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The Silver Devil

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,011 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Amid the gilded opulence and dark intrigue of Renaissance Italy grew a love that knew no bounds....

No woman's heart is safe from the Silver Devil. From the moment he sees the beautiful Felicia, he must have her. Overnight he changes Felicia's nightmare world of tavern drudgery into an erotic adventure as his royal mistress. He is the Duke of Cabria who holds his subjects
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Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 12th 1984 by Ballantine Books (first published 1978)
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mark monday
UPDATED REVIEW

Romance Is Horror! just as the little voice in the back of my head has often whispered to me during various awkward moments.

The Silver Devil is an historical romance with a twist. the twist: i loved it. the feverishly sweaty and grotesque atmosphere, the constant viciousness and savagery, the insanely operatic characters... incredible. and, surprise, the writing is highly accomplished. overall it was fascinating. the whole thing was so luridly gothic an experience that at times it
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Karla
4.5 stars
I was already predisposed to like this since Denys' The Flesh and the Devil blew me away. She'd had to have really screwed up to make me dislike it. In the end, this book was just as good.

The first person POV of the heroine didn't bug me at all (sometimes it does), and I thought it perfectly complemented the story of an illiterate tavern maid plucked out of her lowly life and station and placed among the glittering and utterly foreign court of the local Duke. She's adrift, uncertain, an
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Willow

This review has mild spoilers in it. :)


A few weeks ago, I saw a post where they were discussing the difference between old bodice rippers and modern romance novels. At the time, I couldn’t quite put my thoughts into words. I’ve been thinking about it though, and I’m convinced the main difference is a plot strategy where the hero and the villain are pretty much the same character. This provides lots of sexual tension and conflict for the heroine, plus it adds many hilarious WTF moments, like, huh
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Michele ~ la Smoocherina
Pre-read impression- Ok. After reading that this book has been put on shelves varying from recommends to: Girly girls to "tall, dark and psycho". I'm crazy curious as to what my beloved ringleader Searock is getting me into. No matter, with her leading the charge, it'll be fun. :)

Review-
3.5 Stars
So, we're takin' it back. That's right ladies and gents, cats and kittens! All the way back to a book written in 1978 about a story in 1605. Bringing you today's hits and yesterday's favorites! Especial
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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Originally, it was my plan to use this review space to create another installment of my Choose Your Own Adventure series.

Then I got to thinking...Is this even going to be possible? How could I spin a taboo book? Would it go something like this?

Are you a fan of kidnappings and rape? (view spoiler)

Do you laugh with glee when men are tortured to the point of death because they might have shown an interest in you? (view spoiler)
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Tammy Walton Grant
Some Spoilerish Stuff about Content If You Haven't Read This Yet

1978. What inappropriate books was I reading the year I was eleven? Let's see: Scruples, Punish the Sinners (ugh, gave me nightmares), The Other Side of Midnight,Valerie Sherwood and old Harlequin Romances. Throw in the odd Nancy Drew and Judy Blume book (including a smuggled copy of Forever) and you can see how I ended up as such a twisted adult.

Anyhow, I gotta say I never saw this book lying around anywhere back then. I did read S
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Leona
Well that was one heck of a ride. Phew....... Mr. Silver Devil himself. Not exactly choir boy material.

This story felt very real to me. It was a true depiction of renaissance life with dukes and lords and kings and their total power over common people. The heroine was complex in her own right. At first she appeared incredibly simple and naive. Yet as the story evolves you understand she is the victim of circumstances being illiterate, imprisoned within her own home, beaten and abused and eventu
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Kerrie
Wow, I don't know quite what to say about this book. As my rating shows, it's a damn good book and everything, even the characters with all their flaws, worked. I was hesitant about the first person narration, but I don't know how this book could have worked any other way. Felicia, the illiterate and illegitimate tavern maid, became entirely dependent on Domenico and was in nearly all respects a fairly pitiful woman. She waited patiently for any crumbs of his love like a starving dog. This kind ...more
Sarah
What a delightfully odd book. :)

There's much here that's traditional bodice-ripper material. The heroine (Felicia) is raped by the hero (Domenico), yet she reluctantly comes to love & adore her captor. Her circumstances are more akin to slavery than courtship; she's a bought woman from common background, which gives her no standing except as Domenico's bedwarmer. But whether by choice or necessity, Felicia follows her abusive hero through thick & thin -- much of which includes violent h
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HJ
Re-read 8/2013

Oh, I know this old bodice-ripper sets off a plethora of hot-buttons for many readers. Fortunately - not for me.

