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Devil in Spring: The Ravenels, Book 3 Mass Market Paperback – February 21, 2017
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“The world of Victorian England is drawn with Kleypas’ usual sharp wit and well-researched political nuances. A funny and charming story that will delight readers from the first page to last.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Spot-on historical detail, hilarious dialog, and an exquisitely appealing heroine make this book a winner. Quirky, witty, and sexy, this compelling romp is absolute bliss. An addictive tale that readers won’t want to put down.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“Kleypas has the ability to play on readers’ heartstrings in ways that compel them to laughter and tears, and allow them to create a deep emotional attachment to her characters. […] Once more, Kleypas proves why she is the grand dame of the genre.” (RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars))
From the Back Cover
New York Times bestselling author LISA KLEYPAS delivers the unforgettable tale of a strong-willed beauty who encounters her match in one of London’s most notorious—yet irresistible—rakes . . .
An eccentric wallflower . . .
Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.
A cynical rake . . .
After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.
A perilous plot . . .
After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven . . .
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Top customer reviews
Speaking of Sebastian and Evie, their cameos and that of Westcliff of IT HAPPENED ONE AUTUMN made this book better for me, b/c the story itself is not an upgrade on anything Kleypas has written in the past. Perhaps my objections have to do with that trend towards writing second-generation romances, an obvious marketing ploy to take advantage of the popularity of first-generation romance couples but one that usually ends in disappointment and unfulfilled expectations for me. Cases in point for me are Lorraine Heath's Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series spin-off from the earlier Scoundrels of St. James series, and Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses books after #6. And now Kleypas is using readers' love of the H and h of DEVIL IN WINTER to get us excited about this Spring version. IMO, if there had been no references to Gabriel's parentage and no cameo appearances of beloved characters, this would be a 2-star book; it's just that disjointed in plot and uninspired in writing.
But the elephant in the room of my indifference to the story is my actual dislike of the heroine. I've read some reviews here of readers who believe Pandora has undergone personality improvements and become more mature when compared to her behavior in the first two Ravenel books. If so, it wasn't all that obvious to me. I found her to be less than bright, self-obsessed and self-serving, careless of the feelings of others, and unwilling to compromise about anything. It's all about her, her, her. Gabriel gives and gives and gives in this story. Pandora takes and takes and takes.
Why Gabriel falls in love with Pandora is a puzzle to me. He obviously sees things that I don't and he continually praises her and thinks wonderful thoughts about her throughout the book. I'm happy that he is happy, but the book is unsuccessful in getting me to see her good points. She's quirky, but not in a cute way. She's very pretty, I hear, but he could have any beautiful woman he wants. Why her? She's stubborn and opinionated and oh-so-feminist but she's lacking in much logic and reasoning power.
And the story itself? Well, it has some interesting historical and cultural tidbits, but the plot was all over the place and a mishmash of things: Pandora's feminism/ Pandora's ear issues/ Gabriel's supposed dark sexual needs (really?)/ the OW (related to the "needs"/ a tacked-on danger element to show Kleypas's research about Victorian political provocateurs/ a near-death experience to show Kleypas's research about Victorian medical procedures. The writing is, of course, competent b/c it is written by Kleypas, but only that. It's not clever or witty or humorous or warm and fuzzy or poignant or angsty or anything that touched me emotionally or intellectually. It was just a storytelling event.
I was disappointed. I liked the first two books in this new series better. This one is a 2-star book that I gave an extra star for the Wallflowers connection. I've always loved Evie and Sebastian.
Sure, there was some weird, kind of out of place, plot stuff at the end, but otherwise this book is everything I want in a romance. This book has been added to my very small list of romances I re-read.
The story opens with my all time favorite Wallflower Series characters from bk 3 Devil In Winter You got it!! Sebastian Lord St. Vincent who is now the Duke of Kingston and Evangeline/Evie Jenner. Oh!! how I love this couple. They are now parents to a brood of adult children and grandchildren.
Gabriel Lord St. Vincent is the heir to the Sebastian, Duke of Kingston and Evie Jenner Duchess. He is the eldest of there children. He is a wonderful, loveable, sexy and very handsome hero in this delightful story. He reminded me a bit of the character Jamie Fraser from Outlander. He happens upon Lady Pandora Ravenel twin to Cassandra. She is one of the daughters of the deceased Earl of Trenear. Her cousin Devon is the new Earl see bk.1 "Cold Hearted Rake". Where you meet the rambunctious twins. Pandora has gotten herself stuck in a sofa in a summer house and can't get unstuck. As she fights to get herself free, her hair comes down her gown is torn and she is swearing up a storm. She has obtained some bruises. This had me LOL!! Gabriel hears her distress and comes to her aid. As Gabriel is leaning behind her to help her get free they are spotted in what looks like a very compromising position. Of course he must marry the girl. In the Eyes of the Ton He has the same reputation as his father Sebastian before he married his mother Evie. He has thoroughly Compromised Pandora, by trying to help her.
Pandora is a beautiful young women who at times acts much younger then her 21 years. I think she would have been more understood if she was still that 19 year old we met in bk1. That's the one thing in this character that I think was wrong. She just acted to silly at times for any 21 year. But she has a great imagination and her ideas of owning her own board game factory was brilliant. Pandora does not want to marry and she won't be forced she just wants to design and sale her games. She is also, a very good impromptu story teller. So no matter how immature she acted at times I still fell in love with her character. She is just lovely and Gabriel is every females fantasy lover. He is so kind and gentle with her. Also patient he has never met anyone like Pandora.
The Storyline of "Devil In Spring" has been done many times and by many HR authors but Lisa Kleypas has put a new twist to this story and it is well developed funny characters. Its like watching a movie that's the way Lisa writes. She knows how to put the reader right there in the story. You can see the scenes play out in your minds eye. There's just enough sensual, sexy scenes between Gabriel and Pandora to sizzle. They don't make love until they are married. There is a dangerous plot to the Crown when Pandora sees a man that is up to some mischief. Which result in a plot to murder her. We are introduced to Ethan Ransom who looks like a Ravenel but he works for Scotland Yard or just who is he? I really want to know and I think we might find out in the next book in the Ravenel Series. Which I hope comes out real soon. This is a wonderful series and "Devil In Spring" was a excellent addition to that series.
I Highly Recommend you read "Devil In Spring". It will Stand Alone but it would be much better to get acquainted with the characters in the first 2 books of the series. Oh and by all means read Lisa's Kleypas's Wallflower series. Its Amazing!!