading another one of these books. Can't wait for it to be released!

  • Arshia
    2018-11-17 11:40

    The characters, the backdrop, the history it was all so wonderful! I loved this story and Mila's journey was so much fun to read. She was such a child in the beginning but she had strength of character that helped her overcome various struggles and her own naiveté. This was an amazing beginning to a hopefully a wonderful series.

  • Shelby
    2018-11-11 12:32

    Absolutely Loved it! Have been waiting for this and it was worth the wait! Love, Love the way Chelsea Luna writes! Can't wait for the next one!

  • Happy
    2018-11-09 12:47

    Soooo Excited for this Book!

  • donatella
    2018-10-25 13:39

    I've been waiting so patiently for this book to come out, I also Love Chelsea Luna's Books. She is definitely one of my favorite Authors. Hurry and come out!

  • Kate
    2018-11-06 15:24

    Love this time period! Am excited to see how this book turns out and what will happen.

  • Mareyes
    2018-11-14 16:33

    I can hardly contain myself! I Love Chelsea Luna's Books , I am so looking forward to this book!

  • Bambi Unbridled
    2018-10-26 11:26

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I loved that the setting was Prague/Bohemia as it gave me a nice change of pace from the more prevalent England/Scotland settings. I would also say this one focuses a tad more on the historical fiction side than historical romance - but there is still some (clean) romance in there for those that need it in their stories. This was also one of those books that had me googling things as I read. I don't recall learning much about Prague in school, so it made me curious about its history and the people featured in the story. So for those that are familiar with the setting, this story takes place in the early 17th Century during the time of King and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. This was a time of conflict between the Catholic Church and Protestants, and preceded the Thirty Years War. (See, I learned something!)Our heroine is Lady Ludmila Novakova. Mila's father is high chancellor to King Rudolf, and her mother was the king's close personal friend. As Mila has been living safe behind the protected walls of the castle, she is not really aware of the struggle outside the castle walls. All she knows of the Catholic-Protestant conflict is the anti-Protestant rumors she hears around the castle. So at a naive seventeen years old, Mila is about to embark on a very fast and eye-opening coming of age in the midst of a revolution. She will have the blindfold ripped off and many things she thought about her life and past will change. I quite liked Mila even though I didn't have a super strong emotional connection to her character. As I said, she was naive, but she was also courageous. I think I will enjoy following the rest of her story throughout the series.We first meet Mila as she is fleeing Prague in fear that her father has betrothed her to an old man. When attacked by vagabonds, Mila is saved by our hero, Marc Sykora. Marc is the handsome second son of the village blacksmith, and also a rebel Protestant. There is an instant connection between the couple, but I wouldn't call this one insta-love. Yes, there was an immediate attraction and flirtation, but the romance wasn't at the forefront of the story so it didn't seem over the top fast if you know what I mean. Anywho, Marc is a great underdog, both handsome and honorable. I had more of a connection to his character than I did Mila, but I think that's because I didn't like the way she treated him sometimes, particularly when it seemed obvious to me that he was trying to help her and she didn't realize that (yet).So the real focus of this story is the Catholic-Protestant conflict, which was very interesting. I'm not sure how much of this book was fiction or fact, but I found everything to be quite believable. There was a good amount of court intrigue, betrayal and scandal - with a good dose of the underdogs to root for. I am used to reading about the Catholic-Protestant conflict in Tudor and Elizabethan-era books set in England, so this was a really nice change of perspective.I received an advanced copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 4+ stars / 1 flame.

