The Devil in Disguise: A Regency Rogues Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 24 2011
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“Smart, sensuous, and sparkling with wit . . . spectacular.”—Julia Quinn
“Captivating . . . With her fresh, original voice, Stefanie Sloane will charm her way into readers’ hearts.”—Susan Wiggs
About the Author
A native Northwesterner with the pale skin to prove it, Stefanie Sloane credits her parents’ eclectic reading habits—not to mention their decision to live in the middle of nowhere—for her love of books. A childhood spent lost in the pages of countless novels led Stefanie to college, where she majored in English. No one was more surprised than Stefanie when she actually put her degree to use and landed a job in Amazon.com’s editorial department. She spent more than five years reading for a living before retiring to concentrate on her own stories. Stefanie Sloane lives with her family in Seattle.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
William Randall ("Iron Will"), the Duke of Claremont, is not interested in his ducal responsibilities as he has family issues (his father was a tyrant and his mother did nothing to help). So instead, he's a spy for England for the Young Corinthians group. His "cover" is to be a rogue/rake. His new assignment is to protect Lady Lucinda. It seems that an evil man named Garenne is intent on kidnapping Lady Lucinda for France. To make sure that doesn't happen, Will decides he'll court Lady Lucinda so that he can stay close to her.
Lady Lucinda has no interest in being courted. To get her interest, he tempts her with his horse. He'll give her his horse, one that Lady Lucinda wants very badly for the breeding program, if he can court her for 3 months. If, at the end of 3 months, Lady Lucinda won't marry him, she can have his horse.
What follows is Will trying to protect Lucinda while trying not to lose his heart (as of course, he doesn't believe in love or marriage either), while Lucinda fights her feelings for Will. Will also needs to deal with his family.
Though the plot isn't too original, I thought it was a well-written first novel, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series (This is the first in a series with the heroes all spies for the Young Corinthians group). I enjoyed it, though I would have enjoyed an ending that didn't seem so rushed - I would have liked even a few more pages. If the "heat" of a book matters to you, sensuality-wise, I would rate this as warm.
- There's a fair amount of intrigue along with the romance, and I wasn't able to predict much of the storyline, which was a welcome change for me.
- Sloane does a good job of conveying Will's and Lucinda's disgust with societal customs without making either one seem overly cynical or unapproachable.
- There are quite a few little amusing moments. One of my favorites early on occurs when Will arrives at a party and the crowd parts before him, at which point he mutters, "I am apparently Moses."
- Both Lucinda and Will have servants and friends/family who I liked very much. I enjoyed the scenes when the two are apart almost as much as the scenes in which Lucinda and Will are together.
- The ending (by that, I mean the final 30 pages or so) fell terribly flat for me. The final confrontation with the villain is anti-climactic, there are several plot points wrapped up too neatly in a brief "here's what happened on this and this and this account" epilogue, and the romance wraps up too quickly with very little expansion upon the long-awaited emotional confession of one of the characters.
- There are a lot of little mentions of Lucinda's and Will's desire for each other, but there's not much payoff throughout the book. It contains two intimate scenes, neither of which had much of an effect on me, and I was very disappointed not to see them make love again at the end of the story, when they're happily together for good.
Overall comments: I liked this book pretty well right up until the conclusion, which gave me the impression that the author was in a hurry to wrap things up. In fact, I was so disappointed in the various things that felt unfinished to me that I doubt I'll ever read the story again.
On the plus side, I liked the two main characters very much. Will and Lucinda make a good pair, and I enjoyed their interactions and banter. Lucinda was strong, yet clearly good-hearted and loving. Will, though plagued with some baggage, was not overly brooding, nor did he turn into someone mean when grappling with his issues.
I also like the secondary characters and the potential promise they have for ensuing books.
In addition, the writing was very solid and I appreciated the humor, irony and downright sarcasm in certain parts of the book - especially during characters' internal monologues and their snappy conversations.
Even the plot - the peril in which our heroine was placed - was interesting and plausible.
In terms of what lowered the rating - it was the dawning realization of what was NOT going to happen as I neared the end of the book.
Besides a few passionate kisses, there was only one love scene between our hero/heroine. That in and of itself is not the main issue. In some ways, that is in keeping with the time period since it was not supposed to be easy for a young woman to find herself alone with a reputed rake. However, the single scene was handled in such a perfunctory manner that it was incredibly disappointing. I believed in the special bond the H/h were developing. I understood why they had drawn each other out in ways that no one else ever had. I would have LOVED to see that play out in their first intimate moments - but there was precious little of that.
In addition, there was a decent build-up with regards to the villain, but the final resolution of that scenario also felt perfunctory - as did the very brief epilogue.
Finally, sometimes it felt as if I was reading the second (or later) book in a series rather than the first. I would have liked a bit more of the back-story regarding the Young Corinthians, Lord Carmichael, how Will became involved, etc. Also, I found myself wishing there had been an earlier book where we could have seen the story/courtship of Lucinda's friend Amelia and her now-husband Northrop.
This was not a long book. I can't help thinking that even 10-20 additional pages would have fleshed certain aspects out just enough to elevate the overall experience.
I don't recommend the book. It's not awful, just confusing and inconsistent.