Devil In Spring (The Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas
Lady Pandora Ravenel has an ambitious business plan and no interest in marriage whatsoever until a settee “accident” leads a certain Lord on her path.
Gabriel Challon, Lord St. Vincent, knows how to avoid marital traps but… what is a gentleman supposed to do when he finds a Lady trapped upside-down on a piece of furniture?
The gentlemanly thing, of course.
Thus begins their journey packed with witty dialogues, memorable characters and a dangerous conspiracy that will keep you entertained all the way through!
I love Lisa Kleypas’ historicals.
In historical novels I enjoy things I often hate in other genres and Lisa Kleypas is one of the very VERY few authors capable of that “magic”.
Even the sudden conspiracy at ~80% into the book didn’t steer me far from giving this book a high rating.
So yes…in my opinion this is not the best novel she has written so far but I enjoyed it all the same.
I love her humorous writing and the way she adds important historical events and discoveries woven into her stories.
Pandora’s board game invention and business plan is based on a real historical figure, a woman that invented the precursor to Monoply in 1903.
While the first 60% of the story was a solid 5 stars read, I had minor disappointments with the last 40%.
For example, I wasn’t thrilled with Gabriel telling Pandora about his former lover, a married woman able to satisfy his “dark desire” that turns out to be some very light bondage.
I have expectations a mile high when it comes to Lisa Kleypas’s historicals and I can be a bit more critical because I’ve fallen in love with a lot of her books.
That said, I’m fond of the new couple Mrs Kleypas brought to life expecially of Pandora, the heroine.
“I’m all tangled up in these dratted—” she hesitated, wondering what to call the elaborate wooden curls and twists carved into the back of the settee. “—swirladingles,” she finished.
“Acanthus scrolls,” the man said at the same time. A second passed before he asked blankly, “What did you call them?”
“Never mind,” Pandora said with chagrin. “I have a bad habit of making up words, and I’m not supposed to say them in public.”
“People might think I’m eccentric.”
Sebastian & Eve from “Devil in winter” make their appearance as often as loving parents actually would in their child life.
I LOVED their interactions with their son Gabriel and with each other:
“Why is he your son when you’re pleased with him, and my son whenever he’s done something wicked?” Evie asked as Sebastian removed her apron and began to unfasten the front of her bodice.
“Since I’m the virtuous parent,” he said, “it only stands to reason that his wickedness must come from you.”
“You h-have that exactly backward,” she informed him.
“Do I?” Sebastian fondled her slowly as he considered her words. “I’m the wicked one? No, my pet, that can’t be right. I’m sure it’s you.”
Can’t wait to read the next book in this series!
⭐☆ 4 stars ☆⭐
~ My Ratings ~
Writing: 5 /5
Plot: 3 /5
Hero: 4 /5
Heroine: 4 /5
Secondary Characters: 4 /5
MC’s chemistry: 4 /5
Recommended to: Historical Romance Readers.
~ Quotes ~
You seem to be having some difficulty with that settee,” the stranger remarked. “As a rule, I don’t recommend the headfirst approach, as it tends to complicate the seating process.” The voice contained a cool dark resonance that did something pleasant to her nerves. Gooseflesh rose on her bare skin.
“I’m sure this must be amusing,” Pandora said cautiously, straining to see him through the carved woodwork. He was dressed in formal evening clothes. Definitely a guest.
“Not at all. Why would I be amused by the sight of a young woman posing upside-down on a piece of furniture?”
“I’m not posing. My dress is caught in the settee. And I would be much obliged if you would help me out of it!”
“The dress or the settee?” the stranger asked, sounding interested.
“My son, what can you be thinking, keeping this enchanting creature out in the heat of midday? And why is she disheveled? Has there been an accident?”
“She was assaulted and knocked to the ground,” Lord St. Vincent began to explain.
“Surely you don’t know her well enough for that yet.”
“By the dog,” Lord St. Vincent clarified acidly. “Shouldn’t you have him trained?”
“Ivo is training him,” came his father’s prompt reply.
Lord St. Vincent cast a pointed glance toward the distance, where the red-headed boy could be seen chasing after the scampering dog. “It would seem the dog is training Ivo.”
Fact #63 I couldn’t marry Lord St. Vincent if for no other reason than the way he looks. People would think I was shallow.
Devon had begun making much-needed improvements to the estate ever since inheriting the earldom, but it would take time to fully renovate the house. They had installed modern plumbing only two years ago. Before then, they had used chamber pots and outdoor privies, leading Pandora to tell Gabriel with mock gravity, “I’m barely housebroken.”
“I never wished on falling stars, or pulled the petals off daisies while reciting ‘he loves me, he loves me not.’ At my brother’s wedding, they handed out slivers of wedding cake to all the unmarried girls and said if we put it under our pillows, we would dream of our future husbands. I ate my cake instead. Every crumb. I’ve made plans for my life that don’t involve becoming anyone’s wife.”
“Good God, she really did walk in circles. A pang of tenderness centered in Gabriel’s chest like an ache. He wanted all her circles to lead back to him.”
“Your kiss thrilled me beyond imagining,” he whispered. “Every night for the rest of my life, I’ll dream of the afternoon in the holloway, when I was waylaid by a dark-haired beauty who devastated me with the heat of a thousand troubled stars, and left my soul in cinders. Even when I’m an old man, and my brain has fallen to wrack and ruin, I’ll remember the sweet fire of your lips under mine, and I’ll say to myself, ‘Now, that was a kiss.’” Silver-tongued devil, Pandora thought, unable to hold back a crooked grin.”
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