*I received a free copy of The Devil Takes a Bride from Harlequin HQN via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
A plan born of desperation…
Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace's wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Geoffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.
…and altered by passion.
Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Geoffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace's temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can't resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Geoffrey might just see it as a new beginning.
The Devil Takes a Bride is a fun and hot story about a strong-willed woman and a seemingly ice-cold man who find themselves married to avoid scandal…
My The Devil Takes a Bride review:
The Devil Takes a Bride was a really nice surprise – both because it’s the second book in a series, and that really didn’t matter in order to understand the story, the plot and the characters, and also because it was quite different from what I expected when I started reading. Grace seemed to be a very sensible society girl, even if she did the best she could to flirt a little bit, dance a lot, but not get any proposals. Grace had met Geoffrey only once at a ball, and she thought he was absolutely dreary, never smiling, and always seemingly judging everyone in attendance. She did rather enjoy his brother, though, but not enough to want to be attached to him for the rest of her life. At least not until her step-father passed away, and she was ready to do anything and everything to avoid the scandal that would surely erupt about her mother’s madness.
The fact that Grace and Geoffrey didn’t know each other, and also that both of them did not really want to be married made it so that when they had to hurry up and get married to each other to avoid scandal, they were both taken by surprise. After a single, very hot, encounter, Grace found herself on the way to the countryside and far from society, with a new husband who both scared her a little and awed her. Geoffrey was carrying some very dark secrets, and he truly was all about keeping the ton away from them – and his family free of scandal.
The Devil Takes a Bride showed how both Grace and Geoffrey had to learn to compromise in order to be able to have a marriage at all, and they both had a lot of walls that needed to be taken down. Slowly, as they learned to first trust each other, then to have affection towards one another, their relationship changed quite a bit. And they were both afraid of the feelings they evoked in each other, as well as the emotions they felt for each other as well. Their courtship was kind of backwards, as they got married first, then went on to consummate said marriage, to finally actually get to know each other. I found their journey quite delightful, and I will definitely pick up other books in the Cabot Sisters series. A little risqué for the period, but not really for a contemporary audience, Geoffrey’s appetites made me smile just as much as they would have shocked the ton.
Written in third person point of view, past tense, the narrator was able to share both Grace’s and Geoffrey’s perspectives in a way that didn’t seem intrusive. The dialogues were refreshing, especially Grace’s, because she was not a wilted wall-flower, nor a completely shy miss once she got together with Geoffrey. Historical romance lovers should pick this series up, because there is a lot to enjoy in The Devil Takes a Bride.
Some of my favorite The Devil Takes a Bride quotes:
If there was one thing she could not abide, it was the female penchant for the tearful gnashing of teeth. So much time and effort spent in crying! Grace wouldn’t cry. She’d created this mess and, heaven above, she’d suffer the consequences with her head held high. And if she couldn’t manage that, she’d certainly cry in private.
He downed the rest of his whiskey, clenched his jaw and closed his eyes again. He tried his best not to imagine her naked body sliding into steaming water, he breasts floating on the surface. But the more he tried to banish the images, the faster they came at him.
Grace locked the door of her room. She stood there, her arms akimbo, studying it. She debated pulling a chair before it to make doubly sure he couldn’t enter. She would no more allow that wretched man to touche her than she would eat her shoe. Actually, under the right circumstances, she might be persuaded to eat her shoe.
COYER scavenger hunt item #46:Celebrate 2015 – read a book that’s number in the series can be made from only the numbers in 2015. (e.g.: 2, 1, 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 21, 25, etc.) (3 points)
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: