Queue My Review

September 6, 2008

Review: In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , — jjmachshev @ 8:15 am
In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath

Yes, I’m still on the historical spree. One or two more and I’ll swap genres for a bit to keep my brain fresh! Lorraine Heath turns up the heat in her latest Victorian era romance, “In Bed with the Devil.” At first I wondered if this would be a combination historical, paranormal story because of the title; however, the devil in said title refers to the Devil Earl, an Earl guilty of murder yet not charged with his crime. How delicious! Devout historical romance readers are aware that the peerage could get away with pretty much anything, but murder? I was quickly pulled into the book as I was hungry to learn the Devil Earl’s story.

Lucian is the Devil Earl. He doesn’t believe he’s the rightful Earl, but he’s not about to step aside either. He’s well aware of his black reputation amongst the ton, but even he is surprised when he receives a visit from a lone ‘Lady’ late one evening. He’s not so much surprised by the visit, but rather by her request: Lady Mabry wants to hire him to kill someone! How scandalous for anyone to say anything to his face, much less a titled lady! He’s intrigued by her and decides to make a devil’s bargain (horrible pun I know): Lady M will provide lessons for the woman he loves, Frannie, and make her feel more at home in society. Once her training is complete, he will then do away with Lady M’s target. Unfortunately, the more time he spends with Lady M, Catherine, the closer the two become and the once the antagonism is gone, all that’s left is the fire.

Catherine, Lady M, is a strong woman. She’s pretty sure that’s why she’s still unmarried. Well, that and because she hasn’t found someone she’s willing to marry. She is currently taking care of her terminally ill father and their estates while her brother has been off gallivanting for years after arguing with her father. When her longtime best friend’s husband becomes even more violent and begins to beat her severely, Catherine decides to hire the Devil Earl to do away with him. Pretty bold, eh? All she knows of Lucian is the gossip and stories that appear in the scandal sheets. When she agrees to tutor his intended, Catherine and Lucian are forced to spend time together and she discovers that his fierce demeanor hides a protective and generous soul. Pretty soon, Catherine will have to choose…her reputation or her friendship with Lucian.

Even though I’ve read several books utilizing different pieces of Ms Heath’s plot, I hadn’t read one that intertwined all of them in quite the same way. And even though I knew what the ending would be, she did a good job of maintaining the suspense via her unfolding plot actions and there were a few surprises. There’s quite a bit of artistic ‘borrowing’ from “Oliver Twist”, which only added to my enjoyment and did provide quite a bit of humor in a plot that at times was very dark. The love scenes were steamy and yet still tasteful, the urgency and time constraints in their relationship was almost palpable. And maybe most importantly, I finished the book with a smile on my face.

“In Bed with the Devil” provided me with a couple of hours of escapist reading. I don’t expect I would particularly want to reread this one, but I certainly don’t regret the time I spent in Lorraine Heath’s world either. If you’ve ever read “Oliver Twist” and tried to imagine a truly happy ending, you should pick this book up. I think you’ll be happy with the author’s take on an old favorite.

Until next time…

 

Reviewed by Julie

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