kari's Reviews > Blue-Eyed Devil

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
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Jul 13, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read from January 01, 2010 to July 12, 2011

A romance novel with depth.
The heroine, Haven, endures domestic abuse (not from the hero, rest assured since this is a romance after all) with most of the book being about her recovery.
This subject is handled very well, I think. It shows how the abuser slowly takes control of her life, closing off family and friends other than the friends he chooses, asking her to be quit her job, putting her down for little things. It shows a pattern that becomes more clear and ends with full out beating. It's presented so well that you can see how it can happen. I know it's easy to say that would never happen to me (and hopefully that is true), but this shows how a smart, attractive woman can become a victim as it all simply sneaks up on her until she's living in fear.
So, that's the beginning and if you're thinking I don't want to read about that, I need to clarify that it's the starting point, but the book isn't about that, it's about what happens after and how Haven rebuilds her life and builds her personal boundaries for the first time in her life.
So, where the heck is the romance you're asking.
Hardy Cates. Isn't that the perfect name for a roughneck, Texas all-male hero?
Hardy is a self-made millionaire, still rough around the edges and still struggling to be accepted by the moneyed society. Haven comes from the center of that society and her family and friends are wary of their attraction, particularly after what she's been through.
I like the interaction of their characters and the way he manages to help her with her problems. Their dialoge with each other is crackling with chemistry and you can just see Hardy sauntering away after some wry comment.
My one tiny complaint is that I would have liked Haven to save herself in the end. I'd have been happy with all that occured if only Haven could ultimately brought it about. I get that in romance novels the hero is, well, the hero, so that's expected, but in this instance I do wish she could have saved herself and Hardy.
I don't read a lot of romance novels, but Lisa Kleypas novels always have such fun livley characters and dialogue that they are great for a change of pace for me. All in all, it's a really enjoyable read and I'd recommend it for those who enjoy a well-told romance.

*note* The listing says this is #2 in the Travises series and I didn't know that when I picked it up. But it doesn't matter as the story is complete start to finish. There's no cliffhanger and you aren't tossed into the story without being told what's going on. It's more a related books than a series of one long story. Each book centers on a different hero and heroine and the characters from the other books also appear.

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