I’ve been waiting to read Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Spring since I heard it was coming. Combining her current Ravenel series with the Wallflowers is a stroke of brilliance—and since one of my all-time favorite romance couples is Sebastian and Evie – and this one matches their son Gabriel with the quirky entrepreneur Pandora Ravenel – I simply had to read it!
Kleypas is a reigning Queen of Romance and she rarely disappoints. But one of many things that make her titles special is that she also nearly always surprises.
Her characters are often unexpected. Pandora, for instance, is determined to never get married, mostly because she wants to launch a board game company and getting married would mean that her business and profits would legally belong to her husband.
It’s never really been a problem, though, because she’s definitely an odd duck and no man has ever really shown any interest in her. Everything changes when she tries to help a friend and accidentally compromises herself to the most eligible bachelor of the ton, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent.
At first Gabriel wants nothing to do with the woman and contemplates finding someone else to marry her. But he finds her oddly compelling, especially when he learns some of her secrets and helps her discover new balance (literally and figuratively) in a world that is often bewildering and mean-spirited, especially to women who won’t conform.
When it becomes clear to both of them that neither will be happy until they are married, Gabriel does what he can to assure her that he’ll support her professional endeavors and work out ways that she can control her company inasmuch as possible. He gives her his word that he’ll not interfere with her work nor try to control her, since these are the things she worries most about, having been largely independent her whole life.
Of course, things change….
Danger sneaks up on Pandora from unexpected directions, and when her safety is threatened, Gabriel clamps down, much to Pandora’s outrage.
Kleypas begins in the same place as a traditional romance storyline – Gabriel and Pandora meet, are compromised, are unhappy about it – but they come together as a worthy couple before the end of the book. It is, in fact, the ways they interact as two very different people with, at times, very different goals, that make the book unique. Of course Kleypas’ beautiful writing style, pitch perfect characters, and incomparable ability to transcend cliché are what make all of her books must-reads for her fans.
(I’ve heard there are a few romance fans out there who haven’t discovered Kleypas yet, to whom I say, what are you waiting for?!) ;o)
And for those of us who already wait for her next book with fond impatience, Devil in Spring is a delightful, not-to-be-missed visit with Evie and Sebastian, the Ravenel clan, and a few other past characters who peek out in fun cameos.
(Plus, do we catch a hint of her next romantic couple, perhaps matching up the efficient and wise female doctor?)
There are few romance authors who hit the emotional high notes romance fans look for as well as Kleypas. I was especially pleased to see that Gabriel was nearly the antithesis of his father’s rakish character in Devil in Winter, yet turned out to be the perfect match for the prickly, unpredictable Pandora.
As an aside for romance fans who may not have yet discovered Georgette Heyer, I highly recommend her too! And two of my favorite Heyer titles are These Old Shades and Devil’s Cub – also a father/son set of titles who are extremely different personalities.
I’m in the middle last year’s Maisie Dobbs title, one of my favorite non-romance series which I highly recommend. This was Journey to Munich, though, if you decide to dive in, start from the beginning – they are best read in order. But be warned, romance fans, Maisie so far has had a pretty tragic journey where romance is concerned.
And I just got word from my library that an audio copy of Second Star to the Right, a magical contemporary story by Mary Alice Monroe loosely based on Peter Pan, is available, so I hope to get to that soon.
What are you loving in your book pile right now?
#LoveRomance #Happy Reading