Eastofoz's Reviews > Devil's Desire

Devil's Desire by Laurie McBain
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's review
Feb 25, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: books-with-cooties, historical-regency
Recommended for: Lovers of overly narrated pre-1985 bodice ripper romances

Well this book wasn’t for me and for soooo many reasons. For the record, I really, really, really tried to like it but it was a no go. Now I know it’s a bodice ripper from the 70s and there was a certain “style” to those romances that doesn’t really exist in today’s romance novel, but this one I thought was not only poorly written, it had the most unlovable and irredeemable historical romance hero imaginable (ugh, eesh and **shudder shudder**).

It has a very Gothic feel to it –creepy castles/manors/houses on rocky crags, lots of rain and foreboding weather etc etc, but there is an endless amount of beyond irritating narration, we’re talking five pages straight of droning narration, enough to kill even the very patient reader. Reminded me of Lolah Burford’s painful novel Alyx where there was barely a hint of dialog what for all the telling and not showing as the saying seems to go. The h/h don’t even meet until around page 113 which is insane. I’m all for building tension but if you don’t give the reader even a little morsel they’ll get fed up fast –at least I do.

The hero is an ass. He's totally into the "you are my chattle" thing and "you will obey me". You can have a hero like that but the heroine has to be his foil, well no such thing existed here. He actually hurts the heroine physically, he’s not beating her or anything but he flies off the handle for no real reason, apart from the fact that he’s a boor and Class A jerk, he likes to shake her hard or squeeze her arms or waist until it hurts. I don’t know but I can’t like a guy like that. I love the rake and it’s impressive really how an author can make a true s.o.b into a great guy underneath it all but this guy needed a smack-down :-o He even has a “dalliance” with an ex-lover knowing that the heroine is hiding in the room –like, ew! That’s not forgivable even if you are trying to get revenge. The guy is so arrogant and full of himself that it’s a wonder that anyone can stand to be in the same breathing space as him –and that’s man or woman. There were the odd moments when you thought he may be turning over a new leaf but then BAM! He goes nutso! Freakin’ out like a crackhead! The hero reminded me of Anne Stuart’s hero James Killoran from To Love a Dark Lord, no doubt written around the same time period.

As for the heroine, the author tried to have her hold her own but I guess she was a victim of her times and just “forgave” and “understood” –blech! She should’ve shot the bastard when she had the chance if you ask me :-/

There are also way too many sub-stories, (think Patricia Gaffney’s Lily --everything and the kitchen sink). The dead guy that comes back to life right where the heroine lives to boot, the long lost horse that turns up right where she is too, smugglers who deal in human trade, the crazy broad that no one suspects to be the villain, French spies, a clandestine love affair, you name it, it’s in here. All of this “filler” detracts from the h/h and their “relationship”. I was skimming all this stuff towards the end in the same way I was skimming over the excessively annoying parts about the Lessers in JR Ward’s Lover Avenged --enough already, let’s get back to the main story (!). Elysia and Alex rarely spoke because he was always in a mood or downright raggin’ at her and then shazam they’re in love! They hardly spent any real time together how can they be in love????

Now maybe I’m being harsh (but I don’t think so—lol!) maybe if you’ve read a lot of these kinds of romances and you’re used to them you might think they’re really good but I for one prefer my romances post-1990 it seems where the author has dialog, interaction between the h/h before the reader falls asleep, and a believable story –well in an escapist romantic kind of way that is (lol!) For all you insomniacs out there, this one’s for you :D
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 25, 2008 – Shelved
June 26, 2009 –
page 1
0.23% "Hoping this lives up to its hype. It's from '75 so it's yellowed and smelly with tiny writing (lol!)"
June 27, 2009 –
page 110
25.7% "110 laborious pages and the h/h FINALLY sort of meet for the first time. The narration alone is going to kill me before the end :-o"
June 28, 2009 –
page 418
97.66% "Done with this stinker!"
June 28, 2009 – Shelved as: books-with-cooties
July 22, 2009 – Shelved as: historical-regency

Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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message 1: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Just reading the synopsis has me laughing!

Why can't he possess her?

Eastofoz This book is so 70s bodice ripper Auntee. Everything is "extreme". 300 pages to go....

Pamela(AllHoney) Another one I loved that u don't :0
Well, maybe some day I'll find a book u like :)

Eastofoz I really wanted to like it Pamela being that a lot of readers say it's really good but it's got too much narration, too many silly sub-stories and the hero is a complete ass who is totally unlovable and god know I like a good rake :)

message 5: by Auntee (new)

Auntee LOL, romances have come a looong way, haven't they? This guy sounds like an outta control, alpha-dom, with a touch of mental problems too!

message 6: by Daisiemae (new)

Daisiemae I don't know about the book, but I loved your review, East:)

message 7: by Dina (new)

Dina East, I just love reading your reviews on books that end up on the cooties shelf, LOL! They almost make me want to read the books out of curiosity... but I'm not an insomniac, so I really don't need to read this one. :)

message 8: by Ladiibbug (new)

Ladiibbug "She should’ve shot the bastard when she had the chance if you ask me :-/ "

Book definitely sounds like a clunker, but your review is a 5 star read ;-)

Eastofoz Auntee, thank god they've improved over time. There's no way I could read that kind of stuff. This guy was an uber nutjob. Maybe he's the prototype for the Cades, Rowdys, Clints and all those other party favourites of mine :-o

Thanks Daisie and Ladiibbug :)

Dina, don't read this book out of curiosity --remember how it killed the cat (lol!) [And disregard the rest of that saying --I for one got zero satisfaction from this read:] :p

message 10: by Auntee (new)

Auntee East, I think you could publish your "books-with-cooties" reviews!:)

message 11: by Tammy (new)

Tammy I'd buy that book!

message 12: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn Another for the dreaded "cootie shelf." LOL!! It's hard to read those romance novels from the 70's without cringing. Thank you, East, for the chuckles.

She sure could, Auntee. :-)

Julie (jjmachshev) Thanks for brightening up my day East! One to ban from the TBR!

Eastofoz Auntee, Kathrynn and Tammy, well didn't you guys just make my day :D Thanks :D :D

Kathrynn I haven't read a lot of 70s romances but I'm wondering if they're pretty much all like that?! I'm staying away for the time being --I'll let others find out ;)

Julie, cast it out I tell you! (lol!)

message 15: by LuvGirl (last edited Jul 28, 2010 06:55AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

LuvGirl LOL! Loved your review! I'm gonna give this book a shot, maybe I'll like it. I'm in the bodice ripper mood lately, and it's going to be re-issused soon :-)

Eastofoz Thanks and best of luck to you!
It came so highly recommended but I just hated it :-o

message 17: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Ooooh how did I miss this cootie-shelf review? A+!!

Eastofoz Thanks Scully --this book is very "missable" that's for sure!

Maegen I have to agree wth "Eastofoz" review. This book had too many other stories in it and Alex was just an a-hole!!! How could Elysia fall for him? Maybe if you like this kind of stuff (post 1970's) it's ok; but for myself this book was just awful.

Eastofoz Maegen wrote: "I have to agree wth "Eastofoz" review. This book had too many other stories in it and Alex was just an a-hole!!! How could Elysia fall for him? Maybe if you like this kind of stuff (post 1970's) it..."

I don't really like pre-1995 romances it seems. They're all over the place :-/

Maegen I agree with you

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