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The Lion's Den

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Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend's yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend's yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once she's aboard the luxurious Lion's Den, it soon becomes clear this jet-setting holiday is not as advertised. Belle's dream vacation quickly devolves into a nightmare as she and the handful of other girls Summer invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host-and in one terrifying moment, Belle comes to see Summer for who she truly is: a vicious gold digger who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Belle realizes she's going to have to keep her wits about her -- and her own big secret closely hidden -- if she wants to make it off the yacht alive.


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Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend's yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once Belle likes to think herself immune to the dizzying effects of fabulous wealth. But when her best friend, Summer, invites her on a glamorous getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend's yacht, the only sensible answer is yes. Belle hopes the trip will be a much-needed break from her stalled acting career and uniquely humiliating waitressing job, but once she's aboard the luxurious Lion's Den, it soon becomes clear this jet-setting holiday is not as advertised. Belle's dream vacation quickly devolves into a nightmare as she and the handful of other girls Summer invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host-and in one terrifying moment, Belle comes to see Summer for who she truly is: a vicious gold digger who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Belle realizes she's going to have to keep her wits about her -- and her own big secret closely hidden -- if she wants to make it off the yacht alive.

30 review for The Lion's Den

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    “A friend’s knife is always sharpest, but double betrayal is special torment.” The Lion’s Den is a fast-paced, entertaining read about a group of girlfriends invited to spend the week on a luxurious yacht in the Mediterranean. Filled with cattiness, betrayal, and deception, I could not put this book down! When Belle, a sometimes working actress, is invited by her best-friend Summer to spend a week on her very much older boyfriend’s yacht in the Mediterranean, Belle accepts expecting a week of lu “A friend’s knife is always sharpest, but double betrayal is special torment.” The Lion’s Den is a fast-paced, entertaining read about a group of girlfriends invited to spend the week on a luxurious yacht in the Mediterranean. Filled with cattiness, betrayal, and deception, I could not put this book down! When Belle, a sometimes working actress, is invited by her best-friend Summer to spend a week on her very much older boyfriend’s yacht in the Mediterranean, Belle accepts expecting a week of luxury and leisure. But from when she first boards the private jet to take them to their destination, Belle notices something is amiss. From where to sit, to what to wear, to what to eat, to being locked in her room at night, to one of the guests being murdered, Belle’s dream vacation quickly turns into a nightmare. Belle is the only redeemable female character in this book. Her friends are vapid and hideous, and it is clear that they only care about themselves. There’s tons of backstabbing and non-stop cattiness. Their access to money reveals their true characters. However, there is a lot more to the story in the form of a mystery and revenge, which sucked me in and kept me turning the pages. Told through Belle’s point of view, the narrative flips back and forth between the past and present, which enables the reader to find out how Summer and Belle became friends. We also slowly learn about the moment that ultimately destroys their friendship. I needed an escape, and this book took me on an enjoyable journey to the Mediterranean! Belle compares the trip to being like The Real Housewives on a boat, which it very much is, but there’s a lot more to it, including secret agendas and intrigue. It's smartly written and avoids falling into the realm of the ridiculous. I highly recommend for a mindless diversion at its best! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest THE LION'S DEN turned out to be the perfect read for my current mood. It was light, frothy, and utterly mean-spirited, a scathing critique on social climbers through the medium of locked-room murder mystery aboard a private yacht. Similar to Janelle Brown's PRETTY THINGS, everyone in the book is an awful person... but some of them are more awful than others. Aspiring actress Belle is a little surprised when her friend Summer invites her a Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest THE LION'S DEN turned out to be the perfect read for my current mood. It was light, frothy, and utterly mean-spirited, a scathing critique on social climbers through the medium of locked-room murder mystery aboard a private yacht. Similar to Janelle Brown's PRETTY THINGS, everyone in the book is an awful person... but some of them are more awful than others. Aspiring actress Belle is a little surprised when her friend Summer invites her above her rich (and older) boyfriend's private yacht for her birthday on a trip to the French Riviera. Particularly since she and Summer haven't exactly been biffles lately. But an all-expenses paid vacation is an all-expenses paid vacation-- OR SO SHE THINKS. Things start getting sinister pretty quickly. Assigned seating, restricted diets, technology embargos. John isn't just a rich boyfriend, he's also super controlling. And then the killings begin. Told in past and present POVs, THE LION'S DEN plunges us not just into a vacation-turned-Hitchcock-movie but also into the super secret falling out between Summer and Belle and how it ties into the events of the present day. Let me just tell you that even if you get cocky about reading this book and think you have it all figured out-- you don't. There were several things in here that shocked me in a good way, even though I thought I knew what was going to happen. Little twists keep the book interesting and spicy, so I appreciated that as a reader. Even though Belle is vapid, she quickly proves to be surprisingly interesting-- and there's a great cast of characters in here to love, hate, or love to hate, ranging from tacky pageant-type moms to hot artists to silent and sinister bodyguards. Yes, THE LION'S DEN is pleasure reading, but it's decadent and delightful and just brainy enough to be completely guilt-free. I enjoyed it immensely! Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  4 to 4.5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bridgett

