Devil Takes A Bride

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Expected Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN
Author’s Website: http://julialondon.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, The Cabot Sisters
Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone
Steam Level: Steamy+
Pet Peeves: N/A
Favorite Tropes: Madness (OCD), Forced Marriage

Official Blurb:

From powerful love to sizzling passion, Julia London always delivers an incomparable reading experience. Returning to her acclaimed Cabot Stepsisters series, we meet an earl who can only be tamed by one wicked lady…

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 Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.

…and altered by passion.

Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Jeffrey 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 Jeffrey might just see it as a new beginning.

What Worked For Me:

  • Oh I do love a Mad Earl. Our hero, Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, is afflicted with what modern readers will easily identify as OCD, brought on by the cruel and unyielding demands for perfection of his father during his upbringing.  His obsession with eights, as well as his need for symmetry and order in his life were heartbreaking, as we watched both his own revulsion and self-hatred, and Grace’s confusion and determination to better understand the stranger she’d been forced to marry.
  • Is it warm in here or is just me? *fans self* This book was quite steamy. The chemistry between Grace and Jeffrey is scrumptious, and I was delighted to find that Grace was no missish wilting violet when it came to the marriage bed, despite their admittedly rocky start.
  • Speaking of that rocky start, I for one, loved that even though there was that explosive chemistry between them, even in the beginning, things weren’t all sunshine and roses and glorious rainbow orgasms when the marriage was first consummated.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t some overwrought melodrama, but there was enough emotional angst to balance out the lust that it felt realistic for two people who neither knew nor particularly liked each other, especially given the times that they lived in as well as their own personal circumstances. Very well done.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • Though I know that disorders such as OCD do not have a simple “answer”, I admit that I was a bit frustrated that we never learned exactly why Jeffrey had come upon “eight” specifically as his fixation.  There was one explanation given, I think, but I wasn’t certain if that was intended to be an explanation, exactly, or simply his first memory of counting to eight specifically.  A minor point, to be sure, but one that bugged me a bit as the book came to a close.
  • Call me a prude if you like, but I didn’t particularly care for some of Jeffrey’s more…er.. colorful fantasies, especially as they often involved other women. I have this personal hangup about infidelity, and that brushed a wee bit too close for my tastes, even though there were, indeed, merely fantasies.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. With the Mad Earl trope at the forefront, and Grace as Jeffrey’s perfect counterpoint, the chemistry between the two combined with the circumstances of their marriage added up to a very entertaining read.

Recommended for fans of forced marriage, mental disorders in a historical setting, and excellent chemistry.

04stars

A very solid 4/5 Stars.