  • Nina
    2018-10-27 12:43

    Thank you to Kensington Books at NetGalley for providing a copy for review!This is also on By Page or By Plane.I was vacillating between 4 stars or 3 stars, but decided on 4, because the historical aspect of this book wins over the somewhat lackluster romance.If you like history, you'll love this book. Set in the beginning of the Reformation, this follows Mila, a noble who has been sheltered all her life, and her discovery that life is drastically different for the peasants outside the castle walls. Unrest has been brewing, and it will take very little for a revolution to spark. I won't claim to be an expert on European history, but this will have you wanting to read more on it.I didn't know how much history there'd be in Lions in the Garden, but I was pleasantly surprised that the bits of history were interwoven quite neatly with Mila's and Marc's romance. Mila and Marc meet when Marc rescues her from an attempted robbery while Mila is attempting to run away, and she quickly learns that Marc isn't just the son of a blacksmith - he's also a member of the Protestant rebellion. At first Mila is appalled - rebellion? Because of what? But the more time she spends outside the castle walls - and with Marc - she realizes that the peasantry live drastically different lives. She has to do something, but what, and how? She has her own issues to contend with - a pending engagement, her muddled feelings for Marc, and she just can't forget the trauma from her childhood.I liked Mila as a heroine, maybe not as a romantic one, because these two fell for each other fast (I'm talking a week, tops, and they didn't even spend majority of that week together, but I suppose rescue from a highway robbery bonds you), but she's smart, and learns quickly. She starts out naive, but as the book goes on she starts to form her own beliefs, and views.The romance here serves as a way of showcasing the social and political setting - they're from two very different classes, and each of them are on different sides of the rebellion. Later, when Marc is captured and punished, it's to highlight the abuses of power the nobility (and in the eyes of the peasantry, the Catholic Church) exercise over them.Lions in the Garden starts off slow, even mundane, but it quickly gets the ball rolling. The only thing I'd have to grumble about it in this book is that cliffhanger, and maybe the modern way of speaking the characters here use, especially Mila.

  • Marguerite
    2018-10-21 13:46

    4 Stars.Absolutely delightful! Lions in the Garden was a wonderful read and I absolutely raced through the pages. I enjoyed the characters, vivid setting and intriguing plot. The heroine, Mila, was just a joy to read. I won't deny that there were moments when I thought "She can't seriously be thinking that! Of course _____ is going to betray her", but considering her situations, I totally understood her choices. Marc was certainly the dashing hero, and whilst he featured extensively, I still feel there is much more to learn about him in the next few books. The supporting cast was wonderful - Henrik, Ruzena and Radek especially. I am really interested to see what happens in particular with the Mila/Radek relationship. The plot was really fun to read, and whilst I was not shocked by anything (I sort of suspected), I still enjoyed the reading experience. The setting in Prague is fascinating and unique to YA books - I certainly haven't come across it before, but feel free to recommend to me any that are set there, because I really enjoyed reading about the city. Another great aspect was that the historical tensions between the Catholic Church and Protestants was explored properly, not just overlooked - I really appreciated it (as I really enjoy studying about history).Overall, I light, fun, fast-paced read that had me smiling at the end and eager to read further on in the series. A definite recommendation to those who enjoy historical romance! * Thank-you to Kensington Books and Net Galley for this ARC. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  • Isabella
    2018-11-05 11:34

    Gosh I don't know. I'm really torn about this book! I liked it buuuuuut... It's instalove. Like Romeo and Juliet kind of instalove, and they're star crossed lovers, and it was just a little to... corny maybe? I don't know, this paragraph really says it all,“Whatever ideas you have about me and—what did you call it? my long list of women?—aren’t true. I’ve been with Zora and a few others in the past. I’m nineteen, what do you expect? But nothing I shared with any of them compares to how I feel about you.” at this point they have known each other for approximately a week-ish.Not to mention the love square that goes something like this, Ruzena is in love with Marc, but Marc's in love with Mila, and Radek thinks he's in love with Mila but she's in love with Marc (Sigh). Anyway even with all that, it was still pretty adorable, nearly everything about it reminded me of a Disney movie, seriously they met when he saves her in the woods, and then when she's in trouble he races after her like a knight in shining armor, you know come to think of it it's kind of like that movie Enchanted. But I guess I'm just disappointed, I wanted it to blow me away and it didn't. :-(

  • Ally
    2018-10-24 16:36

    NetGalley. Thanks for the copy.I'm sorry, but no. This is not for me. The premise of the story seems promising, at first, but then... When I started reading the book, I was mostly scanning through the pages. An assault at the first chapter? Eh... Why should I care so much about the narrator? And what is she even doing outside of her castle without wearing plain clothes instead of her fancy getup? (Yep. I have no time for this. Sorry.)Rating: One out of Five

