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Blue-Eyed Devil: A Novel (The Travis Family) Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 2015
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|Mass Market Paperback, June 30, 2015||
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From Publishers Weekly
Scenes of domestic abuse and the journey to recovery make Kleypas's modern romance anything but fluff. A Wellesley grad and daughter of a Houston energy baron, Haven Travis is an unlikely romantic heroine until her brief but ardent encounter with a man who turns out to be Hardy Cates, the East Texas roughneck from Sugar Daddy who worked his way up from poverty and then outmaneuvered the Travis clan in a business deal. Haven's engaged to Nick Tanner—a man her dad thinks is unfit for her—and though she and Hardy have a charged interaction, she elopes with Nick, and her father cuts her off. Nick turns out to be a bad guy, and a beaten and bruised Haven returns to Houston, where Hardy's still at odds with her family. Their passion proves as fervent as ever, but demons from Haven's recent past—as well as strife with her family and troubles at work and in bed—stand in the way. Kleypas isn't a literary stylist, but she delivers a page-turning, formula-breaking romance that takes on social issues and escalates passion to new heights. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
"A page-turning, formula-breaking romance that takes on social issues and escalates passion to new heights."―Publishers Weekly
"A sexy story. Hero Hardy Cates is charming women the world over!"―Lifetime Entertainment
"HOT. Kleypas's strongly emotional story presents an inside look at what can happen when love turns out to be the desire for complete control."―Romantic Times
Top customer reviews
I have been in love with Hardy Cates since I first met him way back in 2007 when I first read Sugar Daddy. The teenage girl that now occupies this old ladies body still swoons a little bit every time I even think about Hardy Cates as a teenager. Where were the boys like Hardy back when I actually was a teenager? Even when Hardy does something a little wrong, I can forgive him. When this book came out in 2008, I drove to my local Borders and grabbed a copy just as soon as they opened for the day. I loved it then and I still love it today. Just be aware that this review is not unbiased because it is nearly impossible to be unbiased when you are in love.
Haven first meets Hardy at her brother Gage's wedding when she slips into the wine cellar. Haven thinks she has found her boyfriend, Nick, and things heat up really quickly. Once she realizes her mistake, they both move on with their lives. Haven knows that Nick is her future and she is willing to do whatever it takes to be with him...even if it means she is cut off financially from her wealthy father. The lack of money doesn't bother Haven as she tries to be a good wife to Nick. Nick becomes increasingly resentful and angry. Nothing Haven does is good enough for Nick. He doesn't care what Haven wants or what she thinks because the only thing that matters to him is himself.
Haven eventually leaves Nick after he becomes abusive. She starts a new life with the help of her family. She starts working at a property management office for her brother, Jack. She soon crosses paths with Hardy once again. Her family warns her against Hardy but she takes a chance anyway.
I was just as moved by Kleypas's description of the abuse that Haven endured as I was the first time I read the book. I think that she did a remarkable job of demonstrating how out of control Nick had become. I was frightened for Haven and wanted to take her away and protect her just like her brothers wanted to. Haven is strong. She asks for help when she knows that she needs it and then works to change the things in her life that she can change.
Would I love Hardy as much as I do if I hadn't already read the first book in this series? I don't know and it is really hard to guess because I was already in love with him before this book started. Hardy listened to Haven and tried to be what she needed. The chemistry between Haven and Hardy is phenomenal. I am still trying to figure out how Haven ever pulled herself out of the wine cellar at the very beginning of the book. I like Haven and Hardy as a couple.
I listened to the audiobook on this read through and I have to admit I had a hard time with the narration at the beginning of the story. I kept listening and starting liking the narration more and more and by the end of the book I didn't notice the narrator anymore because all I could think about was the story. I got lost in the story which is exactly what I look for in an audiobook.
I would highly recommend this book to others. I would suggest that readers start with the first book in the series, Sugar Daddy, because it really gives a lot of background, not to mention it is an excellent book. I am planning to re-read the next book in this series very soon and can't wait to get my hands on a new book by Lisa Kleypas.