    ***AVAILABLE TODAY*** The only known predators of lions...are humans. Look no further! You've found the perfect 2020 poolside read! (No COVID-19 or murder hornets to be found here, fellow readers!) 4.5 brutal stars I was so in the mood for a backbiting, cat-and-mouse game in an exotic locale...and that's exactly what I got with The Lion's Den. Set primarily on a yacht in the Mediterranean sea, there were an untold number of less than desirable personalities in this story, but there was so much ***AVAILABLE TODAY*** The only known predators of lions...are humans. Look no further! You've found the perfect 2020 poolside read! (No COVID-19 or murder hornets to be found here, fellow readers!) 4.5 brutal stars I was so in the mood for a backbiting, cat-and-mouse game in an exotic locale...and that's exactly what I got with The Lion's Den. Set primarily on a yacht in the Mediterranean sea, there were an untold number of less than desirable personalities in this story, but there was so much more than meets the eye with our protagonist, Belle. Summer, one of the many antagonists, was the character you'll absolutely love to hate. She was vile. Narrated entirely by Belle, the story goes from the present, while she's on the yacht, to several years in the past, where we learn more about her relationship with Summer. The pacing was brilliantly done, and the book was nearly impossible to put down. I was, when it was all said and done, extraordinarily pleased with this novel, particularly the fact that there was a small twist or two I didn't see coming, and I look forward to reading more of Katherine St. John's work. Trust me, friends, you need this book in your life this summer. I recommend this juicy, indulgent read to one and all! Pick up your own copy June 30th.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    The more I got into the story, the more this one turned into a binge read. This is exactly the type of book I needed right now. Rich people behaving horribly. Doesn't get much better than that when you are in the mood for an escapism type read from your fairly boring and normal life. Belle is an actress but still hasn't managed to nab that breakout star type role so she can't quit her job as a waitress quite yet. When her best friend, Summer, invites her on a Mediterranean getaway aboard her very The more I got into the story, the more this one turned into a binge read. This is exactly the type of book I needed right now. Rich people behaving horribly. Doesn't get much better than that when you are in the mood for an escapism type read from your fairly boring and normal life. Belle is an actress but still hasn't managed to nab that breakout star type role so she can't quit her job as a waitress quite yet. When her best friend, Summer, invites her on a Mediterranean getaway aboard her very wealthy and much older boyfriend's yacht, Belle can't turn an awesome invite like that down, can she? This trip might not be all that it's cracked up to be though. Summer is adamant that Belle and the other women she invited on the trip follow every rule her boyfriend has set for being a guest on his yacht. The rules are so controlling that Belle feels more like a prisoner than a guest. Is Belle going to play by the rules or rock the boat? (yeah I know what I did there) The story alternates between the present time and the past which shows Belle and Summer when they were younger as well as things that happened within the last few months before the start of the trip. There are some predictable things about the story but then there were times I truly was caught off guard. This isn't the most mind blowing book I have ever read but I truly had fun reading it and that feeling increased the more the story progressed. If you enjoy reading about messed up individuals who behave in deliciously evil ways, this is a good read. I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    I’d read two books in a row that I had to force myself through, so I was looking for something that would really pull me in, and this one percent succeeded. The tone at first seems like we’re reading a fun story of a week on a yacht with Belle’s wealthy friend. Well, Summer isn’t wealthy, but her 63-year-old boyfriend is. Belle is a semi-successful actress who sometimes still needs to pull shifts bartending to make it. She met Summer in high school and they both met Wendy in college. There’s Cla I’d read two books in a row that I had to force myself through, so I was looking for something that would really pull me in, and this one percent succeeded. The tone at first seems like we’re reading a fun story of a week on a yacht with Belle’s wealthy friend. Well, Summer isn’t wealthy, but her 63-year-old boyfriend is. Belle is a semi-successful actress who sometimes still needs to pull shifts bartending to make it. She met Summer in high school and they both met Wendy in college. There’s Claire, Wendy’s pretty, quiet, completely nonthreatening-to-take-the-focus off Summer friend. Summer’s drunken mother who is on her fourth rich husband and Summer’s sister, who is as pretty as Summer, but painfully dumb, and Brittani’s friend, Amythest make up party of women John is taking to the French Riviera. Sounds fun, but the women quickly learn that everything they do will be dictated by John and Summer. They won’t have access to Wifi and are required to sign nondisclosure agreements. If they do ever get to take pictures, everything will be approved by John’s bodyguard/goons before it can be posted to social media. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Summer has become a truly horrible friend and human being, but, through flashbacks, we begin to suspect she does more than lie and need the attention on herself at all times. In most mysteries of this kind, the tone is threatening and dark. This seems like a story about women who are beautiful and enjoy fashion, but it gets very suspenseful at points. Most important, I liked Belle. She’s nice without being so nice you’d want to puke. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES JUNE 30, 2020.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    The Lion's Den was a great way to evade reality. It has a combo of good things: Perfect summer reading: ✅ Mediterranean Yacht cruise ✅ Mystery aboard ✅ Our heroine is Belle. She is an actress but not famous yet. She has been invited by her best friend Summer to spend a week on her rich boyfriend's yacht cruising the Mediterranean. Summer has also invited her mother, her sister Brittani, her friend Wendy, Claire and unbeknownst to Summer, Brittani has decided to invite her friend Amythest, an exo The Lion's Den was a great way to evade reality. It has a combo of good things: Perfect summer reading: ✅ Mediterranean Yacht cruise ✅ Mystery aboard ✅ Our heroine is Belle. She is an actress but not famous yet. She has been invited by her best friend Summer to spend a week on her rich boyfriend's yacht cruising the Mediterranean. Summer has also invited her mother, her sister Brittani, her friend Wendy, Claire and unbeknownst to Summer, Brittani has decided to invite her friend Amythest, an exotic and interesting young woman. As soon as the traveling begins, they realized things are not as they seem. Nothing gets done without the permission of Summer's boyfriend, John. They are told to sign an NDA, have no access to wifi, someone locks their room at night and John's goons are always hanging around. Belle is the sole voice of the narration. It's she who tells us what is going on in the yacht and also the one who takes us back into the past. In the flashbacks, we learn how she met Summer, how they became friends and how their friendship evolved over time. The Lion's Den kept my interest. I enjoyed Belle. She was a good character. She wasn't naive or too perfect, which made her relatable and likable. I also enjoyed the twists although I thought the ending was too cookie-cutter for me. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs **A complimentary copy was provided by Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review.** MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meredith B. (readingwithmere)