  • Anali
    2018-11-11 18:26

    *I received this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ok, terminé esta novela hace dos días pero no me decidía que puntación ponerle. Sin embargo, le he puesto 3 estrellas ya que hubieron cosas que si me gustaron. Ummm...el libro no es malo, estuvo bien pero no se...creo que le falto algo. Lamentablemente no me atrapado y casi me daba pereza seguir. En resumen, Lions in the garden es una novela juvenil de romance histórico, que sigue las aventuras Ludmila Novakova, Mila, una joven que huye de su hogar, conoce a un joven y luego tiene que afrontar intrigas en medio de una revolución y un amor prohibido. La primera vez que leí la reseña me parecio interesante. Había romance, un escenario y tiempo originales y una protagonista valiente. El escenario fue lo que más me llamo la atención porque la historia no se desarrolla en Inglaterra, Francia o Escocia, sino en Praga y durante la revolución protestante. Me pareció novedoso. Creo que la autora lo manejo bien, al igual que con las religiones. Católica y Protestante. Pude sentir la discordia y tensión entre ambos grupos.Los personajes tampoco estuvieron mal, pero no llegaron a encantarme. Ni siquiera los protas. Mila no logro atraparme como había imaginado y Marc, es lindo, pero...nah.Por último, algo que no creo que haya funcionado para mí fue el romance. Amo el romance en libros, pero no todos los tipos de romance y aqui fue más o menos así: Mila escapa de su hogar porque no quiere casarse con un barón anciano, huye hacia el bosque y es atacada por lobos. Entonces es rescatada por un joven atractivo y ellos se enamoran perdidamente del otro al siguiente instante. En pocas palabras: INSTALOVE. Y muy al estilo "Disney". Como si Mila fuera la princesa y Marc el principe azul. No, no creo que me gustara. Además ese extraño (y típico) cuadrado-triángulo amoroso no creo que fuera necesario. Me hubiera gustado que fuera un romance simple, con sentimientos lentos y solo entre ambos. Aunque si es un poco interesante que su romance sea imposible y prohibido porque ella es católica y él protestante. También tienen algunas escenas adorables. En general, es un libro ligero. Divertido y ágil para pasar el rato. Más romance que acción y suspenso, pero con un buen escenario y tiempo. Además la escritura también es buena.

  • Debbie Gascoyne
    2018-10-23 15:42

    I'm sure this will appeal to anyone who enjoys light historical romance and isn't too fussy about either depth of character or historical accuracy.Mila's father has insisted that she marry a fat old baron, so she steals a horse and escapes into the forest. Threatened by wolves - real and metaphorical, in the form of nasty woodsmen - she is rescued by the handsome son of the town blacksmith, with whom, of course, she falls instantly and madly in love and he with her. Oh, and that's just the first five pages. Then they both get swept up into a rebellion, and there's a wicked count and gypsies, and .... yeah. You get the idea. Fun, but completely unbelievable and completely lacking in any real sense of place or period (you'd never know from either the cover image or from internal details that this is actually happening in the Renaissance). I was also quite put off, in the context of diversity and cultural sensitivity, by the very stereotypical portrayal of "gypsies": maybe passable in a fantasy, but not in what purports to be a realistic setting. Overall, a fun, but oh, so predictable read.I was provided a copy of this by NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

  • Angela (Pooled Ink Reviews)
    2018-10-22 19:37

    2.5 stars? 2.75 stars? 3 stars?pooled ink Reviews:If you are seeking a light read, and a romance at that, then this book is indeed for you. It’s the perfect book to take on a short to mid-length flight filling you with romance and action as you devour your complimentary pretzels and soda, and will keep you swathed in its fantastical tale even when the plane hits a touch of turbulence. Lions in the Garden provides readers with something measured and brief yet glowing with forbidden love.Read my FULL review here:

