Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)'s Reviews > Blue-Eyed Devil

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
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Okay. How to write this review without the whole thing turning into a Hardy Cates droolfest. It's going to be very hard, because I love the man!

One Upon a Time, There was a Guy Named Hardy Cates...:
I met Hardy Cates in Sugar Daddy, and I have to say that I sure did fall hard for him. Big time! Hard as a young Liberty Jones did. I could see that beneath that mind-numbingly sexy bad boy veneer was a sensitive, loving, good-hearted person. My feelings never changed for him. (view spoiler)

Oh, No! Danielle's Reading a Chick Lit Book! Not Again! :
Although this book is still a lot more chick lit-oriented than I normally would prefer, I found myself taking it in with an effervescent fervor that I found surprising. Although maybe that's not surprising at all in the sense that I never doubted Lisa Kleypas' ability to write a beautiful, enjoyable book. I am familiar with LK's experimental spirit that causes her to try different elements in her stories, and I admire her for that. And for this chick-lit non-fan, she did a bang up job. This is a nicely-done hybrid of chick lit and romance and it's successful on both counts.

There is much time spent on Haven's life apart from Hardy. Not too much, thankfully, but necessary all the same. Page time is spent on a marriage that turns out to be nightmare for Haven. As I read about Haven's marriage, I felt this strange kinship with her. I've never been married, nor have I been in a bad relationship like her. But I have been in situations where I felt like the intrinsic person I was didn't seem valued, like I was being absorbed and eaten away until nothing remained. I loved how visually this is illustrated with Haven's dream about being a Barbie doll whose body parts slowly fall off until nothing is left. That feeling is so real for people who have been in those toxic relationships where your identity is nothing but a reflection of that other person's. A sounding board for their brilliance, glamor, perfection. For what I call 'go with the flow' people who don't need to be the center of attention, and who often sacrifice their own needs for others', because they attract the emotional energy suckers like a vacuum. I wanted to cry bitter tears for Haven. And I did cry. I cannot get over how traumatic it was to read about the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her husband. How he took everything of value from her, and it wasn't enough. I yelled at Haven to get out, to say no. I wished that she had ran off with Hardy that night of Liberty and Gage's wedding. Unfortunately, she didn't. On the other hand, how can we skip through the bad parts of life that help us to be who we were meant to become, that make us strong, so we can get to the good parts? Life doesn't work that way. Would Hardy and Haven have lasted (as the people they were then) if they started their happy ending that night, or is their love stronger for what they experienced in the two years apart? I think the latter. Unlike my so savvy romance reviewing sisters on here, I didn't mark quotes, but I loved what Haven thinks about herself and Hardy together. That their respective broken areas make them fit together so much better. I truly believed that to be the case.


Haven was a beautifully layered character. She might have come off as the spoiled little rich girl, if not done so well. I didn't get that from her. I did see her insecurities and her desire to be loved, feel worthy, and special. I hurt for her that this led her into such a terrible situation with her husband. I hurt for her that she didn't get the love that she needed from her mother or father. Their version of love worked okay for her brothers, but it didn't really satisfy the little girl who had never felt valued by her parents. I could identify with Haven's tendency to want to make others happy, often at her own expense. I loved seeing her grow as a person. I loved her for her having the courage to confront some truly scary situations and take control of her life from the fear that held her back and caged her. She was a wonderful heroine. Liberty is a hard act to follow, but I think Haven did a really great job of claiming her own place in my heart as a heroine.

Back to Hardy:

Oh, what a man. Once again, Ms. Kleypas hits the mark in crafting her characteristic self-made hero. There is something so enduring, so distinct about Hardy's essence. He shows up the oh-so prevalent stereotypes about trailer park/small town/good ol' boy guys (I won't use the less nice terms). What others might consider unworthy, I can't help but love about him. He's down to earth, honest, real, vital, and not afraid to be a rough, real guy. That appeals to me big time, even if I didn't think I would necessarily go for that type of guy. A man who came from nothing, and pulled himself up painfully. A man with an inner drive and ambition that actually embarassed him. Like Haven, I totally didn't think he needed to feel shame about that. A person cannot choose where they come from, but they can choose what kind of person they will be in the future. Hardy chose to be about something. He had a reputation for being twisted, (view spoiler) but I felt that Hardy had honor. He was a man that would fight and work for what he valued. And he treats women with respect and consideration. That's really important to me as a person. Although I think Hardy is one of the most physically sexiest heroes ever written, I also love his capacity for gentleness, how he loves all of Haven and values everything that she is. Haven thought that Hardy just wanted to use her to get back at her family. But I never saw it that way. Hardy wanted Haven for the unique person she was, that drew him to her like a moth to a flame, and he showed how much she meant to him through his actions. Deep down I think she believed that about him. (view spoiler) Even when he didn't always do things the right way or say all the fancy words, he showed it. And I was glad that Haven could see that there was something of value to Hardy even though everyone warned her away from him. I have to tell you, I am not saying this lightly. Hardy is one of my favorite heroes of all time. He's definitely going in my top ten list, and near the top five, I think. And that's an honor. I don't know how you did it, Ms. Kleypas, but you hit solid gold here.