    4 Stars! You know that book you need to kick off the summer reading season? That's what The Lion's Den was for me. It gave me a whole lot more than I bargained for -- in the best way. Belle and Summer are best friends and have been for awhile. However their lives are a bit different. Belle is a struggling actress and Summer is in a relationship with someone who gives her anything she wants. Summer invites Belle and some other girls on a yacht trip and although Summer hasn't treated Belle the best, 4 Stars! You know that book you need to kick off the summer reading season? That's what The Lion's Den was for me. It gave me a whole lot more than I bargained for -- in the best way. Belle and Summer are best friends and have been for awhile. However their lives are a bit different. Belle is a struggling actress and Summer is in a relationship with someone who gives her anything she wants. Summer invites Belle and some other girls on a yacht trip and although Summer hasn't treated Belle the best, she decides to go and enjoy. What Belle didn't know was that this trip was going to be full of drama, there are a ton of rules and she was going to be watched the entire time. Belle starts to see Summer's true colors especially when a certain event occurs. Belle eventually realizes she is going to have to outsmart this group so that she can get home alive. I initially went into this book thinking that it would be light and fun but it had a whole lot more to the storyline then just some people going on a yacht. It did give me serious Below Deck (hey Bravo fans!) vibes, aka really rich people sailing a yacht during the summer and getting waited on hand and foot. There's a plot twist that happens a little over half way in the book that turns this into a seriously juicy mystery. If you're looking for a good summer book this one is a good choice. Bravo to the author as well as this is her debut! Thank you to Grand Central Pub for my copy of this book! It's out now so put it on your summer TBR!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Javier

    THIS.WAS.EVERYTHING!!! Sex, betrayal, intrigue, murder, luxury...It was f*cking awesome! It’s been a while since I had so much fun reading a book! It definitely should be one of the books of the summer. Can’t wait to read more from Katherine St. John. 4,5 ⭐️