  • Gretchen Hohmeyer
    2018-10-18 12:33

    This review first appeared on my blog, My Life is a NotebookThanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books and Lyrical Press for this eARC! This title will be published on March 1, 2016.As a lover of anything vaguely historical fiction, I knew I had to request this from NetGalley. Luna tackles a period of history and a place that I had never read anything of before, and that alone hooked me. However, the first few chapters … well, they were really rough.The story sure does open with Mila running away from home, but don’t let that fool you. She makes it nowhere before a band of thieves catch her in a trap, kill her horse and almost kill her. Thankfully, she is rescued by Marc, the middle son of the local blacksmith. He takes her back to the castle, with the promise to help her find passage to Spain if she has to marry the fat old guy who came by the castle last week. Oh, and of course on that horse ride back, they have to both ride on his horse and sparks fly and yadda yadda.The opening feels extremely contrived, especially when it’s revealed that Mila doesn’t have to marry that old guy because the young, hot duke–Radek–who’s known her since childhood is making a very territorial claim on her–and had always planned to, so I guess she was never in danger of marrying anyone but him anyways? No idea. Anyways.By this point, I was panicking. There was way more insta-love and shades of love triangle than I wanted to see, and too little of the historical that I had originally come for. Amazingly, however, no love triangle emerges. Mila dislikes Radek immensely–independently of meeting and falling instantly in love with Marc, which is important to me–and really, really doesn’t want to marry him. It’s helpful to the plot that Marc falls instantly in love with Mila as well, after seeing her for like sixty seconds, but having dodged the love triangle bullet I could live with it.Enough about the insta-love. It did make the opening sequence of this novel painful, but after that I found myself quite intrigued. Luna does finally dig into the issues between the Catholics and the Protestants, and initially I found her treatment of it really great. Mila is a life-long Catholic and naive to a fault, so she ends up having some good discussions with Marc about how not all Catholics are as evil as he thinks they are and stuff like that. Marc also teaches Mila not to be prejudiced towards Protestants and Gypsies and gets her to see his side of the coin. This was the historical flavor that I had come for, and I–eventually–did get it, and I really enjoyed it.Also, the way that Mila interacts with Radek throughout the novel is beautiful. For some reason, so many YA novels want to make the main character fall half in love with anyone who’s interested in them, and Mila was so violently NOT ABOUT Radek the whole time. Even if she did fall insta-love with Marc, it was refreshing to see her stand up for herself where Radek was concerned. She knew Radek’s possessiveness did not equal love, and that was very important to me.The side stories about King Rudolf and Mila’s mother were also well done. I can’t go into them without spoiling a great deal of the plot, but their characterization and backstories were interesting and dovetailed in nicely to give the plot a more multidimensional feel. Though the story was 90% about Mila and Marc, the 10% given to these other stories were strong and enjoyable.On a not so great random note, however, Mila experienced a lot of physical roughness that I found rather … discomforting. You could play a mild drinking game with how many times men try to assault her and/or knock her out. It’s nothing graphic and nothing major ever happens, but she always need to be saved and people keep physically roughing her up. She does make some strides towards the end of the novel to begin to learn to defend herself, which I hope she continues in the next book because YIKES.Just as I was getting into the Catholic/Protestant conflict and Mila and Marc’s great back and forth on the subject, however, the ending happens. I’m going to be extremely vague here to avoid spoilers, but basically one side ends up being characterized as completely evil and one side as the greater good and it was … frustrating. It completely destroyed the back and forth that had happened before, both in how that character had been previously characterized as religious and the great discussion about how neither was right but neither was wrong. Instead, the historical element and religious discussion seemed to bend entirely to the whim of a hyperbolic Romeo and Juliet retelling. I’m not even religious, but this treatment bothered me.All in all, I found this book to be a bit of a roller-coaster. I originally thought I wouldn’t enjoy it at all, but once I got into the meat of it I found a rhythm that was interesting. The ending frustrated me again, to the point where I had to even out my rating to three stars. Luna clearly has storytelling talent and Mila’s character has serious potential now that most of the naivete has (literally) been knocked out of her. Though the next book won’t be something I’m raring to pick up, the history and Mila interested me enough that I would read it to see if her character improves in the way that I hope she does.

  • Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)
    2018-11-18 19:34

    This book was so hard to rate. There were things I really enjoyed about this book, but there were also things that I really didn't like at all. What I did love about this book was the time period and the setting. I thought it was so cool to read about a book set in Prague. The author did a great job at describing the settings of the castles and surrounding areas during the 1600s. I also loved reading about the outfits Mila got to wear. I personally love ballgowns, and Mila got to wear so many of them! It made me giddy just reading about the beautiful dresses she had.I thought the basic plot of the book was really interesting, however, I felt like the plot of the book got overshadowed by the romance. Don't get me wrong, I love romance, but I felt like the romance in this book took away from excitement of the plot. I think the reason the romance felt that way was because it was insta-love. I would have preferred the romance to develop at a slower pace. Instead, it felt rushed and unrealistic. I just really didn't buy the romance. I will say that Mila and Marc had some cute moments, and Marc definitely made me swoon a few times. However, it was hard for me to look past the insta-love. I hope the next book in the series will develop their romance more.Now, let's talk about Mila. To be honest, she was a bit of a ditz. She did/said so many idiotic things in this book and it drove me insane. One of the best examples of this was when she tried escaping in the very beginning of the book. When she escaped, she decided to wear her expensive hair pieces and an elegant dress that would clearly define her as higher class/nobility...If she didn't want to get caught or noticed, she shouldn't have worn that! It was obvious that someone was going to spot her attire and find that a bit suspicious. She did that and a few other things in the book that had me shaking my head at her. However, I did like how kind and thoughtful she was. I definitely respected that about her.Even though there were things I disliked about the book, I still enjoyed myself while reading the book. I felt like I was reading a story about a new Disney princess. It was kind of cheesy and it eye-roll worthy, but still fun and light hearted. I would definitely pick up the sequel to see what happens next. I could see my younger sister LOVING this book!3 / 5 Fangs*This ebook was given to me in exchange for a honest review. *MrsLeif's Two Fangs About ItFacebookTwitter

  • Kristyn - Reading to Unwind
    2018-11-05 17:35

    Mila has been kept mostly in the castle by her father after her mother's death. Mila tries to run away after she over hears a suitor trying to get her father to give him permission to marry her. While Mile is running away outside the castle she gets attacked by thieves who try and hurt her. Marc was out in the woods and was able to save her from the thieves.I really enjoyed reading this book. First I loved the chemistry between Mila and Marc it started off strong and she was talking through her feelings in the book. I also loved since Mila was so sheltered that she was not sure of Marc's true intentions. She eventually learned to trust Marc, which is great that she didn't just jump in feet first and worked on building trust. Trust is not something that should be given easily, but rather earned. By the end of the book I was routing for both Mila and Marc to get together and be able to be together.Without going into any spoilers the book took several turns that I sort of saw coming, but wasn't a 100% sure until the very end of the book. Everything was presenting through Mila's point of view and she was very naive about her surroundings, so as she learned what was really going on we were learning what was really going on. Not every situation is as thou it seems in the book. Mila is quick to learn what is going on even if she needs a few moments to accept everything that is going on.There is a scene in which Mila is almost violated after she is kidnapped. I think the author did a great job with describing the scene, but not overly describing it as to turn the reader away. The descriptions of the battles and wounds was perfect to for the young adult fiction reader. I think if the scenes where more descriptive it would have been to much.The story moved along at a steady pace. As a reader I could feel the relationship between Mila and Marc growing as well as Mila's full understanding of what was going on outside the castle walls. I don't feel like there were any parts of the story where it was dragging along and the author did a great job with building suspense. The story being told fully through Mila's eyes only so as a reader we only see what she sees and learns new information as she learns it. I think if we got another perspective with the writing it might have been interesting to see what Marc thought or even Mila's father. I feel there were some secondary characters I would have love to gotten a more in-depth look into.I would suggest this as a night time read, although towards the end I feel like I got sucked in and needed to know what was going to happen to Mila. There is an excellent cliffhanger so the story must continue! I received a copy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book.

