An eccentric wallflower…
Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.
A cynical rake…
After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.
A perilous plot…
After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven…
Honestly, had this book not been written with Kleypas who has this envy worthy style it probably would’ve been pure shit. And yes, I said shit even though this book has gotten a ridiculous amount of hype.
As it was, it was sort of meh. I didn’t hate it, but I expected more from this and quite frankly I felt like it was a disappointment considering all the hype this book was getting-since it shares a connection to one of the more popular Wallflower books (though I still think It Happened One Autumn kicked Devil in Winter’s ass but JMO, plenty of people love Sevie).
Full disclosure, that book ( Devil in Winter) was not my favorite in the series. I think it’s because I read its predecessor right before and it sort of ruined Sebastian for me, that being said I was still excited about reading this book.
However, for all the hype that was given it was a bit of a downer. For one thing the character, Pandora, borderline annoyed me. She is described as being eccentric and independent, but to be honest she came off more or less childish to me. The fact that she and Gabriel were sort of thrown together didn’t exactly make me a big fan of them.
I mean, really, for all the fuss that Gabriel made about being forced to being with her-think fifty or so pages of grumbling about being set up to be married he absolves to marry her quickly.
What happened to the devotion you had to your mistress, Gabriel?
It disappeared within one trip to the ocean with Ms. Annoying AND then for good measure you decide to slut slam said mistress.
Not good, not good. And other than that, I really don’t see how he’s the son of Sebastian. He’s hardly a rake at all.
Then there’s Pandora who makes this big stink about not wanting to marry, only to quickly realize that hey he’s hot and screw principle I will get married after all. And then all those principles are promptly dropped for the most part, save for one melodramatic incident which just has this reader’s eyes almost coming out of her head. Because…well, I have eye rolling issues when it comes to stupidity.
Okay, I know I’m making sort of a ruckus. But with all the page count about how they never would like each other, it really didn’t take that long for Pandora and Gabriel TO like each other. And honestly, while the two had some sweet scenes I did cringe a time or two because Pandora read like she was really young Seeing a guy as worldly as Gabriel with her, just didn’t make sense and I felt like he was robbing the cradle.
Though full disclosure, Pandora was twenty-one at the time. I think the editor told Kleypas to put her age down, just so readers wouldn’t think she was grossly underage.
That being said, I was easily able to read this one because of Kleypas’s style and I did enjoy parts of the book. Reading about Evie and Sebastian’s family was enjoyable, and there were some scenes that I did enjoy between Gabriel and Pandora-as annoying as Pandora was. And I am more than interested in reading the next installment in this series, after seeing the set up for those characters.
However, the subplot in the last third of the novel really annoyed me it just seemed tacked on and kind of pointless and didn’t really connect with the rest of the novel and was more or less the signature Kleypas needs to add something exciting here for the action junkies.
Anyway, if you enjoy Lisa Kleypas’s writing and really like her Wallflower series, you’ll probably want to check it out. However, I don’t quite think it’s worth the hype that it was given.
Overall Rating: B-