All of those hot-button issues aside, this is a very well-written, cult-classic, book. The tone is very dark; Felicia's first person narrative detailed, enlightening, but not omniscient. Truly, though she is presented with all of the facts (albeit, ambiguous facts), she doesn't put things together very well in her naivety of the deviousness of Domenico's world. This actua
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Cat The Debaucherous
Ok I am brand new to this site. I read this because I tend to like the darker more tortured heros. This fit the bill. Denys writes like noone I have ever read. I plan to read Flesh and the Devil but I fear no one will live up to the heart pounding dysfunction of Domenico. If you want something different, this is it. Now I want more of this. I don't care a thing about being politically correct with my romance. Make it exciting. Some day soon I will re-write this book the review it deserves.
Ali
Mar 25, 2007 Ali rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Girly Girls
Shelves: favorites
Call me crazy, and I probably am, but I absolutely loved this medivial romance between a king and his courtesan. At 15 years old I found it in the back of my mother's closet, read it through to the last page only to reopen it and read it through again. The entire story is told from the courteson's point of view and she is really kept in the dark in regards to her lover's real feelings and yet she's willing to risk her life just to remain close to him. Sappy, I know, but in my teen years I couldn ...more
♥Aicha~high~on~books♥
My first impression of the book after having read it was -- this book is not shallow like so many others that fall in the genre of romance.
It is love story between a duke and an innocent young girl 'forced into sin' by him.Even though the duke,our hero comes across as a ruthless tyrant and a despot, the care and compassion he shows to the girl (sometimes even against his true nature) are endearing.
There are times when due to his sheer cruelty and indifference to the human suffering he inflicts,o
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April Brookshire
TWISTED and DEPRAVED! This book was awesome in a messed up kind of way. It features the ultimate anti-hero and the unfortunate girl who loves him (despite the fact that he's a sociopath). She loves him in all of his homicidal glory.
Regan Walker
Enthralling, Terrible and Wonderful, a Bodice Ripper set in 17th century Italy

This was my first by Denys. Her only other novel is THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL, which is another keeper. Both are set in 17th century Europe.

THE SILVER DEVIL begins in 1605 north of Naples, Italy, at the time of the plague. It tells the story of Felicia Guardi, a commoner beauty who comes to the attention of Domenico della Raffaelle, the new Duke of Cabria, the one they call "the Silver Devil.”

When her mother died, Felic
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Carisa
I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time but it’s too expensive, maybe because it appears in many romance lists (including top villain hero and bodice rippers) and it’s out of print. Then last month for my birthday a friend sent it to me. I read it the next day and let me tell you, this was an engrossing, dark, intense romance. Set in Italy in 1605, written from the heroine’s pov, it’s about a 29 year-old arrogant, cruel Duke who is irremediably attracted to a poor young woman and buys her ...more
Ann has a dirty mouth
Holy cow I really enjoyed this book. Although it is out of print and hard to find, there is definitely a reason copies of this are selling for so much money on amazon! If at any point during this review it seems that I am snarking on the book, I want you to all know upfront that it is from a place of love.

Although this is an older book, it also features many things that are trendy in romance right now, such as first person narration and the ultimate bad boy hero! Domenico really made Christian G
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Tash
Truely a classic! If it wasn't for the last chapter I would've given it 4 stars. I have mixed feeling about Domenico. He was a strange and cruel and I couldn't connect to him properly like most other characters, but that was probably what the author wanted I won't say I LOVED this book but it was very well written and the plot was rich with lots of unexpected twists and turns and awesome secondary characters. Plus the hero is bisexual which was really interesting and something we don't really ge ...more
Victoria Nguyen
I am quite complaisant when it comes to making comments on a book. I have give countless 3-star, many 4-star. But I rarely give 5 stars
This book I give 5 stars plus plus plus
It completely blew me away from the first page to the last.This is a rather Cinderella-like story. A normal girl became a duchess-every girl's dream. But that's not why I love it. Cinderella as the heroine may be, the hero is no prince charming.
Domenico is my most-beloved hero. He is not always gentle. Ok, not gentle at all.
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Hirondelle
Vile. Of all books I have read, this is in strong contention for having the most vile plot and characters.

