Jen Fabico's Reviews > Devil in Winter

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
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's review
Feb 20, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-50-book-pledge, heritage, historical-fiction, romance, series-collection, favourites
Read from February 20 to 23, 2012 — I own a copy

Book 12 of 2012's 50 Book Pledge is Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. This book is the third instalment to the Wallflowers series.

After reading two novels by Lisa Kleypas, I had begun to get into the rhythm of her writing style. It was not necessarily predictable but more so offered genuine With a narrative so fluid with just the right ups, downs and the thrill rides and with characters so natural that it wouldn't be a shock if they were real life next door neighbours (from the 1800s), it is so easy to devour any one of the Wallflowers books. And this book was definitely no exception to that expectation!

Devil in Winter is based on the second youngest of the Wallflower women: Evangeline Jenners, the most shy of all women that it had left her with a stammer. Out of all of the Wallflowers, Evie is probably the character that we know of the least and as the novel presented more detail about her, her past and her true character and strength, one can't help but feel as though they have been hit with a revelation.

A true departure from the last instalments of the Wallflowers series, the novel begins with a sense of desperation, much stress and time constraints as Evie runs away from her controlling Aunt Florence and the rest of the Maybrick family. With a strong will to visit her father who is on his deathbed with the consumption, Evie makes a rash decision and visits Lord Sebastian St. Vincent, the villainous character from It Happened One Autumn. Approaching the very man who had kidnapped one of her best friends, she haggles what she believes is a good bargain: she will marry St. Vincent whose father is falling into bankruptcy leaving him penniless. Through this marriage and the eventual death of Evie's father, St. Vincent will eventually inherit the family's worth (a famous gaming club for gentlemen). And for Evie, she will be safe from the Maybricks --who imprison, starve and beat her --as well as their intentions to marry her to her cousin Eustace to keep her inheritance. With her family at their heels, Evangeline and St. Vincent rush to Gretna Green in Scotland to marry into this beneficial but loveless marriage.

And as the couple journeys from England to Scotland and back again, Evie is surprised to find herself comforted by the villain as he goes out of his way to ease her stresses. With the inevitable death of her father, Evie is shocked to find St. Vincent caring for and managing the gaming club, Jenner's, as she was so certain that an aristocrat like himself would sell it for profits without the baggage of labour and maintenance. As her friends and their husbands visit, they too express their shock openly as they find St. Vincent working and the couple bearing each other with fondness. As the business of the club continues to boom, troubles stir as Bullard, a former employee at Jenner's, attempts to end Evie's life on several occasions.

With a recent death and new risks at their doorstep, Evie and St. Vincent find themselves defending and caring for one another. And as they entrust in one another, we find ourselves also trusting the once-villain St. Vincent. For a character whom we always assumed was part of the 19th century decorative wallpaper, Evie Jenners is destined to prove the reader wrong within Devil in Winter. Although love may not present itself in the expect wistful and aching pains, this novel is definitely one to contend with.

Kleypas does not her readers down and continues to present the same challenging wit, suspenseful adventure and brow-raising sensuous scenes that has become a staple in her novels. This is the first novel in months that has brought me heartache and tears. The narrative is written with such grace and poise but never loses the realness of a situation or characters. I have come to whole-heartedly appreciate that from Kleypas as she delivers the perfect package constantly and consistently.

Overall, I have given Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas 5 out of 5, for doing everything right and holding up such an amazing streak.

The next book in my 50 Book Pledge will be the fourth instalment to the Wallflowers series: Scandal in Spring. I have also recently discovered that there is a fifth book: A Wallflower Christmas, which I intend to purchase and hopefully read soon!

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Reading Progress

02/20/2012 page 34
9.0% "This book just jumps right into the action! Running away to Scotland, eh?"
02/20/2012 page 88
24.0% "Why is everything happening so fast? I miss the elegant balls and four honour dinner parties. Where are the rest of the Wallflowers?"
02/21/2012 page 147
39.0% "Saddened by the loss of Ivo Jenner. Although he was never a prominent character, Evie seems to have had so much determination to get to the father whom she was forbidden to see, even upon his deathbed. I really hope that things look up for Evie soon. This has to be the most saddest Wallflower book... a very unexpected change of pace!"
02/22/2012 page 236
63.0% "Whoa! Where did all of that come from? Deception, a couple brawls, a funeral and a visit from the Wallflowers. Lisa Kleypas wastes no time and I like it!"
02/22/2012 page 276
74.0% "This become utterly gut-wrenching. I've come to love & cherish the villain and it seems to be an all-natural process. But I don't know how much longer I can stand the angst of Lord St. Vincent on the cusp of his deathbed. I almost wish I could do something for the poor couple! ...Keeping in mind that this is indeed a fictional story once again. I should aim to take reality checks from my books more often."
02/23/2012 page 336
90.0% ""Beautiful, sinful, tormented creature" (P.278) It seems to describe many of the characters in this novel. How do you continue to loathe a person who has been so trampled or neglected or shielded? Toying with our emotions, Lisa Kleypas does it so well."
100.0% "Review to come... after lunch! :)"
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