  • Lisa
    2018-10-31 17:33

    Lions in the GardenChelsea LunaLyrical PressPub Date- March 1st, 2016Source- NetgalleyFirst I want to thank Netgalley and the Publisher for letting me read this. I have a strong love for historical fictions that take place in a time of history that I know little about. Also that take place in places I want to go. I really think this book hit the mark there for me. I enjoyed that aspect very much, learning about Prague and a little of its history. There were a couple things I did have trouble with, but understand I finished the book beside that fact.I found the relationship maybe a little to Insta-love, but I really sort of think maybe I worked past this point, as the two characters really thought about what their relationship really meant. Yet with the issues that their relationship should have made them question, and truthfully there were many, none of them were resolved in this book. I really thought things dragged a little in the beginning, and I was hoping for something to happen. Yes maybe the secret relationship was sort of exciting, but really it just seemed like one conversation after another. There were several eye-rolling moments at the heroine and the hero and well the three dimwits that came along. Talk about always being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it was after this point that things picked up a little. Those were my two big issues, the first one may be easy to overlook, but the second was the bigger reason I just couldn't give it it four stars. So the story did get going and I found myself liking the main character of Mila. She still has some growing up to do, but I think she just started finding her strengths in the end. She stopped being the damsel in distress...and started a revolution. I really liked the gypsy camp, of course gypsies are fascinated I think.I would recommend this to someone who liked historical fiction, the time period is sort of fascinating. The political and religious issues that were underlying factors in this book give it back a half a star. So overall rating 3.5 stars, and yes I will read book 2 as things just started to be going somewhere in the end. I hope that momentum in carried over.

  • C.J. Burright
    2018-10-19 15:44

    One of my favorite aspects of Lions in the Garden was the setting. I’m no history buff, and I don’t know much about Prague and Budapest, so the historical tidbits Chelsea sprinkled in were really interesting, especially with the religious war brewing and the king’s precarious hold on the realm.I love stories with castles, swords, and romance, so of course this book caught my eye…even without any magic. :) Mila is a likeable character, and while she’s in the hopeless situation of being a noble forced into an undesirable, loveless marriage, she doesn’t just roll over and accept it. She tries to do something about it, which drives her right into Marc, a commoner. Forbidden romance, anyone? But while Marc may be a peasant and a *gasp* Protestant as well, he’s honorable and refuses to let Mila head into danger on her own. So, he takes her back to her prison, the castle. Not exactly what Mila had in mind when she snuck out in her quest for freedom.Marc is not only honorable and likeable, he’s in a tight spot too. He sees every day the poverty of the people and how they’re oppressed by the nobility. Some members of his family feel the only way to force change is through less-than-noble methods, and he gets stuck between what’s right, what’s wrong, and what to do about it.While the romance is slow moving, there’s tension and a definite attraction between Mila and Marc. They’re both respectable characters who are restrained by their circumstances, so that’s understandable. I love how Marc reveals to Mila the world outside the castle, the terrible problems citizens face, the danger and injustice. And what I enjoyed best about them both together is how they don’t sit back and let others deal with it—they tackle the problems head on, no matter their station.Lions in the Garden doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, but the story is nowhere near complete and will leave you ready for the rest. Nice historical romance.

  • CassieV
    2018-10-30 18:33

    My first ever ARC!! Squeeeee!!Lions in the Garden fits a genre niche that is underdeveloped, in my opinion. It's a purely historical fiction young adult novel. Not fantasy. Not steampunk. No vampires, werewolves or witches. Just pure historical fiction, which I don't personally find much of in the young adult shelves. So for that, I'll give it extra points.The story itself is good, if lacking a bit of the depth that I like in my normal historical fiction. Perhaps, that is because it's YA and that tends to be a more fast-paced genre. I would have liked to get to know more about the characters thoughts and motives, but perhaps that will come in later books. Mila does have the unfortunate tendency toward naively believing what she is told, and a lot of the book follows her charging ahead with whatever assumption she is currently working under, only to see her find out her mistake and switch gears mid-stream. For me, this fits with her age (she's 17) and the temperament that goes with teenagers, so I'm a bit willing to overlook it.Overall, I liked this book. The flaws mixed with the originality of genre and what the author was attempting left me with a solid 3 stars. I will read the next one, because I would like to see what happens to Mila and Marc next!This review will also be posted at Book Charmers Blog after 2/21.