  9. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Rated 4.5 Belle is off on a one week vacation to the French Riviera on a huge, private yacht with a group of beautiful friends to celebrate 26 year old Summer’s upcoming birthday. The trip is being hosted by Summer’s fabulously wealthy and much older boyfriend John. Belle and Summer have been friends since high school but the friendship has soured. Summer is selfish, a liar and is caught up in the lavish lifestyle of billionaire John. Although the relationship between the two friends is strained, Rated 4.5 Belle is off on a one week vacation to the French Riviera on a huge, private yacht with a group of beautiful friends to celebrate 26 year old Summer’s upcoming birthday. The trip is being hosted by Summer’s fabulously wealthy and much older boyfriend John. Belle and Summer have been friends since high school but the friendship has soured. Summer is selfish, a liar and is caught up in the lavish lifestyle of billionaire John. Although the relationship between the two friends is strained, how can Belle say no? Initially impressed by the yacht, the incredible food and free-flowing champagne, this seems like a dream vacation. But the women are told that they must turn in their passports. Huh? Their phones do not have Wi-Fi access on board. Warning. The women are locked in their rooms at night. Warning. Warning. John controls every aspect of their trip making Belle feel more like a prisoner than a guest. What is going on here?! An entertaining thriller awaits. This immensely fun book takes you into the world of the ridiculously rich with lots of people behaving very badly. The story is clever with some great twists and turns. A perfect binge-worthy escape. Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Katherine St. John for an advance copy of The Lion’s Den. It was originally planned for a May 19 release but has been moved back to June 30, 2020, I assume, to give this impressive debut effort the launch it deserves. Be sure to put this book on your radar! Review will be posted on MicheleReader.com closer to the publication date.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach

    What an amazingly addictive read! I spent the majority of the past 2 days just devouring this book. I really, really enjoyed it! I could have done without all the French/Italian/Spanish. It was pretty easy to figure out the gist of what they were saying, but there was more than was necessary. It has everything you could want... definitely a perfect beach read for this summer. But, can a girl get an epilogue?? I need to know what happens to everyone!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Abby Jimenez

    You guys. THIS BOOK. This isn’t the kind of book I'd normally pick up. I don't do thrillers. I legitimately could not put this down. My husband got annoyed with me lol I love the writing. The plot keeps you guessing. It feels like Mean Girls, but on a yacht with billionaires and danger lol Highly recommend!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    It's nirvana on the Mediterranean. A long-haired flamenco guitarist picks a melody with his eyes closed, the notes drifting on a gentle breeze that lifts the heat of the day as waiters pass hors d'oeuvres to a handful of elegantly dressed guests scattered across the deck. The shimmering sea is speckled with ships suspended in the tide, and green hills rise from the water, dappled with villas whose windows are lit fiery orange by a setting sun that bathes the entire scene in golden light. Sounds l It's nirvana on the Mediterranean. A long-haired flamenco guitarist picks a melody with his eyes closed, the notes drifting on a gentle breeze that lifts the heat of the day as waiters pass hors d'oeuvres to a handful of elegantly dressed guests scattered across the deck. The shimmering sea is speckled with ships suspended in the tide, and green hills rise from the water, dappled with villas whose windows are lit fiery orange by a setting sun that bathes the entire scene in golden light. Sounds like the best kind of indulgent escapism, right? Well, it absolutely lives up to that, but just as you're getting comfortable with the dynamics of the young, beautiful, and backstabbing, things take a turn for the murdery. Proper spoilers here, really don't read unless you've read it, because this will spoil a couple of beautiful moments: (view spoiler)[Now I know I'm meant to know this, and it's meant to make me feel like a fricking genius, but damnit guys, I totally called those emails for what they were, and I'm feeling like a fricking genius! Did NOT call the other twist (how the men were linked), so I still got to be blindsided! (hide spoiler)] Now, it's not perfect, but this book was a LOT of fun. You'll need to suspend your disbelief before going in; our protagonist has a touch of the specials (she's not like other beautiful women, you guys! She knows Shakespeare and William Blake!) but it's usually not too obnoxious; villains would absolutely be twirling moustaches were facial hair not out of fashion; and the ending is (view spoiler)[quite speedy and maybe a bit too tidy (hide spoiler)] . But none of that outweighs the comfort factor of letting your brain drift away into the world of yachts, champagne, and some nice, twisty mysteries.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Alright I have yet another ideal summer read for you guys today, this one is wicked and salacious and way more fun that I was expecting it to be. It gave me Jackie Collins vibes with the whole rich people behaving badly thing and then also reminded me a little of Below Deck as it’s set mostly on a luxury yacht. I expected it to be fluffy and light, total brain candy and while it was, it also ended up being a little dark and mysterious as well. This is all told from Belle’s POV as she joins her BF Alright I have yet another ideal summer read for you guys today, this one is wicked and salacious and way more fun that I was expecting it to be. It gave me Jackie Collins vibes with the whole rich people behaving badly thing and then also reminded me a little of Below Deck as it’s set mostly on a luxury yacht. I expected it to be fluffy and light, total brain candy and while it was, it also ended up being a little dark and mysterious as well. This is all told from Belle’s POV as she joins her BFF Summer on her much older, much richer boyfriends yacht for a week spent luxuriating in the Mediterranean. It all winds up being too good to be true as the guests are all heavily monitored and controlled turning a dream vacation into a total nightmare. There are also flashback chapters dating all the way back to when Summer and Belle first met and then leading up to right before the trip began, and secrets, deception and lies are slowly revealed making this such a tantalizing read. It really is the ultimate summer binge read, entertaining and wildly fun!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Chinnici

