The Lion’s Den
Publication date: January 12th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
An injury stops the bleeding of Meredith and Brad Walsh’s fractured marriage. As Meredith recovers and tries to regain her memory, Brad fights to convince Meredith their marriage was perfect, even if it barely existed.
But with Meredith’s memory comes clarity, and Meredith is faced with the reality of a husband and a lover. A husband who will do anything not to lose—his family or anything else, and a lover who will set her free to see her happy. Breaking up her family is not an option, but neither is staying hidden inside her mind.
Review by Gina
To say that I am a devoted fan to Eliza Freed would be an understatement. Prior to reading The Devil’s Playground, I had never heard of Ms. Freed and what a shame that would have been not finding out about her. The Devil’s Playground and its sequel—The Lion’s Den—are, by far, two of the best books I’ve read in a long time. And I read A LOT of books! You can find our reviews of The Devil’s Playground here. I loved it. So did my partner in crime and reading, Nat.
I loved the realness of the characters and the situation. Most of us reading this book are wives and mothers. Most of us understand the difficulties, the exhaustion and the pure joy involved in life. Ms. Freed brought all of that to us in a raw and emotional manner in The Devil’s Playground. And she did it again in The Lion’s Den.
The Lion’s Den did not disappoint. And I tweeted Ms. Freed that as I was about fifty percent into the book. (She kindly tweeted me back! J) This book had the same deep and authentic characters. I was entranced by the storyline, which this time was told in three different POVs—Meredith’s, Vince’s and Brad’s. (Just a hint—if you weren’t a fan of Brad in The Devil’s Playground, I assure you—he will not win you over in this book.)
The Lion’s Den takes you further into the lives of these three individuals and it is riveting. The first book ends on a cliff-hanger. Did Brad know about Meredith’s affair? If so, what did he know and how much? And what exactly would he do about it? Well, we find out early in The Lion’s Den and I didn’t like it. At. All.
But it’s what happens afterwards that is beautiful.
Meredith has to find herself—literally. And as she pieces things back together, she learns more than she thought possible. Her journey was a pleasure to experience—rediscovery in all forms can be incredible. She rediscovered her children, her husband, her friends and her lover. Though some of her actions—the restaurant scene in particular—seemed a little out of character and a bit crazy, I’m one of the biggest fans of Meredith. Being true to yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and those in your life. Meredith eventually does that in this book—it’s lovely. You’d be hard pressed to find a more genuine and real character in a book anywhere. She’s flawed and yet perfect because she’s flawed.
And if I thought for one second after reading The Devil’s Playground that I couldn’t fall more in love with Vincent Pratt, I was delirious. Seriously. I know the situation is imperfect. I know this relationship between he and Meredith is a result of an affair for both of them. I know people have been hurt, particularly Vince’s wife. And I struggled with this. I know the wrongness in an affair. I realize the hurt involved in that. But if you read these book with an open mind, you also realize that life is imperfect and good people can make mistakes. WE all make mistakes. And Vince—despite his errors in judgment—is a patient, caring and decent man. I loved him after the first book, but after The Lion’s Den—I fell head over heels for him.
I don’t want to give all the secrets away—especially if you’re reading this review to determine whether or not to read this series. READ IT. It’s one of the most real romance stories you will read. Yes, I’m a big fan of the instant attractions or billionaire meets damsel or bad boy and good girl fall in love in a day. But this story is real. Something like it happens every day, everywhere and Ms. Freed doesn’t sugar coat it. She doesn’t make it all cookies and cream. She gives us the raw reality of marriage, being a mother and having to make hard choices—even knowing sometimes we will make the wrong ones, hoping it leads to the right path.
Ms. Freed—You’ve got big fans here! What’s next?
5 Silver Buckles!
Review by Nat
I have to start by stating how excited I was for The Lion’s Den to be released. After reading The Devil’s Playground, and thoughts of it being stuck in my head for weeks, the anticipation was almost unbearable. I had to find out what happened to Meredith! I mean come on Eliza, how can you leave us hanging with the uncertainty of what really happened that evening between Meredith and her husband that led to her being rushed to the hospital?
Well, let me say that Ms. Freed does not disappoint in this sequel. You will be taken on what feels like on an emotional roller coaster ride throughout this story, with so many mixed feelings and possibly even some vocal outbursts (if you’re anything like I was while reading it). On more than one occasion, my husband had to ask me what I was talking about when I would yell at the characters while reading this book. Sometimes that frustration was aimed at Meredith, because several times, I found myself asking her what the hell she was thinking. If you thought that you disliked Brad before, oh boy- just wait! And on the opposite end, my love for the character of Vince grew even deeper. The passion that he has for Meredith was made so apparent in this novel. Cliché to say that actions speak louder than words, but when it comes to the pure adoration that Vince has for her, his actions throughout the story make it extremely evident exactly how he feels, and the lengths to which he would go to for her- even if it means self-sacrifice.
I won’t go into too much detail, as to ensure that you will be in as much shock as I was while reading The Lion’s Den. I will say though that I’m fairly certain you will not be disappointed with this book. The storyline is surprising and full of twists. We are able to delve into the characters more deeply and learn exactly what is going on with each of them. We are also shown exactly how strong of a woman Meredith is. She is not a reactionist- she knows exactly what she wants and waits for the perfect opportunity to take it. I love her! The only thing that I feel this story was lacking was the amount of steamy sex scenes that were shared in the first novel, but once you get into this story, you’ll understand why it lacks in that area.
Overall, I give this book 4.5 silver buckles!
Thank you Eliza Freed- you have found 2 fans here at Pink Lace and Silver Buckles Book Blog that will be following you indefinitely!
Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job.
She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.