Jennifer's Reviews > Blue-Eyed Devil

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
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's review
Jan 28, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: romance

** spoiler alert ** Blue-Eyed Devil is the second book Lisa Kleypas has written that is contemporary instead of being a historical romance. The book is written from the first person point of view, and while I normally prefer to know what the hero is thinking in romance novels, this book did an excellent job of showing that while still using Haven's first person point of view.

This book is simply fantastic, for many reasons. The main character is a great heroine, and like most of Kleypas' heroines she is a thinking individual instead of a twit. Her characterization is well done and I found no fault with her. The hero, Hardy Cates, has a silly name but in spite of that he remains a well crafted and complex character.

Now those who are looking for a straight romance novel may be disappointed as the book deals quite a bit with Haven's first marriage and her recovery from the abuse and rape she endured while married. Kleypas does an excellent job of making the reading understand why Haven stayed with her husband after the first time he hit her, showing the slow decline from loving fiancee to abusive spouse. You do not lose respect for Haven during the course of this abuse as you understand why she felt compelled to stay.

That said, I was relieved when she finally left her husband and returned to her hometown of Houston. Her recovery from her marriage is extremely interesting as she goes to counseling, gets a job, and makes strides in putting her life back together. Haven is a great character to root for even though her life is kind of a wreck.

Hardy is a typical Kleypas hero - he was raised poor, has self worth issues, but through hard work and a nimble mind he has managed to create a small empire of his own. His obvious attraction to Haven makes him even more endearing as he isn't a caveman as his characterization might lead one to think.

As Haven was raped in her previous marriage, she and Hardy face a few difficulties in the physical aspect of their relationship. Just when things are going hot and heavy between them, Haven with tense up from a flashback of her rape and be unable to continue. As this is a very real issue rape victims deal with, I thought it was fantastic that Kleypas added this to the story.

Too many authors gloss over rape, or use it as a threat to the heroine instead of reality, or even talk about it occurring in the heroine's past without discussing how something like that affects her sex life in the future. Kleypas wrote these scenes accurately and with great sensitivity. And how much can you love a big brawny man who instead of having sex with you offers to go with you to see your shrink instead? Taking a sensitive issue many women deal with and enhancing the hero's appeal with it is something few authors could pull off, but Kleypas does it with aplomb.

BED also is appealing in that Haven's family is fun to read about, even if her father is a jerk and her brothers overprotective. Some of the scenes with her and her brother Gage had me tearing up they were so sweet. I look forward to reading more books about this family in the future.

The only complaint I have is that the ending felt a bit rushed. I would have liked a little more happy ending than the tacked on Epilogue allowed for. Other than that, a great book that I highly recommend! I am so glad Kleypas is now writing contemporary romances!

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