Thursday, 23 February 2017

Review: The Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

The heroine of The Devil in Spring is Pandora, one of the three daughters of the (thankfully) now deceased Earl and Countess Trenear - so neglectful they might as well have allowed their offspring to have been raised by wolves. Pandora is particularly eccentric. She dislikes society, hates dancing (we find out why later), does not wish to marry (she would lose everything she owns to her husband), and would much rather create board games. If this sounds a little far-fetched for a Victorian heroine, Lisa Kleypas does mention in her notes that the character was partly inspired by Elizabeth Magie, who created a precursor to Monopoly called The Landlord's Game.

Our hero is Gabriel Challon, the son of Sebastian and Evie from The Devil in Winter (#3 Wallflowers series)Unlike his father, Gabriel is not a devil at all but a thoroughly nice man with a great sense of humour, who finds himself absolutely fascinated by Pandora, but rather taken aback that he has to convince her to marry him.

I found the character of Pandora highly original, although I can see some readers might find her annoying as she is so unconventional. Or as her equally original lady's maid puts it, 'only a donkey-headed halfwit' would turn Gabriel away. And I did love the way the two characters meet - Pandora gets tangled up in a piece of furniture and has to be rescued by Gabriel - brilliant! 

So, I loved the characters. I loved meeting the new generation of the Challon family (I do hope they get their own books!) and catching up with Sebastian and Evie from The Devil in Winter. I loved the bit about the board games. The only thing that stopped this from being 5 stars is the rather random thriller plot at the end. I can't explain further because of spoilers. It just didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the story, which is very character driven.

Recommended if you love historical romances, particularly the kind of books written by Eloisa James and Julia Quinn. You might want to read The Devil in Winter (#3 in the Wallflower seriesfirst though. And if you love unconventional heroines, you might also enjoy Love in the Afternoon (#5 Hathways series) by the same author.

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