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Devil in Spring: The Ravenels, Book 3 Kindle Edition
From the Inside Flap
An eccentric wallflower . . .
Most debutantes dream of finding a husband, but Lady Pandora Ravenel is an ambitious young beauty who would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she's ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.
A cynical rake . . .
After years of evading marital traps, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught by a rebellious girl who couldn't be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible.
A perilous plot . . .
After succumbing to Gabriel's sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have involved her in a dangerous conspiracy. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil's bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven . . .
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She is a RITA(R) Award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women's fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband and their two children.--Library Journal (starred review) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B01FD92384
- Publisher : Avon (21 February 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 3582 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 301 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #64,213 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from India
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By Carol Toppo on 24 July 2019
Top reviews from other countries
I was not so impressed with the early glimpses of Pandora in this book - I thought the twins were very childish when they were introduced in the two previous books, which couldn't entirely be explained away by their upbringing. I found this again with Pandora, now 21 years old, and still behaving childishly in some instances, including towards Gabriel. However, the author softened that side of her as she showed both parties changing and adapting to a very different type of relationship than the norm in their circle. I still felt that Gabriel did a lot of giving and tried very hard to accommodate all Pandora's wishes, while she gave the impression of taking and taking, which made her appear selfish and self-absorbed as she refused to compromise on any issues. That resolved itself later in the book, and as usual, LK gave us interesting information about society in that time - medicine, women's rights, the police and more. I am enjoying the series and look forward to the next instalment.
A reviewer hit the nail on the head, as far as I am concerned, when they said that Gabriel should have been given different parents. I think my expectations were too high because I knew in advance that this story was about Sebastian and Evie's son, and so I was instantly transported to the 'Wallflower' series, which I thought was very good, and 'Devil in Winter' is a book that, like many readers, I read again and again. When I read the first of the 'Ravenel' series, I had no preconceptions; I wasn't particularly taken with the first one, but loved the second one, 'Marrying Winterbourne', but I was content to judge each one on its merits. Bringing Sebastian and Evie back into the picture was perhaps setting the bar too high!
The Prologue was just delightful and it was wonderful seeing Sebastian and Evie still so in love even after 30 years of marriage and Sebastian has lost none of his devilment.
“The rest of the world can wait,” Sebastian said firmly. “I’m going to debauch you for the ten thousandth time, Evie – and for once, I want you to pay attention.”
“Yes, sir,” she said demurely, and looped her arms around her husband’s neck as he carried her to their bedroom.
Gabriel has clearly inherited traits from both his parents; handsome, witty, astute, charming and worldly like his father and kind, understanding and compassionate like his mother. As heir to a dukedom, he takes his responsibilities seriously, having assumed management of many of the family’s business interests at a young age. He is well aware of the expectations of others and carries the constant burden of having to maintain the perfect image. However, there is another side to him…his darker sexual appetites which his married mistress is more than happy to fulfil.
For the past two years, Nola had fully indulged Gabriel’s every desire, their encounters unhindered by morals or inhibitions. She always knew when to push the limits farther, coming up with new tricks to spark his interest and satisfy his complex desires
One of my niggles is that Ms. Kleypas never explores this aspect of Gabriel’s character in any real depth and, to me, it seemed like a contrived way of making Gabriel seem less than perfect.
By having Pandora suffering from ADHD, Ms. Kleypas has created a delightfully quirky, adorable heroine who is impulsive, spirited, creative and ambitious. A conventional life has no appeal at all for her and marriage is not on the cards. Pandora plans to support herself and live independently by becoming a business woman and marketing her new board game. I love her habit of making up words, such as calling the elaborate wooden curls and twists carved into the back of the settee, in which she gets her dress caught, swirladingles.
Pandora and Gabriel seem the most unlikely couple but Ms. Kleypas makes the romance work so beautifully. It is such a captivating blend of witty banter, heated kisses and tender, sensual love scenes. I love how Ms Kleypas imbues their romance with lovely touches of humour and this is one of my favourites exchanges:
“Are you thinking about the Queen?” he heard Pandora ask eventually, while the engorged length of his shaft throbbed vehemently between them. “Because if you are, it’s not working.”
Gabriel’s lips twitched at the helpful observation. He replied with his eyes still closed. “With you sitting on me in that sweet little nightdress, it wouldn’t matter if the Queen were standing in this room with a contingent of guards in full uniform.”