    The Lion’s Den was a wild ride of a story and my idea of a perfect beach read! This book follows Belle, who is invited by her best friend, Summer, on a glamorous girls’ getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend’s yacht. It begins on day one of the vacation, and then in alternating chapters follows the trip as it devolves into something of a nightmare and also the evolution of Belle and Summer’s friendship since it began when they were sixteen. This structure worked well here, The Lion’s Den was a wild ride of a story and my idea of a perfect beach read! This book follows Belle, who is invited by her best friend, Summer, on a glamorous girls’ getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend’s yacht. It begins on day one of the vacation, and then in alternating chapters follows the trip as it devolves into something of a nightmare and also the evolution of Belle and Summer’s friendship since it began when they were sixteen. This structure worked well here, adding context, backstory, and tension while allowing the plot to edge forward at a perfect pace. Plot and characters come together in The Lion’s Den to make it a wonderfully absorbing read. I typically like to pause to make note of quotes or guess at where the plot may lead, but this sucked me in so completely I didn’t stop once while reading to write anything down. Belle was a main character I could really get behind; although not perfect, she is likable and tries to do the right thing. Much of the remaining cast is full of rich people behaving badly, which is just always a fun trope. And the lush setting of a yacht sailing the Riviera is the perfect backdrop for twisting events that begin to unfold. In the end, The Lion’s Den was highly entertaining and excellent escapist reading. If that sounds like your kind of book, definitely give this a shot! *Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Milena

    The Lion's Den by Katherine St. John is an entertaining and addictive page-turner set in the world of wealth and privilege. Belle's best friend Summer invites her to spend a week-long Medeterrenian vacation on her sugar daddy's yacht. But what promises to be a vacation of a lifetime turns into a nightmare. This book has everything: a glamorous setting, drama, betrayal, romance, and murder. I am so glad I had a chance to read this book because I loved it! I cannot wait to read more books from thi The Lion's Den by Katherine St. John is an entertaining and addictive page-turner set in the world of wealth and privilege. Belle's best friend Summer invites her to spend a week-long Medeterrenian vacation on her sugar daddy's yacht. But what promises to be a vacation of a lifetime turns into a nightmare. This book has everything: a glamorous setting, drama, betrayal, romance, and murder. I am so glad I had a chance to read this book because I loved it! I cannot wait to read more books from this author. If you like destination books and enjoy reality shows about rich and famous, you have to read The Lion's Den! *Free copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    OLT

    It takes a long while to get a payoff when reading this book. Maybe the last 70 or 80 pages were interesting or at least supplied a bit of a surprise, but the first 270 or so were a slog for me. It wasn't exactly because of the superficial characters and their superficial lives and their lack of any redeeming qualities. I can handle that if the plot is interesting enough and the writing is good. But in this case the characters here have the vocabulary and complexity of thought of your average mi It takes a long while to get a payoff when reading this book. Maybe the last 70 or 80 pages were interesting or at least supplied a bit of a surprise, but the first 270 or so were a slog for me. It wasn't exactly because of the superficial characters and their superficial lives and their lack of any redeeming qualities. I can handle that if the plot is interesting enough and the writing is good. But in this case the characters here have the vocabulary and complexity of thought of your average middle schooler. The author's writing ability is comparable. I guess this is a fun beach read for voyeurs. If you like to watch rich people and gold diggers behaving badly but looking really good at the same time, this book is for you. I found the plot to be silly and simplistic. Main character Belle, struggling actress, gets an invitation from her ex-BFF Summer to go on a cruise to the Mediterranean on Summer's boyfriend's (for "boyfriend" read rich, old "Sugar Daddy") yacht. Well, no matter the fact that Belle and Summer are on the outs, how can Belle pass up the chance for an all-expenses-paid cruise along the coast of Italy and France? Summer has also invited her mother, her sister, and a couple other beautiful young women on the trip. All are unbelievably superficial, unlikeable people and money-grubbing lovers of the good life, wanting expensive clothing, jewelry, men to make them feel special, and as little actual work as is humanly possible. Granted, it is likely that was the author's intention. Just a wicked look at some useless lives. Well, if so, she succeeded. But back to the plot: The beautiful, young, vapid girls have their passports confiscated, their activities and onshore outings regimented and closely controlled, and even, it seems, they are drugged so they will sleep throughout the night. Their cabin doors may even be locked from the outside. So what's going on? Bless me if I ever understood exactly what use these lovely women were to Summer's lover, John Lyon, why they were invited, why they needed to be controlled so carefully. I was expecting something nefarious like white slavers. Nothing became clear to me about why they were really there. Did I forget to read carefully enough? (BTW, was I supposed to say something like "reverse spoiler alert" about that white slaver comment?) But this is Belle's story and, interspersed with the chapters about the yacht trip, we get flashback chapters in the Belle-Summer relationship, starting from 10 years ago up to only a week or so before the trip. This is to help us understand better what is going on and why Summer is the way she is, I suppose. But, as I said, after about 270 mind-numbing pages, there is only a slight payoff in a plot twist at the end. If I have to read a story about very unlikeable people who are driven by sex and money, I'd like that story to be well written. This was not. Even the dialogue was banal and lacking any spark or cleverness. Even when the author was trying for her characters, especially Belle and a guy named Eric, to have deeper, more serious, more intellectual conversations, they stayed at a very superficial level. As I said, middle-school characters in adult bodies. Well, actually, I've met a few middle schoolers with deeper thought processes. As a trashy romantic thriller, this is a success. However, it should be priced accordingly (i.e., low). This is, it seems, being heavily promoted and the price, IMO, is not right.,

