What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake?With the devil in charge, there will be hell to pay…
She’s a lonely lady down on her luck…Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis, is a struggling Covent Garden actress with a bruised heart and a closely guarded secret.
He’s steadfast and eminently respectable…Sir Edward Chambers, Ned to his intimates, is guilt-ridden over his beloved wife’s death and has avowed to live out a rustic and mundane life…of celibacy.
Devil-in-disguise Viscount Ludovic DeVere is determined to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. His meddling machinations result in a night of mind-blowing passion after which “Dull Dog Ned” awakes to find himself in the King of England’s bed! A Wild Night’s Bride, a sexy, rollicking Georgian romp!
NOTE: This title is also available in print as part of The Devil DeVere : Vol I Anthology
Late Georgian/Early Regency
Heat Level 3
Review rating 4 Stars
REVIEW by Patrice
Ok, first off, I’m going to only write ONE review in favor of all four parts for The Devil DeVere series because they all link together, and must be read chronologically. Also, each section is a tight serial, novellas under 150 pages, which is one of the points that kept me from giving the entire series a five star rating.
Now, let’s move on to the star of the series and all around bad boy who is a force of nature in between the pages and the sheets.
Imagine meeting a good-looking, rakehell aristo who’s an interesting combo of modern day rock star and Lucifer’s bastard offspring, whose lawful name is Viscount Ludovic DeVere; yet, is known to all and sundry as “the Devil DeVere”. Now place this larger than life character in a series that features him as the catalyst to a variety of kooky, romantic, and lusty scenarios, and what we have is Victoria Vane’s The Devil DeVere series, parts 1-4.
DeVere’s supporting role held me captive for a stint of two and half days of steady reading. Thankfully, there will be more to come. It was interesting to see what happened to this wicked, debauched man, who had enough love, loyalty, and honor to make you question why he was ever called, “Devil”.
Ahem, well no, I take that back. Once you see him in action, there is NO question about it, and yet, he’s all the more amusing and lovable. After all, DeVere is a product of his time, heritage, and status. The fact that he’s capable of true feeling is what sold me from the start.
DeVere’s character brings to mind Dangerous Liaisons’ Valmont crossed with George Gordon, Lord Byron, mixed with a liberal dash of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. He is introduced in Victoria Vane’s first novella, A Wild Night’s Bride, which has him gallivanting around Regency England with his respectable best friend, Sir Edward Chambers, widower and father to 18-year-old Vesta.
Edward, or “Ned” as he is called, is in town on business and has been celibate for three long years, grieving for his wife. DeVere is appalled at Ned’s self-imposed, monkish behavior and bulldozes him into going to an infamous brothel. Ned encounters desperate, soon-to-be unemployed actress, Phoebe Scott aka Kitty Willis, who is shopping for a protector. With DeVere involved, an uneventful night escalades into a fiasco bordering on treason. What I appreciated most was when all the revelations started tumbling out of the paneling.
Phoebe and Ned are darling, sweet, and passionately carnal without aid, yet DeVere’s presence, along with his uninhibited self-absorption, keep things lively and humorous. For some reason, Ned reminded me of Tim Tebow and Phoebe was Jessica Simpson. Hey, don’t look at me. It works for the comedic element that Ms. Vane skillfully wields throughout the plot, and the entire night is inventive and original. This author knows and loves her subject matter in terms of delving into the historical research, from the setting to the social mores of the ton, which made A Wild Night’s Bride most endearing from page one. The additional notes were just icing on this saucy series.
Pros: What made this series awesome was: the insightful characterization, excellent historical research and effective, non-fussy details, bold, witty dialogue and the fun- loving plot. Oh, whatever! Ludovic DeVere is who makes this series rawk!! Along with the clean, crisp writing and ingenuity, Ms. Vane can do no wrong with Devil DeVere on the scene.
Cons: In A Wild Night’s Bride, I wanted Phoebe to gain closure for what happened to her in the past. I wasn’t pleased with the outcome, and yes, it was realistic, yet, still felt like a betrayal to me and the character. Although Phoebe is rewarded with a big, well-deserved HEA, my back was up at how she was left hanging. The true villain should have gotten a little stab through the gut—or something, if symbolically. *shrug* Well, at least I know what lies in the future of the cad. This dissatisfaction was the second reason why A Wild Night’s Bride got four stars from me.
Verily, I would have to say my favorites are the stories (THE DEVIL YOU KNOW and THE DEVIL’S MATCH) that directly involve DeVere and the special lady of his past, the beautiful Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley, who is —looks only, not personality—an auburn-haired Kate Winslet, January Jones, or Ava Gardner physical type when I visualize her. I’m still working on DeVere, who I keep picturing as Stuart Townsend –I know, I know, visions of Lestat/Dorian Gray—or a dark version of Tom Hiddleston. Shades of Avengers’ Loki, go figure!
This is a series you don’t want to miss. It’s deliciously spontaneous, elegantly stylish with loads of lust, brass and sass from an author who knows what she’s doing and loves her characters while she’s getting it all done. Especially DeVere; there’s a shipload of adoration for this Byronic rogue. I guarantee when you take on The Devil DeVere series, Ms. Vane’s passion will consume you.
THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES (This series is tightly connected and should be read in order) Click titles for blurbs and excerpts:
I’ve been reviewing online, on and off, for over three years, and was first introduced to historical romance by an older schoolmate. Ever since then, I’ve been sinking my eyeballs into ye auld bodice rippers (Susan Johnson, Kathleen E. Woodwiss, Bertrice Small), Regency Classics (Georgette Heyer, Gayle Buck), Golden Authors, such as my favorite, Jane Austen, and current authors (Lisa Kleypas, Lesley-Anne McLeod, Victoria Vane). The historical periods I enjoy most are: Regency, Restoration and Renaissance England, “ancient” Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.
Paranormal, dark fantasy, sci-fi and urban thrillers are always on my reading shelves. Tanith Lee, Michelle Marquis/Lindsey Bayer, Anne Bishop, Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh are favorites of these genres. Nonfiction reading involves self-improvement, multiculturalism, fashion, art history, and biographies.
Quality time is spent with family/friends, studying languages/cultures, exercising, traveling, cooking, and shopping. Music taste is eclectic; movies are foreign and stuff like The Avengers. Work keeps me busy, so I’m a spa junkie.
Life is love and books. Lots and lots of both equate happiness.