The Devil in Winter
Synopsis: A devil's bargain
Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!
Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.
But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts -- which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions...or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.
This is by far my favorite in the series! I know, I know. I said that about Lillian's story, but this time I really mean it!
Evie Jenner is a great character, but what I love most is the character's growth. In the previous books, Evie was portrayed as a shy, stuttering girl who really didn't have much of a backbone. But page one of The Devil in Winter we learn that Kleypas has been holding out on us. Evie not only has a backbone, but one made of steel. She's been through hell and back has survived on sheer force of will. I love that by the end of the story, she brings St. Vincent to his knees (literally :-).
Undoubtedly St. Vincent is one of the best characters I've ever read. Kleypas is a master of character development, and she shines with St. Vincent! Every bit of his dialogue is tempered with a slow, lazy cynical flavor. His been-there-done-that attitude lets the reader know right away that he has seen it all. There is nothing in or out of the bedroom that he hasn't experienced, and certainly nothing that would interest his lackadaisical way of life. But then Evie storms into his home, and, whether he likes it or not, she completely changes him in a way he never imagined.
The only thing that bothered me about the book was the way Kleypas refers to Cam (who is a main character in her Hathaway series). Cam is 25 or so, and she keeps referring to him as "a boy". Not only did it pull me out of the story, it messed with my image of Cam (who is a tall, gorgeous horse of a Rom with dark hair, and tanned skin). He's one of my favorite leads in all of her historical work, and I'm afraid to re-read Mine till Midnight because I don't want to look at Cam differently. I like him just the way his, thank you very much! I definitely don't want to see him as a "boy". :-)
The Cam issue did nothing to hinder my love of the story though, and so I have to give another fantastic 5-star review for the Kleypas Wallflower series!
Posted by: Chi