  • Heather A
    2018-10-22 19:49

    I received a copy from Netgalley.There are some books you know that you just aren't going to like and unfortunately this title is one of them. Initially it was the cover that caught my eye about this one when I saw it on Netgalley, however, the story is very very dull. I'm only at 10%, and already don't like the main character. I must admit, also, I thought it was a fantasy, not a historical. It's trying to be a historical but it doesn't really feel like it.The speech patterns felt kind of too modern. I'm no expert at all, it just didn't feel at all like a historical. It was also very tell and not show. Also - rather gruesome animal death in the first few pages. Big turn off for me. It also in a weird way kind of reminded me of the start of an old Hammer Horror movie. Big castle, peasant town. Girl running through the woods, half expecting the heroine to be seduced by Dracula. (Which I don't think was the intended goal with this book at all).The heroine herself didn't strike me as too bright either. I noticed another one star review on goodreads that pointed this out as well. She's escaping because she wants to avoid an arranged marriage. Fair enough. But she runs away bedecked in gold and diamonds to escape through the woods? Seriously? Apparently common sense does not apply to this girl. Not for me. Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for approving my request to view the title.

  • Tnmi02
    2018-10-21 15:43

    LOVED This!! Chelsea is such a great writer! I loved everything about this book. Historical Romance is one of my favorites. She describes it so well. I feel like I'm in Prague! A must read!

  • Janelle
    2018-11-01 18:50

    This review appears on my blog: http://youngaspiringwritersanonymous....I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Kensington and Lyrical publishers.I have mixed feelings about this novel. In some ways I enjoyed it because it was set in Prague in 1610 which is during the time of the Reformation. It is not a Christian fiction book but it had some interesting insights as to what was going on during this time among both the Protestants and Catholics. It is also kind of a coming of age story for the protagonist.The protagonist of the novel, Ludmilla or Mila for short, was interesting, especially as she struggles to understand the politics within the Holy Roman Empire, as well as struggling with whether the Protestants are truly as bad as she has grown up to believe. In the beginning of the novel she meets Marc who is a Protestant and she begins to realize that maybe the Protestants aren't as bad as her father had led her to believe, and she also sees why the see the need to revolt against the Holy Roman Empire.One thing I had to keep in mind while reading this book is that when the characters refer to themselves as Protestants, they are not necessarily Christians, rather they call themselves that because they are revolting against the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church's tyranny. This is not to say that all Protestants during this time weren't true Protestants, meaning that they truly believed that the doctrine the Catholic church was teaching was wrong. However, based on this novel there were many who were just rebelling against the institution that had long oppressed them.I can't go into too much detail because then it will give away spoilers but the plot was okay. I didn't like the fact that author seemed to use some modern sayings that would not have been around during this time period, it just annoyed me. I also didn't like one scene in particular when started to get a little bit steamy, it wasn't anything to explicit, it just wasn't something I was expecting in a YA novel and I don't like scenes like that.I did enjoy the last 50 pages of the book because there seemed to be more action and I found it really gripping and I could not put it down, however the first 175 pages seemed to drag on. In some ways it was predictable, and in other ways there were things that took me by surprise, especially when the real antagonists are revealed.I may or may not read the second book in this series, I am still trying to decide because I am kind of curious to find out what happens next, but at the same time I am worried that there will be more steamy scenes.I am giving this book 2.5-3/ 5 Stars because there were certain things that I did really enjoy about the novel but there were also things I didn't like and I don't know if I could necessarily recommend this book to anyone I know.Thanks again to NetGalley and Kensington for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review.

