Thursday, February 11, 2010

Review: Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer

Devil's CubFrom the Back Cover:

Stolen in the Night

Intelligent, practical Mary Challoner knew wicked Dominic Alastair, Marquis of Vidal, wouldn't marry her sister, despite her mother's matchmaking schemes. So Mary coolly prepared to protect her sister by deceiving Vidal. But she certainly hadn't expected the infuriated nobleman to kidnap her! Reluctantly awakening to his responsibility - and realizing just how serious Mary was about her virtue - Vidal proposed marriage. But after all the carefully laid weddings he'd dodged, Vidal had never expected to be refused by a chit! Baffled, bewitched and frustratingly tempted, Vidal swore that Mary would be his wife. Even if it was the last thing either of them wanted.

Within two pages of meeting Mary she makes fun of both her mother and her suitor and I knew right away I was going to like this girl.

After telling her suitor that the color he is wearing, puce, does not become him, he continues nevertheless to flatter her with favorable comparisons to her sister:

"In my eyes," declared Joshua, "you are the prettier."

Miss Challoner seemed to consider this. "Yes?" she said interestedly. "But then, you chose puce." She shook her head, and it was apparent she set no store by the compliment.

Mary's younger sister, Sophia, is a beautiful empty-headed girl who has caught the eye of Vidal, London's most notorious rake. (And he's not just a rake with the ladies; by page 54 he's already shot two men.) Mary knows Vidal has no intentions of making an honest woman of Sophia once he's had her, and when she stumbles across his plans to spirit her sister away, Mary takes action. Her plan works, but she never considered the repercussions of her actions and Vidal is not a man to be trifled with. He gets his revenge on Mary by forcing her to flee the country with him, thus ruining her reputation.

Mary takes it all in stride until Vidal physically threatens her virtue and then she does what any sensible girl would do:  she shoots him. Vidal in turn does what any sensible gentleman would do:  he proposes.

And thus begins the romance dance of two seemingly incompatible people, falling in love and denying it at every opportunity, until the moment when it seems they must confess or be lost to one another.

This was my first Georgette Heyer romance and it is easy to see why her books have stood the test of time. The characters are engaging, the dialogue is smart and witty, and Ms. Heyer manages to create a very sensual feel throughout the story while remaining chaste and G-rated. I have only two complaints: In the beginning I was confused by all the name dropping and introductions to London society, but that didn't last long. I also felt too much time was spent with their relatives back in London when all I wanted was to get back to Mary and Vidal. But during the course of reading I realized this book was a sequel to These Old Shades, and Vidal's mother and aunt were characters in that book, so had I read that first, I may not have minded spending so much time with them in this book.

All in all, a light-hearted, fun read!

Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars


  1. Hey great review! This one sounds like fun too. I did read These Old Shades and didn't realize their was a sequel to it. Thanks for the heads- up on Heyer's book on Napoleon- I'll have to find this one for sure:)

  2. Wonderful review! I'm on my second life as a Heyer fan, having eaten everything of hers I could find as a teen, I'm rediscovering them (slowly) in my forties. Still as delicious as I remember! I must try and track this one down.


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