Nov 15, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Wallflowers #3)

Historical Romance
March 1 2006
Mass Market Paperback
374 pages
Avon Books

Yummy Man – Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent
Kick Ass Chick – Evangeline Jenner

From Goodreads –
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 little while back, I decided to do a Historical Romance Week here on the blog.  Of course, that would mean that I had to read a couple of Historical Romance books to review during my event.  So began my search.  Goodness I love Goodreads.  I just thought I would say that.  Not only does it let you stalk check out what your friends read and like, it had great lists too!  I came across many lists that were “Historical Romance” based.  There were tons!  There were lists about best heroes, most loved couples and of course best overall historical romance book.  This first book that I chose not only had good ratings from friends I trust but also appeared on each and every historical romance list I checked out.  Often, it was at number 2 after Pride & Prejudice!  And that is how I came to choose Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas as one of my reads for this week – and I think it was an excellent choice!

Devil in Winter is about Evangeline Jenner.  She needs to escape her family.  Her father, who runs a gentlemen’s club, is wealthy and is on his death bed.  When she was young her father sent her to live with her deceased mother’s family because a gentlemen’s club wasn’t the best place to raise a child.  Well, her mother’s family members are greedy buggars and want her money.  They arranged for her to marry her cousin and beat her repeatedly if she doesn’t do what is expected of her.  The only plan she can think of that would guarantee her family leave her alone is if she were to marry.   Like yesterday.

Enter Viscount St. Vincent (Sebastian), the notorious rake (that word makes me giggle *g*).  In the previous book of the series, Sebastian actually kidnapped one of Evangeline’s best friends because she is wealthy and he needs to marry into money.  His father is terrible with money and it’s causing Sebastian to not be able to live as well as he is used to.  Since that plan didn’t work out because the best friend had a fiancé who came and not only saved her but also beat Sebastian senseless, Sebastian is back to square one.

Enter Evangeline.  She visits Sebastian and suggests they get married NOW.  The perfect solution since it would settle both of their issues.  And he agrees.  So they rush off to Scotland where you can get married on the spot.

This book was so much fun!  I absolutely loved Sebastian.  He’s a playboy and he’s used to getting what he wants from women.  But Evie is only planning on sleeping with him once to make the marriage official and that’s it.  He figures no big deal because who wants to bed their wife anyways?  His dialogue was great.  And pretty much from the beginning, you can tell that there is more to this man.  He has a wonderfully sweet side that not many see.  And watching him fall for Evie is just lovely.  I smiled almost every time he appeared on the page.  And the only time I wasn’t smiling was when I was holding my breath.

Evie was also great.  She is usually shy, she even stutters, but for some reason she is not so shy with Sebastian.  She is very sensible and has a great head on her shoulders.  She is not kidding herself about her new husband – she knows what kind of man he is.  It’s not a big deal to her though.  After all, who wants to bed their husband anyways?  She grows quite a bit as a character in this book.  She never changes to the point where she is unrecognizable, but it’s just enough to make you root for her, want the best for her and really really like her.

And Cam.  Cam is a gypsy boy who works in her father’s club.  Him, I liked.  Quite a lot.  In fact, he is the hero in the first book in Lisa’s The Hathaways series.  I may just have to read that one so I can read more about Cam.

I was expecting Evie’s annoying and money grubbing family to be the main villain in this book.  I assumed that they would be there, in every chapter, trying to get her to get her money.  But that wasn’t the case.  I was happy I was wrong because that would have been a little predictable for me.  The main villain is a man who works in her father’s club.  He’s just a nasty piece of work who speaks with a ‘commoners’ accent.  (crap)  I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of his being the bad guy because it seemed to come out of nowhere and get worst pretty fast.  At the end, it ends up making sense.  But the ride there is a little “what is this guy’s deal?” and not necessarily in a good way.  That really is my only beef with this book.

There are quite a few giggle-out-loud scenes in this book.  The wedding scene for example is so funny!  When the couple hear about the tradition behind the bride carrying flowers…I’m telling you laugh out loud funny.  Unfortunately, that scene took place in Scotland and therefore the character had accents.  And we know how I do with Scottish accents. *sigh* But I managed okay.  Enough to find that scene one of the cutest in the book.