  • Emily
    2018-10-18 13:37

    Frightened by the prospect of an arranged marriage to an old man she dislikes, seventeen year old Mila flees her home in the palace of Prague in 1610. As the chancellor’s daughter, Mila has never been outside the palace unescorted and certainly not through the thief-infested forests outside the city. After handsome blacksmith’s son, Marc, rescues her from bandits, Mila falls hopelessly in love and begins to see that the rebellion brewing among the peasants is not without just cause.Lions in the Garden, by Chelsea Luna, was aptly named as there were both literal and metaphorical lions in the garden. King Rudolf II kept lions caged within his palace gardens. And, to quote Marc, the peasants were like the lion in that “It’s angry and depraved and once it breaks free of its cage, all hell is going to break loose.” The peasants certainly would make all hell break loose when they rebelled, the question being whether they would end up caged again afterwards. I enjoyed Lions in the Garden. The setting, the plot, the characters, and the romance all built to a dramatic climax that begs for a sequel. Kidnappings and murders, engagements and weddings, prison sentences and daring escapes all added to the intrigue. The fact that it is based—loosely, that is—on history, adds to the authenticity. The setting was well-done. The characters traveled across seventeenth century Prague, stopping at various monuments that are still present in the city today—Saint Vitus Cathedral, the astronomical clock, and the palace itself, to name a few. Each location was described in relative detail, without alienating the story. Because of this book, I would like to visit Prague someday.The romance needs a few words. Mila was determined and brave; a little naïve at first, but she learned and grew. Marc, on the other hand, knew, or a least suspected, much of what the people of the city suffered, although he also needed to grow a little. I immediately liked both characters and wished they could marry, despite the dramatic difference in social status. What I did not like was that it was basically a love-at-fist-sight romance, meaning, it is unrealistic for them to have a deep love-trust relationship after knowing each other for a few hours, in spite of how much they sacrificed for each other. The physical attraction was present, and they were touching hands, hair, and torsos by the end of their second meeting, though neither they nor any of the other characters slept together. But Marc and Mila ultimately knew very little of each other’s character, desires, or life-story even as they were willing to risk all to continue a doomed romance. It frustrated me.Other than that, I enjoyed the book very much. And the characters were very sweet to watch together. I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy a good romance in a historical setting. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Erin
    2018-10-18 18:48

    "I hated all of them. I hated what they stood for. The way they arrogantly led their lives. I hated myself because I was no better."See review first on Readingwithwrin.This book was a whirlwind of so many twists and turns and tragedy.We start this story with Mila running away to avoid marrying a man that is her father’s age she, an injury ends up stopping this though and Marc (blacksmiths son) comes to her rescue. While talking to him she learns not only of a potential revolution that the protestant peasants are planning if the Catholics in power keep ignoring and terrorizing them. Mila is shocked by these claims and tries to deny them.Once back at the castle Imogene realizes that maybe what he told her wasn’t a lie and that certain people were abusing their powers. As she is learning all of these things she is told that she will be marrying a childhood friend Radek who she not only didn’t love, but who she also didn’t trust anymore.When thieves try to steal the king’s jewels Mila ends up seeing them and gets kidnapped along with the jewels as well. This is when things really start getting good, and you learn a lot of things about what life was like for the protestants in Prague during that time. With the help of Marc she escapes the thieves and heads back to the castle, in the process of this though she ends up falling more in love with Marc and ends up learning terrifying things about Radek and what he is doing.When she gets back to the castle and talks to her father she thinks she has fixed everything and has cleared Marc’s name. Sadly that was not to be the case instead she sealed his fate. But when she learns this she decides to do whatever she can to try to save him and help the revolution.Her father tries to stop her and Radek tries to threaten her as well, but when she finally learns the truth about her mother’s death she becomes unstoppable and starts playing the parts she is supposed to in order to keep the one she loves alive.While Mila was naive she had every right to be, she was kept in the dark and inside the castle at all times and wasn’t able to leave, so there was no way she could learn about the things that were going on. I really liked her determination to help the revolution even though it meant the end of the world as she had known it.I loved this book and I can’t wait till the second one is released. I hope September gets here quickly. "I was walking in my mother's rebellious footsteps. I would finish what she started."Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington for a E-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.