Welcome to day 2 of Victoria Vane’s DeVere spotlight & Kindle Fire giveaway via Rafflecopter. Let’s get on with it..:)
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the third novella in the Devil DeVere series and the first of two to center on Devil and Diana. Finally, we learn the history between Diana, Baroness Palmerston-Wriothesley and Lord LudovicDeVere. The action, and lots of it, takes place at Devil’s newly acquired country estate, Woodcote Park near Epsom, purchased for it’s abutment to the racecourse and the added bonus of it’s scandalous history.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW reveals the crux of Diana’s antipathy for DeVere.
From the moment Diana and DeVere (Devil) set eyes on one another to their most recent encounter at the beginning of Devil’s Match the whole sordid story is revealed. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
We’re treated to a bittersweet look at Ned and Annalee in happier, albeit stressful, times. Ned’s guilt is firmly rooted in fact and not a result of excessive grief over Annalee’s death in childbirth. Poor Ned blamed himself and his sexual needs for Annalee’s delicacy when it was her insistence on giving him an heir combined with a constitution that didn’t take well to childbearing.
Taking Diana’s childless widowhood into consideration as well as her closeness to Ned and Annalee it’s easy to see why she stepped in to help Ned raise Vesta. It also highlighted for me why it would have been a disservice to them if they had taken their friendship further.
Shady malevolent characters, one of whom is unfortunately Diana’s husband, Reggie, abound. In addition to being a poor excuse for a husband, Reggie is a wastrel whose penchant for drink and gaming has imperiled Diana’s money and home. Diana, as was common, had no say. Her marriage was a financial decision by her father to keep the money and lands in the family with no consideration for Diana or the man he was marrying her to.
While Diana may be savvy regarding the running of her estate and breeding horses she’s hardly worldly and woefully unprepared for the viciousness and vindictiveness of Caroline, Duchess of Beauclerc. The Duchess is proof positive that a title and wealth do not automatically imbue one with class or character.
Diana has need of her dignity and backbone. During her few days at WoodcotePark she has to deal with Caroline’s dangerous jealousy spurred manipulations, Reggie’s secret, his profligacy and its consequences, as well as murder. Oh, and let’s not forget the sizzling allure that exists between her and Devil. Getting to see this Diana has caused me to really like and admire her. Any niggling doubts regarding her worthiness as Devil’s heroine have been dispelled by THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.
Devil’s conduct and efforts to assist and shield Diana are a far cry from his carefully cultivated reputation as a degenerative rascal. Valiant is the word that springs to mind when I think of his sacrifice on Diana’s behalf, one that she’s totally unaware of. Devil played his role exceedingly well. His decision at the end of the weekend speaks volumes about the personal cost of his actions; indeed, it’s a price he continues to pay. I’m even more enamored with Devil now.
Racing, gambling, and sex were expected occurrences at Devil’s weekend racing revelry. Diana’s potential penury, unanticipated emotions, and murder were the unexpected events that cast a pall over the weekend at WoodcotePark. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, with the murders and denied strong emotional connection and conflict between Devil and Diana, reads darker than A Wild Night’s Bride and The Virgin Huntress. For me this didn’t detract from the series but added serious emotional depth. I have so many questions regarding how Devil and Diana resolve the deep schism between them. They truly deserve a HEA and I can’t wait for The Devil’s Match.
If you’re looking for a sensuous historically rich read you can’t go wrong with the Devil DeVere series.
THE DEVIL’S MATCH picks up precisely where The Virgin Huntress left off. When Diana discovers Vesta’s disappearance she’s forced, to her dismay, to seek out Ludovic, Lord DeVere. The former lovers’ meeting opens old wounds and causes each to re-examine feelings, motivations, and long held beliefs. Forced into each others company by Hew and Vesta’s nuptials it doesn’t take long for smoldering embers to reignite in a conflagration that will either consume them or set them free.
First, I sincerely recommend reading all the Devil DeVere novellas in order. The story can be followed without doing so but to fully appreciate the character and story development you owe it to yourself and your reading pleasure to do so.
Wicked, wicked, Devil…what fun.
Ludovic (Vic, Devil) is a study of contrasts. In each installment we’ve gotten tantalizing glimpses of the hidden depths lurking beneath the hedonistic mask Devil so skillfully cultivates. In The Devil You Know we’re privy to the events that sent Devil on his debauched tour retracing the footsteps of FrederickCalvert, Sixth Baron Baltimore. Four years have passed since that time and brings us to the present time at the end of The Virgin Huntress.
Devil has found no surcease from the emptiness he’s lived with since leaving Woodcote Park and Diana. Nothing in his travels and ensuing adventures has assuaged the ache. In fact, Devil now possesses quite a secret. When it was revealed it thrilled and touched me.
In an assiduous effort to not repeat the mistakes of the past Devil, to an extent, manages to do just that. Eschewing monogamy and fidelity in the belief that both are beyond his capacity, he has sought and excelled in carnal pursuits, one of the reasons for his condemnation of his parents.
Diana is the soul of propriety, dutiful, strong, responsible and very aware of societal rules. Since events of four years ago she bears a strong antipathy toward Devil. As mentioned before, the lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Devil craves Diana in a way that’s entirely foreign to him and the passage of years hasn’t abated his hunger one whit. During this time there’ve been changes in Devil that may come as a surprise to some; however, he still has some demons to face and much to let go of.
Diana seems to have become even more entrenched in her grudge against Devil. Perhaps she doesn’t know him and his motives as well as she’d like to believe. Diana too, has a much to overcome, most of which is due to her own misconceptions. Sometimes you have to be slapped in the face with the truth before you’re willing to acknowledge it.
The good news is they’re both willing to learn.
This is one of my favorite scenes and speaks volumes about Devil, Diana, and their rocky road to a hopefully HEA.
“Have you ever loved before, Diana?” he asked, deftly turning the tables.
The question caught her off guard. “No.” she said softly, but then her armor came up. “I once thought perhaps I could have, but I never really had the chance to find out.”
“Is that what truly eats at you?” he asked, “Incessantly and relentlessly plagues you? Refuses to ever give you any peace?” He dug deeper, “The lost opportunity? Never knowing for certain whether you have the capacity for it or not?” He twisted the knife.
“Yes! Damn you!” she cried, feeling the brunt of his counter strike full force.
“Damn me, indeed.” He murmured, “for I suffer the same.”
THE DEVIL’S MATCH is a deeply sensual, thoughtful, emotional and satisfying conclusion to not only Devil and Diana but to all the story threads woven throughout the four novellas. Running the gamut from the debutante to the mature and widowed, The Devil DeVere is a wonderfully authentic Georgian historical series with something for every romance lover.
And now the RAFFLECOPTER! Good luck y’all. Hope you’ve enjoyed this showcase of the Devil DeVere series. 🙂