Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

When I first suggested to my skype book club that we read a romance for February I thought it was sort of an original idea and admittedly I was trying to torture these literary fiction loving ladies just a little bit. I have since discovered that LOTS of book clubs read romances for February and I succeeded in torturing my club mates. Love you guys!

Actually a different club member suggested this particular book. It's an historical which is not my preferred kind of romance, I far prefer contemporary romance (and really romantic suspense). But I had been wanting to read Lisa Kleypas so it seemed like a good idea.

To be honest with you, I thought this was a pretty good romance though it was riddled with romance cliches. The writing style of the author was lovely and flowed easily,I was never distracted by choppy sentences and it was adequately descriptive.

The story is opens with Evangeline Jenner, who is a bit of a wallflower, going to Viscount St. Vincent (Sebastian) and asking him to marry her. He'll get her inheritance which he desperately needs and she'll get safety from a marriage her family is trying to force her into. He loves his woman and likes to bed a different one every night and she is of course, innocent and a virgin.

Once married of course he starts feeling crazy about her and she likes him more than she was willing to admit to herself as well. But they have some obstacles to overcome in learning to trust each other, to run the business her father left behind, and avoid people trying to kill them.

What made this work as a romance for me was the fact that I enjoyed the characters and believed in their chemistry. I found the dialogue funny at times, and the writing descriptive and pleasant to read. It was an easy and fun read. It wasn't perfect, I'm not a fan of the sex is so great and then they fall in love storyline, or the man whore becomes reformed for his one true love, but I was able to overlook that for the most part.

Discussing it with the book club was interesting. Most of the women in the book club apparently don't like romance at all. Here are the general questions asked and comments made:

1) Why do women read this stuff?
2) How do they come up with so many ways to say you know, that?
3) It was so predictable it was boring.
4) Men in real life aren't like this.

I don't know why, but I enjoy reading romances occasionally. I LOVE reading epic romances (this was not one). I don't mind that they are predictable, I think they can be very fun, often humorous. I think they are ultimately comfort reads for me, they don't take long and can be very fun. I prefer ones that don't have explicit sex, like, for example Christian romances or Georgette Heyer. I certainly couldn't read nothing but romance, not even close, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy them from time to time. I will probably give Lisa Kleypas's contemporary novels a try sometime.

Rating: 4/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Explicit sex and profanity
Source of Book: Bought it
Publisher: Avon



Sandy Nawrot said...

I must admit, I'm not much of a romance fan. I get annoyed with the women, and I too believe men aren't like this in real life. It is an escape though, so in the right mood I might be able to tolerate it! I do like the Outlander series, which has other things going on, but at its heart it is all about the nookie.

Neil Patrick said...


Great the post gives a clear review about the book


Beth F said...

I loved our discussion. I learned so much from the meeting. I was surprised that a historical romance could spark questions of relationships, of men, of reading tastes, of writing styles. I'll have my review up soon.

I have one task for you: Suggest a contemporary romance for July. Perfect for summer reading on the deck.

Julie P. said...

I thought the discussion went pretty well considering that quite a few members didn't like the book all that much. I didn't mind it at all and thought it was great to read something outside my comfort zone.

Meghan said...

I'm so sorry I missed it! I couldn't read only romance either. It's not at all like real life. When my husband and I first met I actually stopped reading them completely because I liked real life romance better than in books (I know, corny, isn't it?) but I've gone back because I do think they're fun even if they're usually predictable and unrealistic. They still capture real emotions. I did really like this one and I picked it mostly as a "classic" of the historical romance genre, although I'm not ordinarily too fond of sex = love either. I thought Evie and Sebastian had more going on here than just that.

I agree with Candace - it's your turn! I'd love to read a contemporary romance for July, or a Christian one. I don't know how the other members would feel about it, but I'd love for you to get me out of my comfort zone, Amy! =)

bermudaonion said...

You only tortured a few of us. LOL I did think the discussion was great, even if the book wasn't.

KT Grant said...

Amy, if you enjoyed this one, you MUST read Dreaming of You. That is the all time favorite of most Lisa Kleypas fans and has a hero to die for. The hero of that book, Derek, is so far gone of the heroine, Sara, that he carries her glasses she thought she lost in his coat pocket and won't return them to her because he wants something to remember her by because he feels he is not good enough for her.

Alea said...

Ooooh this one has been recommended to me by numerous people!

S. Krishna said...

As you know, I didn't love this book but I'm glad we branched out by reading it! Isn't that what book clubs are about, getting you to read books outside of your comfort zone?

samantha.1020 said...

I love a good romance once awhile and must agree that they can be nice comfort reads. I haven't read this author before but maybe when the mood strikes I'll give her a try :)

Heidenkind said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I read romances because I like them. *shrug* It's not as if there's a lot of "realistic" fiction out there, anyway, romantic or not.

Anywho, I have to disagree with Katiebabs because I do not think you should read Dreaming of You next. That one's okay, but Stranger In My Arms is much more awesomer. Kay?

Oh, and you should read Julie Ortolon. That is all.

Lynn Spencer said...

Yay for reading romance! I read a mixture of things, but romance is probably my first love. :-) One of the things I love about romance would have to be the way in which the best authors manage to hit the truth of human emotions very well. True, most men don't act like this in real life, but there's still a certain emotional truth to a really good romance. I'd definitely second the recs for both Dreaming of You and Stranger in my Arms.

KT Grant said...

Better yet, just read all of Lisa's back list and you'll be set. LOL

Jenny Girl said...

I have to be in the mood for romantic cliches, which is why I don't normally read straight up romance books. Although I think I have been considering quite a few lately. oh well.
Good review and I love "man whore" ha-ha :)

Meg @ write meg! said...

Lisa Kleypas wins me over every time! I've actually read the first two books in the Wallflowers series but haven't made it to Devil In Winter yet. My sister is a huge fan of historical romance -- and I think she's probably rubbed off on me!

I do read romance novels from time to time; they are comfort reads. I love Georgette Heyer, too! That's more my speed than the ones where folks are tumbling into bed every five pages or so. Meh.

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