Friday, June 22, 2007

Devil in Winter

Review of Devil in Winter, by Lisa Kleypas:

Ah, Devil in Winter, the best of the Wallflower quartet. Evie Jenner is a fairy-tale heroine, young and beautiful with gleaming red hair, locked up in a tower by her evil uncles. They want to marry her off to her repulsive cousin and thus secure her dowry for themselves. But instead of waiting around to be rescued, Evie escapes and runs off with the villain to Gretna Green. The fact that Evie speaks with a stutter, is painfully shy and has suffered years of physical abuse only makes her act of daring even more remarkable.

But Evie is only one of the book's shining stars--the villain/hero, Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, is the other. He's sinfully, criminally gorgeous, the worst kind of jaded ladykiller. In the prequel he kidnapped the heroine and tried to force her to marry him, which is why Evie knows he'll be desperate enough to marry her. Sebastian is heavily in debt and needs a quick and easy way to get some cash--marrying Evie, a rich heiress, is his way out.

The story details their long journey to Gretna Green, their very hot marriage night, and their slow discovery that they actually love and need each other. The pacing of the romance is perfect.

Devil in Winter is seriously well-written, cohesive in story and writing. Kleypas used motifs that she kept in mind over the course of the novel—i.e., the relation of Sebastian to anything "devil"- or hell-ish. Her consciousness of this metaphor is a marked improvement over some of her previous attempts, such as the half-hearted use of perfume and Lillian's sense of smell in It Happened One Autumn.

This romance novel is amazing, and I give it an A.

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