I also love it when Gabriel is whispering all the things he wants to do to Pandora but he’s whispering into her bad ear and she can’t hear him!
I loved meeting Sebastian and Evie’s other children and Ms. Kleypas portrays the loving relationship between the family so well. I was especially intrigued by Gabriel’s caustic older, widowed sister, Phoebe, and do hope she gets a Happy Ever After. Dr. Garrett Gibson and detective Ethan Ransome, who were both in Marrying Winterborne, make an appearance. I also loved seeing my favourite Wallflower hero, Westcliff, in a cameo role.
My other niggle concerned the dramatic event in the last quarter of the book. It seemed totally unrelated to the rest of the story and more like a plot device to highlight a possible future hero and heroine. However, my niggles in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the book.
MY VERDICT: Enchanting, romantic, sexy and funny – a winning combination.
So Devil in Winter has been an all time fav historicals of my mine (and why the paperback i have looks really ugly now). So the moment this book landed on my kindle I was all over it…and didn’t even move the 4-5 hours it took me to read it
Lady Pandora Ravenal, my sweet kind and very much ADHD suffering heroine. She’s was such a mixture of compassion, love, a penchant for trouble and intelligent that you couldn’t help fall in love with her.
Lord Gabriel St. Vincent, the heir to the dukedom and a very responsible and conservative man. He was also as Pandora called him silver tongued devil and obviously smitten with Pandora since their first meeting. He was an awesome hero, loving with his family, arrogant and charming and fiercely protective of Pandora.
Their romance was just so darn adorable, beautiful and amazingggg! They had such a gentle and then sparking chemistry, along with how their relationship developed they got to know the real each other and I loved how their was honestly between them from the start. Their (witty) banter and interactions were all done so well, we go through of them both not wanting to be married to dear god I really can’t live without you! and it’s just done in such a natural/wonderful way. Gahhh loveeedd it! They were wonderful together so was the writing and the plot and I shall a remain a forever fan of Lisa Kleypas’s historicals.
I loved how slightly horrified he was at the that his life was no longer going to be the clam and content future he had hoped for but would have hurricane of a woman as his wife. I LOVVVEEED how Gabriel did not at all try to change anything about Pandora he just loved her like she was, he was so gently and loving towards her *dreamy sigh* he could also be very charming and teasing but he really understood Pandora and made it so she was happy with something she never wanted to do to begin with.
Pandora was equally wonderful, she had no plans of ever really marrying let alone falling in love but being with Gabriel seeing who he really was, she couldn’t help but fall in love with him.
I also loved seeing Evie and Sebastian again them being the great parents and grandparents and still in love and lust with each other after all these years *Swoon* They had a beautiful family and I was sad to hear about their daughter.
All in all my favourite in the series. This book made me ridiculously happy and lived up to the expectations I had!
We also get to see who I believe is going to be the hero and heroine of the next book and I approve, the more I get to know Garrett Gibson the more I like her. She is so fascinating. And now I have to wait another year till I get my hands on the next book.
Final Verdict: The book had this enchanting quality that I adored, it’s swoon worthy, unique and a refreshing historical romance.
UPDATE: So I wrote this review when the book released I just never got around posting it because I couldn’t find the right images for the mood board ♀️ and anyhoo I’ve re-read this book for the second time since it’s release and I still love it so much, definitely a favourite of 2017!
The prologue is just AMAZING! The scene where Sebastian and Gabriel pay pool (Billiards? Pool? Whatever not important!) was amazing, meeting all the siblings was amazing! Loved Phoebe can’t wait for her to hook up with West. I love that Evie and St Vincent have 5 children – definitely living up to his reputation there! And the addition of their younger child was great as a sub character.
I only just finished reading Marrying Winterbourne and am still a bit of obsessed with it so when I read the update on Rhys and Helen and their baby I really wished LK had written those scenes. This was a totally different book to MW and Gabriel was a bit too nice to be a swoon worthy hero like Rhys but I loved this book for entirely different reasons.
