Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Book Review: Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire town by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas swooned at the loss of England′s most eligible bachelor, Devil′s infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.
But Honoria wasn′t about to bend society′s demands and marry a man "just" because they′d been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she′d go off to see the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?
Let me state first that I am not *usually* a fan of historical romance. I like my contemporaries mainly because the characters can be a bit freer in their language which translates to seriously hot scenes. In my opinion anyways.
However, on Sunday I was perusing a few review blogs and I came across someone who suggested this books. I headed over to Goodreads to see what had been said about them. Even after seeing all the positive reviews I was leery about trying a historical romance. I should have known better.
I mean, I did this same thing with Highlander romances. I hesitated and was all "those aren't my thing" then I read one and was like "hot damn send me back in time so long as they have indoor plumbing!". I don't read a lot of them, but every once in awhile a hot highlander is what a girl needs, ya know?
Anyways, back to Devil's Bride. Oh Devil. DEVIL! That man is freaking hot. He is scary hot. And even though it's a historical, this man loves his woman, and he is fiercely protective of her. Who knew there could be hot alphas back in the day. And in this case, there are A LOT of them! I mean, Vane, Scandal, Demon, Gabriel, Lucifer...Dear god, I could swoon just thinking about them all!
But let me get back to Devil. When he sees Honoria, and they banter, well he knows. I mean he totally knows that she is the woman who will be his wife. I loved that about him. Usually I see insta-love and cringe. But here? Oh no. In the short time we come to know Devil, it's made clear he is a man who knows what he wants. He says it in fact. He is a fighter, a warrior, a conqueror. And he's a landed Duke. So yeah, he wants her and he claims her. In words of course, not in action. Devil is a gentleman. Sometimes. ;)
Honoria. Let's talk about this woman for a second. First, the fact that she didn't have to rely on Devil for money was awesome. It isn't something that one sees a lot in historical Of course she isn't as wealthy as Devil. But she does have enough that getting married isn't a financial necessity This was a nice change. Her past was heart-breaking and I really understood (once we find out the why) why she was leery of falling in love and getting hitched. I was glad that the author did this. She wasn't just contrary to the idea to be contrary. (I admit that I was frustrated with her at first. But then it was like "AHA!" and then I was all "Awwww Honoria! Let me give you a hug honey!). She had her reasons and when Devil figured out what it was, he showed her the patient, sweet, adorable man that he could be. While still being unbelievably sexy.
Speaking of sex. Let's get to that part. I was initially thinking purple-prose, fade to black scenes and/or lack of steam. Well let me just say that Stephanie Laurens you can write a freakin' sex scene! But first she builds up to it. And darn you Ms. Laurens every time we got close something interrupted them! Or Honoria got confused. Or Devil decided that he wanted Honoria to make her decision before he made her his wife. And I was like "omg you're freaking killing me woman!". Especially the scene at the Ball. Well, maybe she wasn't killing me, but ladies, I'm sure you get my meaning. Also, she doesn't keep the sex scenes all buttoned up. Devil likes sex (and all that leads up to sex) and he teaches Honoria all about what he knows. And he also switches things up, being adventurous about just where they can engage in all things sex. Yes. Devil is not shy. And Honoria catches on quickly. One more thing about the sexy scenes As I mentioned, the build up happens slow, with soul shattering kisses and touching and ya know, all that good stuff. Before they are married. And don't worry.You don't have to wait for the wedding night for all the clothes to come totally off. (Another reason I loved this book. I know, I'm a romance novel whore. Don't judge me!)
Another thing I really liked about this book: Although it was approx. 300+ pages on my Nook Color, it didn't go fast for me. With these books (and Highlanders) I find that I really have to take my time to get the lay of the land and figure out who is related to who and who is a Duke, or a Duchess or a Lord, etc. This for some reason made the reading experience way better for me. Oh, and I know some people weren't impressed with the suspense aspect. It is relatively obvious who the 'bad guy' is. But I didn't mind this. I think it was because watching the characters try to figure it out and put the pieces together was enjoyable. Sure I knew, but it didn't drag nor was it tedious. There were times I was like "No, don't go there! Don't do that!" to the characters (in my head of course. I'm not that cray-cray). But this was fun for me. It was like watching a movie where you know who the killer is, but the main characters don't. It was nice to be along for the ride as they put the clues together.
The author's descriptions of the land, the people and society in general was well written. I am one of those readers who wants an author to be super detailed. (Hello Kristen Ashley! This is why I love your books! Er, well one of them!) And the book didn't suffer from first-book-in-a- series syndrome. There are a lot of characters sure, but it's not overwhelming. She gives just enough to really want to dive into book 2. (Vane and Patience! Yay!!!!) There is also humor and sweetness in the books. Devil's horse was awesome. (I hope he enjoyed those tea cakes!) And Honoria trying to protect Devil, when he was trying to protect her? Freaking adorable. Oh and when Devil and Honoria cut the cake? Humorous and hot. Lastly, the rest of the Cynsters cracked me up. I loved the epilogue when Honoria found out about the book. The joke was totally on them.
Bottom line, this book does not disappoint. I am going to be nabbing the second in the series today however, I am going to read some contemporaries first. I've heard that, like with the highlander romances, one shouldn't mainline the entire series at once. (Although, honestly, I think this might be true with most series. I ODed on the Stephanie Plum series big time after a marathon read of it to the point where I just cannot do it anymore.)
*This book was a self-purchase and I was not in any way compensated for, or even asked, to review this book. All opinions are my own*