A devil's bargain
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.
After putting my name down on the list at the library months ago, I FINALLY got Devil in Winter a couple of days, and yesterday I read it in one go! What a book!! I'm sure that everyone has read at least 3 reviews by now so I am going to keep it brief and just talk about what I did and didn't like...yes, there was something I didn't like and I'll start with that.
****Beware for spoilers throughout!****
The main thing I didn't like was the suspense subplot which led to the climax to the book. Evie and Sebastian were put through the ringer in this book, and not in the interactions with each other...mainly from outside sources. With Evie being almost kidnapped by her horrible family, Sebastian taking a bullet for her, and then Evie nearly being murdered in the climax, there were times when the focus on Evie and Sebastian was lost.
Now for the good things! Sebastian. Do I need to say more?
Well, okay then I will. I loved him, and loved the progression that we saw in this book - from desperate jaded rake, to attentive travelling companion, to determined businessman, to celibate man, to devoted husband, and along the way he even managed to be apologetic to Westcliff and Lilian. Lilian isn't my favourite of the Wallflowers but I did like the fact that despite the fact that she hated Sebastian, she was there for Evie when she needed her. I was glad when peace was made between Westcliff and Sebastian. A lot of the time when a determined rake has been reformed we only see that in the relationship with the heroine but in this case we saw that Sebastian was able to rebuild relationships with others in his life as well.
As for Evie, I thought it was fantastic when she forced Sebastian to lose his bet - so playful and sensuous...poor man never stood a chance. I also loved the way that she gradually became more confident in herself with Sebastian's help. I don't believe for a minute that if she had of just smiled at him that Sebastian would have been attracted to her, despite the fact that he said he would have! I think it took a desperate act to get his attention, and Evie had the strength and the backbone to be able to do it! Her devotion when he was injured was also really good...although it is nothing that hasn't been seen before. In fact...that is probably something that I would say about this book. I don't think that there was anything really new in the storyline, but like Liz Carlyle, Lisa Kleypas is such a strong writer that even the biggest cliches are forgiveable because they are so well written.
I loved the little cameo from Derek Craven - a very nice touch! (Whoops....it's just a mention of Derek..not an actual appearance!) And I can't wait to read Cam Rohan's book - he sounds delicious. I understand that whilst it did look as though Cam was being set up to be the hero in Daisy's books that is not in fact the case, but that he will have his own book. Can't wait!
I am only at number 4 on the list for Scandal in Spring, so hopefully it won't be too long before I get hold of that.