I got recommended this because of some similarities to a series I loved (Lymond). And the setting sounded interesting, a sort of historical romance set on renaissance (fantasy version) Italy. Now the cover and blurb warn you this is a old-school boddice ripper (of the old old kind, not the wider derogatory term applied to generic romance novels, clothing really got ripped in anger). It is. A
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Marsha
Mar 16, 2012 Marsha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who like men tall,dark & psycho,bodice-ripper-junkies
A classic of the genre!If you like this sort of thing...then this is the sort of thing you'll like. The heroine is innocent, downtrodden, beautiful,and narrates the story. The hero is very handsome, rich, powerful...and a psychotic asshole. Really. Domineering,obssessive, possessive, highly sexed, irresistible to men and women,and he likes torturing people.
No bodice is left un-ripped.
There's blood, bi-sexuality,rennaisance Italian history, sadism,insanity, revenge, and a little transvestism th
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Ashley
This book is bizarre but so well written that I gave it 5-stars. This is a very dark book. The hero was not loveable... he was crazy and evil and the heroine was weak and helpless. I didn't feel warm and fuzzy after reading it but I'm glad I did.
MaryReadsRomance
The SILVER DEVIL (1978) is an older bodice ripper that is considered by many, myself now included, to be a modern historical romance classic. The story setting, 1605 Italy - at the time of the plague, and the authors writing style, poetic and all first person POV, is totally unique making this book unlike any other "formulaic" historical romance. It has been almost a year since I read this book and yet it is still fresh to my mind. Domenico della Raffaelle, the new Duke of Cabria,the one they ca ...more
Caroline
Alright THIS NOVEL IS OUTRAGEOUSLY TWISTED AND SICK, it got me days to finish this, I had the hard time finishing this actually, I was already half-way through it when I told myself "WHAT THE HELL, how can I finish reading this? it's just fucking appalling", the plot and the story line is utterly demented and quite nauseating, I was like "how can the heroine learn to love this kind of EVIL.VILE.REPROBATE.SONOFABITCH DUKE who rules his dukedom with sick and cruel decisions and actions?" like What ...more
Gwtwaddict
I enjoyed this story tremendously. I think it's strong in many levels - characterizations, plot, and writing. The love story is interesting (how can you love someone who does such evil things and often, on your behalf?) and you wonder how much love can redeem so someone dark.

I love the writing. The mood that the writer creates is so evocative, macabre, yet dreamlike and unreal. It makes me almost feel the opulence and moral decay of this world. The only other writer that I can liken this in styl
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Aida
An inventive tale set in a fictional state ruled solely by the Dukes of Cabria. Essentially "The Silver Devil" is really a DARK and TWISTED version of Cinderella, coming from the unfortunate heroine's POV.

Domenico is not a good man. He is the villain from start to finish. He is the guy you don't want to win and yet, somehow, he gets away with murder every time. Semi-psychotic with narcissistic and sociopath-like tendencies, the reader is usually left wondering how they turn up rooting for him i
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Katie(babs)
This book is worse than a bodice ripper. The hero is scum. Reading this book is like watching Caligula. O.o
KatieV
This wasn't a romance. The hero villain was completely and utterly (insert hysterical mad laughter) insane. I know many other reviews have spoiled this more than adequately, so I won't go into examples. I can deal with an anti-hero as long as he finds some sort of redemption or learns to look at the world a bit differently. I don't expect them to become paragons, actually that would be absurd. But I do expect some sort of emotional awakening. This guy wasn't capable of that. He was a sociopath. ...more
kc (4saintjude)
I was looking for ''Vile' and all I got was boringly cruel. There was no imagination to this guy-torture, 'forced consent,' and man-eating dogs...wait, man-eating dogs...those were actually inspired. There really was nothing to like about Domenico. He had the makings of a right good sadist, but instead, the author portrayed him as a spoiled brat who suffered from rage-induced fits (Fits. As in seizures-but ironically no one thinks to wedge a stick between his teeth before he passes out.). I hone ...more
Sue Lyndon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Denys was Jacqui Bianchi, a major editor at Mills & Boon, overseeing such authors as Penny Jordan, Leigh Michaels, and Emma Goldrick. She died suddenly, apparently in a car crash, in 1987 or 1988.
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The Flesh and the Devil

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“I forbid you to go."

"I am not yours to forbid. Comfort your pride with your conquest!"

"Felicia!"

The raw anguish of it stopped me. Tears were threatening to spill from my eyes so that I had to bend my head, fighting for self-control, and I did not hear him come up beside me. His hand touched my shoulder, then dropped again as I shivered.

"Does this look like pride?" His voice was shaking. "Or must I grovel?"

He was on his knees at my feet, and as I watched he lifted the hem of my gown to his lips and kissed it. I made some sort of sound in my throat, but I could not speak.

"You cannot go." He spoke in a whisper, without lifting his head. "I love you. I have always loved you--I bought you from your vile brother because I could not live without you."

As I stared down at his bowed, bright head, the earth shook under my feet. This could not be happening, I thought.”
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“In moments the whole assembly was rocking with jeering laughter as I stood ridiculously before them. My hands clenched uncontrollably; I had been prepared for any humiliation but the martyrdom of laughter.” 7 likes
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