How do you write a review for a book that you've read many times and still love to pieces? I cannot even tell you how many times I've read Blue-Eyed Devil, as I've lost track at this point. But I can assure you that each and every single time, I have absolutely loved it. You'd think that reading the same story and becoming intimately familiar with every heart-racing moment and every swoon-inducing line would eventually lead to the novelty wearing itself out. But because of some magical ability that Lisa Kleypas possesses, I read this story as if I've never read it before each and every time - and I fall in love.
Haven Travis is, of course, one of the Travis kids - and that means she comes from a family of good breeding, money and power in Texas. Growing up with all these things meant that Haven has had to be cautious and proper for all of her life, at least until she managed to escape to a college out-of-state. Early on in the novel, she's face with a lot of difficult situations; but majority of this story tells about how she comes out of them on top.
The reason I love Haven so is because I understand her. She loves her family, especially her brothers, but she doesn't want to be trapped by them into a certain lifestyle. She wants to work hard to prove herself, to make her way in the world, and I completely admired that. She's strong, stubborn, determined and still utterly naive in a number of ways, which makes her completely lovable to me
This novel is really Haven's story, and that's great. But Hardy Cates, the blue-eyed devil himself, is the man who swoops in and steals the entire show for most readers. (Raquel also co-signs this.) Hardy's a self-made millionaire, who has business smarts, life experience and social skills that make him an incredibly powerful force to be reckoned with. He has gone through so much and made such a good name for himself out of so little - and his sheer will and drive are certainly very impressive. He had a bit of a skirmish with the Travis family (which is pretty clear in the previous book, Sugar Daddy), which definitely does not endear him to them at the start of Blue-Eyed Devil.
Hardy... I have been staring at my screen for a good ten minutes now, and I still cannot find the perfect words to describe him. He's one of the finest male characters I have ever encountered in a romance novel. He is the perfect balance of brute strength and pure physicality, with a stunning sensitivity that catches you completely off guard when it's revealed. It's my perfect combination, and one that causes me to fall for him every. single. damn. time. Every moment he appears in Blue-Eyed Devil, he steals the scene, as all Haven's (and the reader's) senses go into high alert whenever he's around. Honestly, he is everything in this book - a good friend, a fair boss, a competent rescuer, a broken man, an absurdly perfect male specimen. Hardy Cates is one of the few contemporary males I fell hard for - and I don't think that'll ever change.
(This is slightly off tangent, but not by much. Kleypas dedicates the book to her husband, and the description she uses - "A gentleman, a gentle man" - just describes Hardy so perfectly. Raquel deserves the credit for mentioning this to me.)
(Clearly, I could fangirl over Hardy for the rest of this review. Raquel would approve.)
So, Haven and Hardy are certainly strong characters as individuals. But their relationship is also a big part of why this book is so darn enjoyable! The spark between them ignites fairly quickly, and the chemistry leaps off the pages as their relationship deepens. Readers are treated to a mix of sweet, tender moments and the flush-inducing heat of their passion -- and trust me, you're going to absolutely love it. Nothing makes me smile more than reading about a couple I can really root for, and Haven and Hardy are definitely one such couple to me. Every moment they share, every development in their relationship, I basically await with eager anticipation as I'm turning the pages.
The story is rich and full, as their relationship is not the only thing that this book is about. It touches on Haven's relationship with her family (particularly her father), as well as the personal growth that she must accomplish and the challenges she faces because of the circumstances that face her at the start of the book. We also get a brief glimpse into Hardy's past, particularly the things that haunt his conscience, and also how the real estate and oil businesses flourish in Texas. This clever addition of other elements to focus on apart from the romance is definitely key in making this book just a bit more than your typical contemporary romance.
I completely loved this book. I've returned to Blue-Eyed Devil time and time again, and I have no doubt that I'll continue to do so. The novel is like a pair of favorite, completely worn in jeans - it's a comfortable, perfect fit every single time I read it. If I haven't said it before (and if Raquel hasn't said it enough), this book just deserves to be read, savored and enjoyed completely. (And I may or may not be talking about Hardy Cates too...)
If you like romances with complex, real people and storylines that have some grit and believable reality...you will love this book.
Most recent customer reviews
I read it first at library so I wanted to get the book.