Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Silver Devil” as Want to Read:
The Silver Devil
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Silver Devil

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,503 Ratings  ·  170 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
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 12th 1984 by Ballantine Books (first published 1978)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I don't read too many historical romances, but every once in a while it is nice to change it up. When I read a friend's review for this one, it sounded like just my type of story. I have a thing for despicable, often abusive, heroes. I love reading stories about the type of guys that you'd run screaming from in real life. It's a hang-up of mine, I guess.

Set in the 1600's, 'The Silver Devil' tells the story of the Duke of Cambria, aka Domenico. Used to getting his way at any cost, he is cold, sel
Bgurl (don't h8 me cuz I'm honestful)
The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys: 4 “Uncomfortably Good” Stars.


He bought her for thirty pieces of silver, drugged her, dragged her from her home, held her captive in his cellar, subjected her to the scorn of his cohorts, surrounded her with jealous former lovers, and took her virginity in the most violent and humiliating way.


When she smiled at a boy, he tortured and killed him. When she tried to escape, he hung those who assisted her. When a woman tried to drive them apart, he banished her to a
mark monday
Oct 29, 2012 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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
He was toweringly tall and slender, every poise and motion a conscious beauty; doublet and breeches fitted him like a skin, turning him to a living, moving silver statue... But all I saw in that first moment was the fiercely beautiful face, its proud profile, white skin, and the shapely, sensual mouth under the cropped and silken fair beard...radiantly, blindingly fair, with a devil's dark eyes set in the face of an archangel.

When I think of Renaissance Italy, I automatically think of bright a

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
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. :)

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!  Espe
Apr 28, 2016 Mizuki rated it really liked it
Hell...I'd never managed to read through the pdf version of a 300+ novel within three or so days!

Thoughts after reading:

Just...What The Hell Had I Just Read!?


That...that's just mind-blowing in a crazy manner!

It's a damn difficult book to rate, on one hand I'm intrigued by the outstanding, sensual writing, the vivid sense of dread expressed through said writing, the fine details and the roller coaster ride which is the main story. On the other hand,
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)
Jan 17, 2014 Leona rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
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
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
Fre06 Begum
I don't give 5 stars easily but this book is truly one of the best books I have ever read!! Domenico is truly one of the nastiest male leads you will ever read he is an anti hero who kills at whim and is so cold he is also bi sexual something I would normally find off putting but as I read the book I became so engrossed that I almost forgot about it. Even though he does not become good in the end you can feel his obsession with the female lead from the first time he saw her you can also see his ...more
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
Minus stars...if that was an option...
DNF @ 59%


I tried, my friends, I tried....
This book...

I can't believe I put myself through that. So I found this book based on my recs on Goodreads since I read The Golden Dynasty . So say this book is even similar to The Golden Dynasty is an INSULT.


Okay, so we start off with a girl who is dealt a horrible hand and is basically a slave to her brother. His wife and him treat her the absolute worst and I felt like she deserved better in li
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
The things we do for the sake of challenges (+_+)

Despite of my continuous unholy amusement towards our man, the Duke from Hell, and irreverence regarding the supposed brutalities and horrors, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
There I award 4 stars! for I laughed my entire way through this unintentionally funny book.
Regan Walker
Enthralling, Terrible and Wonderful, a Classic set in 17th century Italy

This was my first by Denys. Her only other novel is The Flesh And The Devil, which is also wonderful. 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, Felicia lea
Feb 15, 2012 HJ rated it it was amazing
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
April Brookshire
Jan 05, 2012 April Brookshire rated it it was amazing
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.
❤️*~JesseJess~*❤️ ~Give me your OTT alpha's and anti-heroes~
*update* the purchase fell through 😭! My bf (and his momma) have been trying so hard to get this by my b-day! I just want to squeeze the crap out of them for their effort! I'm ok waiting for a good thing though ❤❤❤

On it's way!!!!!! SQUEEEEEEE!
 photo 26360A73-06F8-4C0A-A73C-94D10D11BBDA-6046-00000A9E991C0101_zpsj9maqnmo.gif
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
Mar 22, 2007 Ali rated it it was amazing
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
Cat The Curious
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.
This is a fabulous historical study based on real life accounts of various members of the Borgia's and de Medici's melded into one very interesting character. The H, and I use that lightly, is so overwhelmingly a man of his times that I can practically breathe the wax scented air. Every other character, including the h, comes in a very second to the character that is Domenico. You can really see where Machiavelli got his inspiration for The Prince or where Teresa Denys got hers.

Just a note here
Over-the-top craptastic crap lacking any romance and fun.

A homicidal, rapist hero whom I'm betting Joffrey Baratheon* was modeled after? Gimme, gimme! Not. Reading other reviews, it doesn't look as if character growth was in the cards for this turd either. Domenico's characterization may be a historically accurate portrayal of the nobility (oh, such an ironic term) living in early seventeenth-century Italy, but I don't find such tyrannical behavior appealing in a romantic hero.

Don't get me star
Aug 06, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
3 stars--I liked the book. Some mild spoilers. I read this expecting something more gothic, from the cover and description. But despite some gothic elements, it's definitely a historical romance.

This book has a reputation for being vile, and it is. Make no mistake: this hero is not an alpha male. He is a serial rapist and abuser. He enjoys murder and torture (both physical and mental), and has the emotional range of Prince Joffrey. The heroine (whom the hero literally buys) has no spine at all;
Apr 11, 2010 ♥Aicha~high~on~books♥ rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2009 Hirondelle rated it did not like it
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
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.
Nov 13, 2010 Katie(babs) rated it did not like it
Shelves: gag-worthy-book
This book is worse than a bodice ripper. The hero is scum. Reading this book is like watching Caligula. O.o
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Stormfire
  • This Other Eden (Eden, #1)
  • Never Call It Love
  • Savage Surrender
  • Wicked Loving Lies (Brandon-Morgan #6)
  • Bound by the Heart
  • Crimson Kiss (Crimson, #1)
  • While Passion Sleeps (Louisiana #8)
  • Love, Cherish Me (Aguilar's Fate, #1)
  • The Taming (Cameron, #1)
  • Desert Hostage
  • The Sheik
  • Crimson Rapture
  • To Love a Dark Lord
  • Lady Of Fire (Fire, #1)
  • Island Flame (Pirates, #1)
  • Lady Gallant (European Renaissance Duo, #1; Ladies, #1)
  • The Black Swan
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.
More about Teresa Denys...

Share This Book

“I forbid you to go."

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


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.”
“I knew that love would not turn the silver devil into an angel. He would remain what he was--subtle yet childish, unfeeling yet passionate, lost irretrievably to everything but his own desire. But he loved me--and I loved him, now and forever.” 8 likes
More quotes…