Overall Thoughts:

Blue-Eyed Devil is a book that came to mean so much to me, despite its brevity. There is so much in this book that calls to my book-loving soul. Lisa Kleypas writes so beautifully. She's a very funny, and insightful person when it comes to human nature. The way in which she shows the interactions between people is very true to life. Although I love her historicals, I do feel that she has convinced me of her skill as a contemporary writer. She shows me what there is to be appreciated about the present, when I tend to be more captivated by the past and the fantasy worlds, which seem so much more tantalizing. The conversations and the confrontations that the characters have in this book are real to me. I often felt like I had been there, both in situations with my family, friends, and with co-workers or bosses. That as much as the soul-stirring, heart-melting romance won me over in this book. I loved Sugar Daddy, but I have to say that I loved Blue-Eyed Devil even more. I give this book the highest recommendation. You might not like it, and that's okay. But I love it enough that I wish you'd give it a try.
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Quotes Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Liked

Lisa Kleypas
“Weddings are never about the bride and groom, weddings are public platforms for dysfunctional families.”
Lisa Kleypas, Blue-Eyed Devil

Lisa Kleypas
“You know what it is you smell on him, Haven? Testosterone. It's leaking out of his pores.”
Lisa Kleypas, Blue-Eyed Devil

Lisa Kleypas
“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”
Lisa Kleypas, Blue-Eyed Devil

Reading Progress

08/30 page 35
11.0% "Started this at the gym. Made me laugh and got me choked up, all before 35 pages." 5 comments
08/31 page 131
40.0% "Hardy, you stole my heart in Sugar Daddy and never did give it back!" 37 comments
08/31 page 328
100.0% "I LOVED IT!" 6 comments
02/29 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-35 of 35) </span> <span class="smallText">(35 new)</span>

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message 1: by ivana18 (last edited Aug 31, 2011 04:29PM) (new)

ivana18 is there a (view spoiler) in this?

message 2: by ivana18 (last edited Aug 31, 2011 04:30PM) (new)

ivana18 or is that the first book of this series that has the (view spoiler)?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Ivana, (view spoiler)

message 4: by ivana18 (last edited Aug 31, 2011 04:31PM) (new)

ivana18 Thanks Danielle....oh, and I'm editing my previous posts

Keri Loved me some Hardy!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I think yours were fine, but my answer was definitely a spoiler.

Mareli I love the whole series. Wonderful books, to read over and over.

Denise Great review Danielle! ♥ Hardy ♥ and I agree with you that Hardy was treated unfairly in Sugar Daddy by LK. He did NOT deserve that, but it is satisfying to see his HEA

Kelly22 Superb review Danielle!

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

loved the review and this book is amazing but my fave is the 3 book

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Denise, Kelly, and Cynthia.

It was so great to see Hardy get his girl this time!

Adwina Ralston Cumberbatch glad u like it!! this is my fav of the entire series!!

Beanbag Love Great review, Danielle! Hardy is a fantastic romantic lead. This is probably the book from this series that I'll reread again and again.

And I agree so much about feeling kinship with Haven even though I never experienced what she did. It was so well written that it completely spiked my empathy meter.

~Megan~ I love Hardy Cates, and I have read this book multiple times....one of my favorites by Kleypas, and that is actually saying a lot since I love her books!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Bean and Megan. I didn't expect to like this one so much, silly me! It's one of my faves by her now.

~Megan~ I put off Smooth Talking Stranger for a long time because I didn't think anything could equal up to Hardy....but I ended up loving it almost as much!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) That's good to know. I don't know if Jack can beat out Hardy. But I still expect to enjoy STS.

MelissaB Wonderful review Danielle! These books really affected my emotionally too. Read STS ASAP!

Ally72 Beautiful review, Danielle...I loved your comment about your "book loving soul!" It is hard to find a book as good as this one...except, for maybe "Smooth Talking Stranger."

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Melissa and Ally. No doubt I'll squeeze STS into my forthcoming reading as soon as I can.

Lisa Kay Lovely, insightful review, Lady Danielle! ☺

Jayanne Well said

Zumbagirl Love your review, Danielle...can't wait to read this, but I'm scared a little. Just finished Sugar Daddy and sometimes I wait a while to read the next in a series. (view spoiler)

message 28: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri I love Hardy, but not as much as I do Jack. Great review!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Zumbagirl. (view spoiler)

Thanks, Keri. Jack has some serious mojo, but it's always been Hardy for me!!!

message 30: by Delaney (new) - added it

Delaney Diamond I need to bump this one up on the list. Sounds great.

Zumbagirl I really enjoyed this book! It was very emotional and I want to re-read certain parts. I thought SD was also very emotional and a tearjerker, but this one touched a nerve (view spoiler) and I just loved this couple together. Still have to read Smooth Talking Strangers

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I agree. That was very hard to read about, Zumbagirl. Can't wait to see what you think of STS. I found myself identifying with Ella to a strange degree.

Ronyell Awesome review as always Danielle! I really loved this book and Hardy is officially one of my most favorite romance heroes!!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Ronyell! I will always love Hardy!

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