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This book was fast paced, couldn't put it down! A childhood friendship, betrayal, mystery, on a grand scale... really enjoyed it! Won it in a giveaway yesterday! Thank you!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

    "The Lions Den" by Katherine St. John was such a great summer read!! This is not just a fun, light beachy read, this one had mystery, twists, and suspense!!  (Thank you Grand Central pub for the gifted review copy!) This book was a super entertaining summer thriller. The last third of the book really was the best, as that's when most of the action happens and the story all comes together. I really loved how this one ended, it was excellent!! This author thought of such a clever story and really p "The Lions Den" by Katherine St. John was such a great summer read!! This is not just a fun, light beachy read, this one had mystery, twists, and suspense!!  (Thank you Grand Central pub for the gifted review copy!) This book was a super entertaining summer thriller. The last third of the book really was the best, as that's when most of the action happens and the story all comes together. I really loved how this one ended, it was excellent!! This author thought of such a clever story and really pulled it off in my opinion!! If you feel like a great escape into the life of the rich, with wonderful descriptions of these beautiful warm places, with a twisty plot, I say give this one a try!  Belle and Summer are longtime friends but their relationship is strained. Belle is an actress struggling to find jobs and is waitressing to make money! Summer is now dating John, an older, very wealthy man! Summer invites Belle to spend a week on his yacht with a bunch of other girls to travel to the French Riviera! Belle says yes, as how could she turn down a week of luxury?!! Well Belle gets alot more than she expects. The girls are being treated more like prisoners than guests. Being locked in their rooms at night, and they can't use their phones because, well….no reception!! Belle soon realizes that her "friend" summer is not what she seems, and there is alot going on behind the scenes. John is very controlling over things like their schedules, food they eat, and what they wear. Belle overhears conversations that make her feel like there is something shady going on with John. This story goes back and forth between the present time on the yacht, to the recent past as you learn more about Belle and Summers past relationship which exposes some secrets! Such a great plot!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Thank you, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for this arc. I will give this book a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Synopsis: Belle and Summer became friends when they’re in high school, parted ways, and reconnected when they’re both in LA. Belle was feeling so stressed about work, and everything gladly accepted Summer’s invite for an all-expense-paid week-long vacation in the Mediterranean, of course, funded by Summer’s billionaire older boyfriend. Their other friends on this vacation join Belle and Summer, and s Thank you, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for this arc. I will give this book a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Synopsis: Belle and Summer became friends when they’re in high school, parted ways, and reconnected when they’re both in LA. Belle was feeling so stressed about work, and everything gladly accepted Summer’s invite for an all-expense-paid week-long vacation in the Mediterranean, of course, funded by Summer’s billionaire older boyfriend. Their other friends on this vacation join Belle and Summer, and soon Belle will discover that to get out of this vacation alive, she has to be smart. The story has a strong message specifically on betrayal and friendship; How far someone will go to get what they want, the stakes they’re willing to risk, the emotions they are eager to ignore, and lives they’re ready to sacrifice. It is horrible. Belle’s character is familiar, struggling to live life comfortably each day and a good friend. All the characters are well-developed and gave me mixed emotions; do I like him, or do I hate her? The places they visited were described where I could visualize being there myself. It is beautiful. This story is gripping and a real page-turner. It is also twisted and intriguing. I love that it goes back and forth between past and present to give the characters and set of events a more substantial background. Besides, I find it always entertaining to read about people who changed and be ridiculous because of money. I love it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Salacious, mysterious, and addictive! The Lion’s Den is a passionate, alluring tale that takes us into the lives of the rich, glamorous and famous and their not so wealthy friends, and reminds us that not everything is always as it seems and as well as having designer clothes, expensive cars, and fancy yachts they also seem to have an abundance of power, temptation, jealousy, scandal, sex, rivalry, jealousy, deception, tragedy, violence, and murder. The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters Salacious, mysterious, and addictive! The Lion’s Den is a passionate, alluring tale that takes us into the lives of the rich, glamorous and famous and their not so wealthy friends, and reminds us that not everything is always as it seems and as well as having designer clothes, expensive cars, and fancy yachts they also seem to have an abundance of power, temptation, jealousy, scandal, sex, rivalry, jealousy, deception, tragedy, violence, and murder. The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are self-indulgent, secretive, and ambitious. And the plot is a sinister tale that’s humorous, clever, unpredictable, suspenseful and incredibly absorbing. Overall, I would have to say that The Lion’s Den is a scintillating, enjoyable, outrageously entertaining treat by St. John that’s perfect for anyone who loves a story with a little backstabbing, glamour, gossip, sexual hijinks, and revenge. Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annie Girard

