Who can find a virtuous woman… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her decade-long loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is in disguise… as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, "The Devil DeVere", is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won't be had at any price.
When dealing with the devil, it's easy to be burned… When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil's arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?
Once burned twice shy… but when old flames come together… passion reignites...
When burned once… Arriving in London as her goddaughter's chaperone, Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley wants to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs. Once nearly consumed by passion, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.
By an old flame... A world-weary master of seduction, Ludovic "The Devil" DeVere is bored with his chosen life of debauchery. When Diana's charge disappears, she is forced to seek help from the devil's lair, and their mutual desire reignites with undeniable ferocity.
Fire is best fought with fire… While DeVere is hell-bent to have her back for keeps, Diana is equally determined to bring him to his knees…by acquiring some sensual secrets of her own.
I read these back-to-back and thought I'd post my thoughts on them in one review since the novellas in this series flow right into one another. From the very first installment, A Wild Night's Bride, I've been dying to find out what happened all those years ago between the very prim and proper Lady Diana and Ludovic "the Devil" DeVere. The tension between them continued throughout The Virgin Huntress and was hot enough to burn up the pages. Thankfully, both The Devil You Know and The Devil's Match are devoted to Diana and Ludovic, who have become one of my favorite historical romance match-ups!
You know that old saying, opposites attract? Never has that been more true than with these two. Diana's straight-laced and proper, resigned to her role as dutiful wife in a loveless marriage, whereas Ludovic is debauchery and self-indulgence defined. But you know there's more to each of them than that, and they know it too, from the first time they meet. Over the course of The Devil You Know their relationship begins. Against the backdrop of a country getaway, a very important horse race, and a life-altering chain of events with tragic consequences, Diana breaks free into the woman she's always wanted to be, while Ludovic discovers that there is something worth having and sacrificing everything for, even if it means he has to let go of that which he most wants. The Devil You Know is a meaty and emotional installment in the series, where the real crux of their story appears, and I couldn't put it down. It's probably my favorite. These are two really complex characters whom I've really grown attached to, but it's a rocky road to happiness for these two, and what follows is a period of separation, grief, and anger.
And that's where The Devil's Match picks up their story again in the present day. Diana and Ludovic have spent the past five years trying to forget about each other, but now that their lives have intersected again, they can't stop thinking about each other. Diana decides she deserves a little gratification and she's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Ludovic never forgets their encounter. But Ludovic has plans of his own, to make sure that once Diana's back in his bed, she never wants to leave him again. Sparks fly in a smokin' hot sensual battle of wills, but The Devil's Match was not quite as satisfying for me as the other novellas in the series, possibly because it's the one I'd been most looking forward to and I had high expectations for it. I was a little frustrated that so much emphasis was placed on the sexuality of their relationship when I wanted more meaningful substance and emotional payoff after the build-up of their story throughout the whole series.
But, all's well that ends well -- and I really can't complain about those sex scenes since they were scorch-the-pages-take-your-husband-upstairs HOT! I have really enjoyed reading this set of four inter-connected novellas. They're the perfect length, easily readable in an evening, and full of passion, wit, and luscious Georgian England historical detail. And there's good news! Victoria Vane has plans in the works for four more novellas connected to this series next year!
My Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
*Please Note: Though I received copies of these books for review from the author, these are my honest thoughts and opinions and I was not compensated in any other way.