Lion's Bride - Iris Johansen “You lied,” she whispered. “You said I’d be safe here.”He smiled bitterly. “But I’m a brute and a bully. You cannot trust the word of such a rogue.”This book was... AMAZING! I love medieval historicals, but this was my first involving Templars and the Crusades. I loved it! And I can't wait to finish this review so I could go and read the second book from this series He pushed her down on the bed.She looked up at him, startled, as he threw himself into the cushioned chair next to the bed. “Go to sleep,” he growled. “I’ll stay.”“You’ll try to sleep?”“I said I’d stay. I didn’t say I’d sleep.”“You might as well.” She turned over on her side and closed her eyes. “There’s nothing else to do….”The storyRiding through the desert, Lord Ware stumbles upon a young woman who had obviously escaped the massacre that happened to her caravan. His friend Kadar convinces him to bring her with them to Ware's castle, Dundragon.The woman is Thea, a runaway slave set on making her future with silk and embroidery, since she is one of the best in the area. A shop in Damascus is her ultimate goal, and a way for her to set her sister free as well. Even though she and Ware don't go very well (at all), he decides to help her, and sends Kadar to bring her sister to Dundragon.During that time, Ware and Thea get closer, and eventually fall in love.Everything goes downhill when Vaden, a Templar assassin, lets them know he plans to kill both Were and Thea, believing Ware told her the secret for which he was thrown out of the Templar order.Now Ware must do everything he can to protect Thea, even though she doesn't want his protection. That leads to a big fight, with Thea and Selene (her sister) trapped in a harem His gaze shifted back to her face, and any hint of softness vanished. “Why do you always stare at me as if I were some odd breed of camel?”“In truth you do remind me of a camel. It is the eyelashes, I think.”He frowned. “Eyelashes?”“Camels have long eyelashes too. Many women would envy them.”His eyes widened with outrage before his expression became even more forbidding. “Are you saying I have eyelashes like a woman?”WadeHe is a former Templar, now a mercenary knight, doing battles, and waiting for the Templar assassin to kill him. He doesn't get close to anyone because he knows that person would be in danger too.Wade is very honorable, and values his friendship with Kaden, even though he's afraid it'll get his friend killed.He is often (well at least in the first half of the book) referred to as a beast, and I totally love it, because he really was like that, surly and growling at everyone, has a terrible temper and is never in a good mood :D I don't know why I love heroes like that, but I can't help it And he's a knight also, yum! All big and strong and wearing armour and going into battles I did want to kick him on the head a few times, he was overprotective to a point where it was just bad but I got over it, and it didn't last that long in the book :)It was very sweet, the way he loved to watch Thea with her hair down :D and when he started falling in love with her :D Reminds me of The Beauty and the Beast “I discovered something while you were gone.” She made a rueful face. “I find I have a liking for you.”He stopped with the meat halfway to his mouth. “I beg your pardon?”“I know it’s astonishing, since you’re most unlikable. It surprised me also. I’ve decided that I must have the same weakness in my character as Kadar. Or perhaps it’s poor judgment.”TheaShe's a daughter and a slave of a silk merchant, dreaming of owning her own silk store. She manages to escape with some stolen silk-worms, all with the help of her sister Selene, and goes to the caravan leading to Damascus.After the caravan is attacked she manages to escape, but lack of food and water makes her sick. She runs into Wade, and they take her to Dundragon.Thea is a rather strong character, for those days anyway, being a woman and alone, traveling in a caravan... Not good. She wants to make her own business that would help her free (buy) her sister. She doesn't like Wade, and fights with him all the time I felt REALLY bad for her after she made the banner, and then was stuck in the harem. I think I'd kill Ware after something like that!!She promised Kaden she'd look after Wade while he was away, and those chapters were my favorites I think And when she decided to sleep with him at last, she basically had to convince HIM ahahah :DDDD I wouldn't mind if the sex was written a bit hotter, but it was OK I guess :DAnd one of my favorite scenes with Thea was when she just told Were they'll marry and move to Scotland, he had no say in it hahahah that was awesome :DKadar chuckled. “Ah, but she’s a child who owns me. And I know my duty far better than you in such a situation.”“She saved your life?”“No, something far more valuable.”“But what could be more valuable than the saving of a life?”Kadar smiled over his shoulder. “Why, a soul, my friend. What else?”Kadar and SeleneKadar is such a GREAT character!!! I absolutely loved him, and can't wait to read his book I wander what's the promise he made to Sinan :OSelene was pretty young in this book, I heard a lot of time will pass before the second, and I'm glad :)And so, now I've found another great historical author don't know many that write medieval (who I like), so this was just perfect timing :)Thank you Glam for recommending!!