    I read this book in one sitting... and I have a 3-year-old. It's addictively page-turning and made me feel like I got to go on a luxurious all-expenses-paid yacht vacation in the South of France... from the safety of my couch. Katherine has a delicious way of describing both beauty and deceptively beautiful wickedness. But what starts as a seemingly empty-calorie beach read, deftly twists and turns into surprising depths. So good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    TITLE | The Lion’s Den AUTHOR | Katherine St. John PUB DATE | 6/30/2020 Engrossing Lavish Deadly Belle and Summer had been long time friends since high school, with a shaky history. When a sudden call to Belle for a birthday getaway to the Mediterranean aboard ‘Lion’s Den’, Summer’s billionaire boyfriend's yacht, struggling actress Belle could not resist the invite for a week long lavish getaway. Aboard the yacht, The guests realize that nothing is free, and the week long vacation is now turning into TITLE | The Lion’s Den AUTHOR | Katherine St. John PUB DATE | 6/30/2020 Engrossing Lavish Deadly Belle and Summer had been long time friends since high school, with a shaky history. When a sudden call to Belle for a birthday getaway to the Mediterranean aboard ‘Lion’s Den’, Summer’s billionaire boyfriend's yacht, struggling actress Belle could not resist the invite for a week long lavish getaway. Aboard the yacht, The guests realize that nothing is free, and the week long vacation is now turning into a nightmare as they are treated more like prisoners rather then special birthday guests. Told in two time lines, starting from when Belle and Summer meet to the present, aboard the yacht, St John’s writing style fully envelops and immerses the reader into the luxurious world of the uber rich who are used to getting everything they ever want. St. John’s writing was completely addicting and thrilling, with characters you will love to hate. I enjoyed the pacing and the unfolding of the mystery. The writing was clever, well thought out which made this book a fantastic summer thriller! I really enjoyed this book and I recommend this for a fantastic thriller read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Talie

    Thank you to Grand Central Pub for the complimentary copy of this book. I loved The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John.. If twisty, turny suspense novels with great characters is your thing, head to your favorite bookseller and buy this book. It is a moderately paced build that keeps you guessing. And those last 100 pages? You won’t want to put the book down. For me this would be a perfect beach read. Exotic locations, girl drama, and a twist turny plot. I stayed up late to finish this and had the h Thank you to Grand Central Pub for the complimentary copy of this book. I loved The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John.. If twisty, turny suspense novels with great characters is your thing, head to your favorite bookseller and buy this book. It is a moderately paced build that keeps you guessing. And those last 100 pages? You won’t want to put the book down. For me this would be a perfect beach read. Exotic locations, girl drama, and a twist turny plot. I stayed up late to finish this and had the hardest time falling asleep because I was so jazzed by the book. Trigger warnings: book mentions drugs, rape and murder.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    *Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and Amazon Vine for my review copy* The book was very slow for me to get into but eventually it picked up. Then it got slow again and I ended up skimming the last couple chapters. The last few chapters ended strongly but it took a long time to get there. I really didn’t care for any of the characters at first but Belle grew on me especially when certain things were revealed. If you’re looking for a book to escape in then look no further.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rach