Overall, I was really happy with this book.  Even if it’s book three in the series, it can absolutely be read as a standalone title.  In fact, after meeting the heroine of the second book, I’m not sure I would enjoy reading en entire book about her.  Her man I liked though, but not as much as Evie and Sebastian.  They were a wonderful couple.  And this book is now what I will compare all my Historical Romance reads to.  A really cute read.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’Are you still fixed on the notion of staying here?’  he asked, deftly carving a peach and divesting it of the pit.  He handed her a neat golden half.

‘Oh yes.’  Evie accepted the peach and took a bite, its tart juices trickling over her tongue.

‘I was afraid you might say that,’ he replied dryly.  ‘It’s a mistake, you know.  You have no idea of what you’ll be exposed to…obscenities and lewd comments, and lecherous gazes, the groping and pinching…and that’s just at my house.  Imagine what it would be like here.’”

—–

“Even if we wanted to sell the club, we couldn’t without first putting it in order.  If there were an alternative, believe me, I would find it.  But this place is a sieve, with no one who is capable or willing to stop the holes.  Except for me.’

‘You know nothing about filling holes!’ she cried, appalled by his arrogance.

Sebastian responded with a bland smile and the slightest arch of one brow.  Before he could open his mouth to reply, she clapped her hands over her ears.  ‘Oh don’t say it, don’t!’”

Books in the Wallflowers series –
Secrets of Summer
It Happened One Autumn
Devil in Winter
Scandal in Spring
A Wallflower Christmas

  1. mo (mo_books) says:

    Oh I love this book. This is one of my rereads when I’m in a funk or just want to smile and swoon. Sebastian is such a great hero. I love how much he looks after Evie on the long carriage ride. This book has so many wonderful scenes.
    The Hathaway series is very good. You will find that Lisa Kleypas fits your ‘light and fun’ requirement. I have read most of her books and they never fail to make me smile.

  2. I read The Hathaways series and loved it. I loved Cam, you have to read his book and now after reading your review I remember reading about Evie and Sebastian, they make a cameo in Cam’s book.
    Now I have to read this book. Great review Julie 😉

  3. I love the entire series. Wonderful!

  4. 4.5 STARS!!!!!!!!! Wow, I will definitely be adding this to my TBR List. 😀 Fabulous review Julie. I’m so happy you enjoyed the book, it’s books like this that help people enjoy other genres that they aren’t normally attracted to. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this week holds…and I’ve just recently learned of lists through Goodreads and I’m excited to start using them more.

  5. I agree that it is definitely one you use as a standard comparison for other books. It was my first LK book, and I pretty much devoured her whole backlist after this. Sebastian is pretty freaking amazing, but I love Evie’s character development too. She really surprised me – I expected her to be a pushover, but she really holds her own against Sebastian and everyone else. I second everyone’s rec for the Hathaways!

  6. I just added this book to my TBR list. The characters sound well written, love Sebastian! Can’t wait to read it!

  7. This is why I can’t post reviews as fast as I’d liked to, so many wonderful distractions!:) I had to come over as soon as saw your feed for this post. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
    All your thoughts are a very nice description for this book, and they scream you have to read the “Hathaways” another great series… well what can I say? I’m Lisa Kleypas junkie 🙂

  8. mo – LOVE how he cares for her in the carriage. They aren’t even in love yet and he looks out for her. *swoon*

    Bookaholic Cat – You’re reading it now. Are you done yet? Are you? I want to know what you thought. 😉

    Dot – I like Kleypas’ voice. It’s just my style. 🙂

    Deanna – You will like it – although it’s not quite as angsty as some of the HR books you love. 😉

    Sarah – Evie surprised me too. I really liked how she turned out. And of course she’s perfect for Sebastian.

    Lexi – Let me know what you think once you read it! 🙂

    Lupdilup – I will read the Hathaways. I’ve heard nothing but good things.

  9. Not sure how fair it would be to compare other books to this one, as it is a rare gem, and one of my favourites as well. But I am very glad you enjoyed it so much.

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