This book also made me like Pandora. In Cold Hearted Rake she seemed childish, less so in Marrying Winterbourne and actually had a bit more to do with the plot. Now I totally get her personality. I found her to be hilarious and endearing. The way she went off on tangents and said the weirdest unladylike things reminded me of myself as I’m often saying weird things. The other day at work I asked my colleagues what type of bag they would be if they had to be a bag. So I think Pandora and I would get on! Her backstory was actually quite sad and I appreciate LK writing heroines with modern day values but not in a way that makes me roll and eyes and say that would never happen. I like how when she first tells Gabriel about her board game business and wanting her own independent he doesn’t quite get it. He accepted it after she explained her point of view but his first reaction was correct to the time period I felt.
The banter between Pandora and Gabriel was hilarious. I laughed out loud a few times.
‘I have conditions. Thousands of them.’
‘Yes to all of them.’
‘Starting with…I want my own bed-room.
‘Except for that.’
I thought Gabriel made up his mind to marry Pandora a little too quickly. The Ravanels books so far have a slight theme of the heroes falling a little to fast to be believable. Although I don’t think Gabriel was in love with Pandora at this point but he had certainly decided he had to have her.
The scene were Gabriel taught Pandora to waltz was very sweet and a great metaphor that succeeded in showing Pandora how they could work as team and be stronger together than they are apart. This book made me think about how much is sucked to be a women back then. I mean I’d rather have been a lady or at least somewhere decent on the social ladder so I didn’t live in poverty but to have to live within so many rules and restrictions! And to have to go from your father’s house to your husbands house, always being someone’s property! To be expected to be something nice for men to look at but not have any ambitions of your own! F8%& that!
It felt very much like a book of two halves. The first half felt like a very simple story that was simply a love story and I wondered what would fill the rest of the book. Once they were engaged it almost felt like an entirely different book. I was surprised to realise I was 68% through the story and not much had happened. But then a great deal happens in the last 32%
I started at this point to wonder if the mistress was ever going to feature or the development of the board game. Both did and I think a reasonably good story could have been concocted with these obstacles and without the need for spies and bombs and the like but I understand that Ransoms character needed to be introduced which incidentally had a cut scene that made me laugh out loud
‘No matter what you say or do, it’s not going to happen.’
‘Who would have thought my first outing would be to see the Price of Wales.’
I was unsurprised by how little character driven angst this book would have. Often HRs feature characters who are scarred from their upbringing so I was interested to see what Gabriel’s back story would be considering he was raised in a loving household. Most of the angst came from Pandora’s hearing issues and her inner struggle between wanting her freedom and wanting Gabriel. There wasn’t much to pad the story out which probably also explains the plot at the end.
One of the negative reviews I read said that Pandora’s character didn’t ungo any growth during the book and Gabriel did all the adapting and compromising. I can’t argue with that but I think the point was to find someone who could love Pandora as she was and wouldn’t try to change her. Neither does she try to change Gabriel.
I really appreciated the authors notes about medical procedures in that time frame. I trust LK to do her research but it’s nice to have that explanation at the end. I’ve got a good feeling about the next book as I already like both of the characters.
Loved Dragon too. Got Merripen vibes from him and he also reminded me of Harry’s assistant in Tempt me at Twilight in that he also cares about the heroine in his own way and I was kinda left with wanting a story for him - like I was with that character in TMAT.
In summary will I read this again one day - definitely. Will it make it onto my keepers shelf...not sure. I enjoyed it immensely but the characters didn’t give me all the feels like Rhys and Helen did. In that way it reminded me of Daisy’s book from the Wallflowers or Beatrice book from the Hathaways. Both enjoyable books but the characters didn’t get under my skin in the way of my favourites.
Lady Pandora Ravenel is a wonderfully crafted character – yes, she’s the innocent virgin the hero – Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent desires and wishes to marry, initially out of a sense of honour, but she’s also passionate, confident, kind and charming. Her energy and playfulness draw Gabriel in and have him entranced before he realises it. Pandora initially embodies what he thought a man of his station wouldn’t need/want, but he quickly realises how wrong he is.
The honestly in their interactions was endearing and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop, there were plenty of moments where I just sighed in pleasure
"Thank you for being so frank with me," she said spontaneously. " It's nice to be treated like an adult." With a quick, awkward laugh, she added, "Even if I don't always behave like on."
“Being imaginative and playful doesn't make you any less of an adult," Gabriel said gently. "It only makes you are more interesting one."
Gabriel never becomes one of those historical leading males that tries to even slightly constrain the women he wants.
I devoured this book and found myself completely engrossed, now I need to re-read the earlier books in this series.