Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Devil in Winter

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Date Read: January 28th

Format: Physical Book - Mass Trade Paperback

Source: Borrowed from a friend

Challenges: 2012 Outdo Yourself

Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts -- which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions...or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.

A disclaimer first: Historical Romances are not my thing. I knew this when I started this book. But Jen's reviews made me wonder if I was missing on something good by not giving them a chance, and then the book bingo asked for a romance book, and Jen begged to help me choose one. I gave her carte blanche to pick a book for me (actually, it was three, but she only picked one historical romance).

And now to the review. Devil in Winter is the third in the series of the Wallflowers, and coming mid-way to the party, there were parts of the story that I was missing. But all in all, it stands well on its own. Even if you really don't know why Sebastian St. Vincent is such a bad catch (and such a rascal), in a few pages the author puts you up to speed, while you also get to know Evie, a shy young woman that takes a really bold step to escape the clutches of her family.

The action doesn't take long to happen, soon enough the not-actually-in-love-couple is eloping to Scotland (and finally I understood why everyone elopes to Scotland), and after the consummation of the marriage, they are back again on the road, to return to London. And why do I mention this? Because this long trip London-Scotland-London was the perfect excuse for these two to get to know each other (and myself to get to know them). And I enjoyed that, the initial dislike of one another (well, that was mostly on Evie's part), the realization that the other party was not as bad as they may seem, and the unlikely friendship between them (among other things).

Once in London the story gains more of a plot, losing a bit of its character-driven part. There is a father close to death, and a club in need to be run, as well as family to be dealt with. And Lord St. Vincent does come to the rescue, surprising me, on two accounts. First, because I wasn't expecting it of him, and second, because I hadn't realized I had such a thing as expectations where he was concerned.

But, I'm afraid to say, the plot part was what made me lose a bit of interest on this book – I felt it dragged the drama a bit too long for my liking. It is strange, I usually like ploty books. But I was content with the character-development, with seeing Evie and St. Vincent fall in love, and maybe the whole family trying to get their hands on the naïve girl's money was just too dull for me. To me, the strong points of this book are, without a doubt, Evie and Sebastian, and their growing friendship/love. But that is usually my type of romance, even on non-romance specific books.

So, did I like? Yes, even if there were things in it that bored me. Will I read the other books in the series? Probably not. But this was a light read, good for long train travels (or maybe not, if you are afraid people will read over your shoulder).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Other Reviews:  Cuidado com o Dálmata

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