    Belle is invited on holiday by her old friend Summer. The holiday is on a yacht with six other women which is going around the Mediterranean and is owned by Summer’s billionaire boyfriend John. As the trip goes on things to start to go wrong and secrets come out. This a page turning book with twists and turns right through. Each chapter is told though the past and present. I did wonder why Belle agreed to go on this trip when it appeared she didn’t really like Summer or John but when I found out Belle is invited on holiday by her old friend Summer. The holiday is on a yacht with six other women which is going around the Mediterranean and is owned by Summer’s billionaire boyfriend John. As the trip goes on things to start to go wrong and secrets come out. This a page turning book with twists and turns right through. Each chapter is told though the past and present. I did wonder why Belle agreed to go on this trip when it appeared she didn’t really like Summer or John but when I found out why she agreed I certainly was expecting it. I cheered Belle on right through the book. Each character plays a part in the story which isn’t always the way sometimes with secondary characters in books. Overall a very enjoyable read with plenty surprises right through the book and I can’t wait to read the author’s next book. I received a ARC from Netgalley and Headline for an objection review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    [Image TK] Many thanks to Grand Central Pub for the free copy in exchange for an honest review I am here for the chaos | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram [Image TK] Many thanks to Grand Central Pub for the free copy in exchange for an honest review I am here for the chaos | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Thank you to Grand Central Pub. And Netgalley for allowing me to preview this thriller. Belle is unsure whether to accept her friend Summer’s invitation for a week on her boyfriend’s yacht to celebrate Summer’s birthday. She finally decides to go and is among several other friends of Summer’s. They’re all packed for some great fun in the sun until it isn’t fun. Soon they find out their host, Summer’s much older billionaire boyfriend, is having them drugged before they go to bed and that they are Thank you to Grand Central Pub. And Netgalley for allowing me to preview this thriller. Belle is unsure whether to accept her friend Summer’s invitation for a week on her boyfriend’s yacht to celebrate Summer’s birthday. She finally decides to go and is among several other friends of Summer’s. They’re all packed for some great fun in the sun until it isn’t fun. Soon they find out their host, Summer’s much older billionaire boyfriend, is having them drugged before they go to bed and that they are locked in at night. His controlling knows no boundaries – they all go together for land excursions and do whatever he says or risk his wrath. This was truly a thriller in every sense of the word. Told from the present and the recent past in Belle’s viewpoint, it made my heart race. Pair the bumpy ride with the description of Italy, France and warmer climates, and St. John has penned a winner. A perfect beach read or an ideal escape for the winter chill. You won’t be disappointed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    So, if your best friend who you kind of sort of loathe is dating an old, rich guy that spoils her with designer everything, but invites you on an all expenses paid week-long cruise on a private yacht in the Mediterranean with a group of girlfriends to celebrate her birthday... despite your reservations, you accept, right? And the shady things that take place, like getting locked in your cabin at night... you try to have a good time anyway, right? OH. MY. WORD. This was a SOLID PAGE-TURNER of a de So, if your best friend who you kind of sort of loathe is dating an old, rich guy that spoils her with designer everything, but invites you on an all expenses paid week-long cruise on a private yacht in the Mediterranean with a group of girlfriends to celebrate her birthday... despite your reservations, you accept, right? And the shady things that take place, like getting locked in your cabin at night... you try to have a good time anyway, right? OH. MY. WORD. This was a SOLID PAGE-TURNER of a debut. Like if it weren’t for my baby or life, I would’ve devoured this! I felt like I was Belle. I felt like I was there. And, yeah I totally hated Summer. But, I’m going to leave it at that. The alternating past and present timeline was easy to follow, loved the single first POV and all the details of the Mediterranean coast. The supporting characters were well-developed, their personalities very crystal. Everything that led up to the finale was absolute perfection. I didn’t know who to trust, what to believe. I didn’t know how Belle was going to win—if she was even going to win. Aaand on that note, this would be a killer movie! No joke, Netflix. If you are in the mood for a really good, unputdownable suspense full of manipulation, betrayal, deceit, and skanky girl drama that takes place in the Mediterranean, add this to your summer TBR and move it up the list! Thank you Grand Central Pub for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Welcome to The Lion’s Den, an extravagant & luxurious yacht you’ll die to get on or die getting off! Ha! What an absolutely perfect summer read this is! Aspiring actress Belle is not the sort to compromise her moral compass just to catch a rich husband but not so for her bestie of many years, Summer. When she snags the wealthy John and invites her besties along on a leisurely cruise through the French Riviera for her birthday, who could refuse and what could go wrong? This is one of those books t Welcome to The Lion’s Den, an extravagant & luxurious yacht you’ll die to get on or die getting off! Ha! What an absolutely perfect summer read this is! Aspiring actress Belle is not the sort to compromise her moral compass just to catch a rich husband but not so for her bestie of many years, Summer. When she snags the wealthy John and invites her besties along on a leisurely cruise through the French Riviera for her birthday, who could refuse and what could go wrong? This is one of those books that took me by surprise! At first, I thought it was going to be a light romp through romcom land but it is anything but! There is murder, sex, betrayal, and deceit and most important, a lesson to be learned, how well do we really know anyone? The characters are phenomenal, ranging from gold-digging wasps to family members with no fetching, making for an interesting cast of characters. The plot is tight and compelling, completely binge-worthy and the ending left me so satisfied except for one thing … I need closure on a few of the characters! Girl, don’t leave me hanging on Wendy, Claire, Rhonda, and Brittani! Perhaps we’ll hear more on them? Looking forward to more from Katherine St. John! My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and the author for gifting me a copy of The Lion’s Den in exchange for my honest review!

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