Frankly, this review is a tad biased because I am an avid fan of Lisa Kleypas's writing. She can almost do no wrong in her books for me. Fortunately, Blue-Eyed Devil proves to be almost spot-on from start to finish.
Haven Travis has grown up within the lap of luxury in her wealthy Texas home. She has tried hard to make a life for herself outside of that ritzy existence, trying to prove herself as a woman and an individual. She has fallen in love with Nick, a man her father, Churchill, does not approve in the least. But love is often blind, and in this case, love is hiding a very dangerous heart.
Against her family's wishes, Haven marries Nick. That is when the horror truly begins. Nick lacks no compunction in bending Haven to his will. Early chapters in Blue-Eyed Devil focus on that abuse: verbal, emotional, and yes, some very hard to read scenes of physical abuse. Kleypas brings you into this situation, showing you the terror Haven faces as she tries not to set Nick off. Haven has courage and she makes it out. She is now determined to forge a new future for herself, and that is where, unknowingly, love knocks again. This time, in the form of the wealthy Hardy Cates.
Hardy may be the devil to the Travis family, but to Haven, he is everything wonderful, and dangerous, in a man. She fights her attraction to him and in the process learns many new things about herself, and about love's difficult path. The danger is not over yet for Haven; she has many painful demons to battle before her happily-ever-after can start.
Despite its title, Blue-Eyed Devil is truly the triumphant story of Haven. She is a wonderful character. She is forced to face several hard realities but she does it with determination, with strength, and with resolve. Her journey is not an easy one by any means. I think Kleypas truly created a character to admire in this book. Haven may have grown up in wealth, but wealth could not protect her from everything. It is only love, family, and her own resiliency that help her keep moving forward.
Hardy is sexy, he is a charmer, and a bit of a rogue. Just the man Haven needed but not to feel complete, not to feel like a woman again. She needed Hardy for his friendship, for the desire he rekindled in her, and for the sense of peace she finds with him. Their relationship is on the one hand pure struggle as there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. It just makes their ending that much sweeter, but also realistic. Don't be fooled, Kleypas does not gloss over Haven's emotional wellbeing. This is a character who is a fighter and she comes out on top.
Blue-Eyed Devil impressed me from page one to the very end. Yes, I am a Lisa Kleypas admirer, I readily admit that. Her writing always touches a chord with me. But don't take my word on it. Give Haven and Hardy a chance. Female empowerment and the importance of love are themes Kleypas explores with depth, humility, and passion.