Saturday, March 04, 2006

Devil in Winter

When last I wrote about Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series I was "reviewing" It Happened One Autumn which was Lillian's story. The ending of that story left me impatiently wanting more, for which I didn't have to wait too long, fortunately. The Devil in Winter begins with the villainous villain Viscount St. Vincent, who had kidnapped Lillian, being propositioned by the third wallflower Evangeline Jenner. Evie sees Sebastian as her way out of a life of powerlessness and abuse, she suggests that they pool their resources. His protection and his hand in marriage in exchange for her fortune. Sebastian is pretty desperate for money so he doesn't hesitate to shake on the deal. Is this hero material? I wondered when I read the exerpt how Lisa Kleypas would managed to redeem this character who was presented as an unprincipled and selfish bum. Pairing him up with a shy, freckled red-head with a stutter whose been mistreated by her family seemed like a tough sell. Having just finished The Devil in Winter I can say that Kleypas managed to bring all the diverse elements together very well. This was a wonderful book--not it a wild and exciting plotline with bigger than life events--but in a tender book where two people spend an intense amount of time together and begin to love each other plotline kind of way. In the whole of the book, our hero and heroine never attend a party or go out shopping or drive in the park or anything like what is typically seen in an historical romance set in London. In fact, other than the time they spend on the road to Gretna Green, the whole book takes place inside Evie's father's home/business. I've read many books where at the end you realise the books entire plot took place in a week or something and the hero and heroine didn't spend any time together. Not so here, the story lasts for weeks and the characters are spend huge amounts of time together learning about each other slowly. In the end, the hero is redeemed by two things; the love of a good woman, and having a purpose in life. I think love and relationships, along with having a purpose-- either through work or interests, are what brings happiness and Kleypas must think that too. I loved this book and look forward to the next and last book in the wallflower series when Daisy will finally get what all the others have found--true love.

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