Bitchin' Blog Posts
Title: The Devil in Disguise
Author: Stefanie Sloane
Publication Info: Random House 2011
Genre: Historical: European
Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for Lady Lucinda Grey. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot. To do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must use his devilish charm to seduce Lucinda and convince her he’s worthy of her attention.
William never planned to become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or to lose his own heart in the bargain. Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. She’s tempted by his sinfully sensuous mouth and piercing eyes, and finds it hard to resist the champion thoroughbred he offers her in exchange for the honor of courting her.
Can she keep him at arm’s length when his touch begs her to let him so much closer?
And here is Sara's review:
Plot-in-a-Nutshell: Super-secret spy/rakish Duke with troubled past must protect beautiful, witty, aristocratic heiress with no interest in marriage from crazy French kidnapper. There’s meddling from endearing, eccentric aunts, a wager involving a horse, and some late night lovin’ in a library. A few tense moments with the kidnapper when it’s hit or miss—literally—but in romance, everything ends happily. Er, except for the wacked-out Frenchman. Not so much for him.
To be completely honest, I picked up The Devil in Disguise because Julia Quinn claims to have written one (or more) line(s) while helping edit this book before it sold. I wanted to see if I could pick it (them?) out. I found a couple of sentences early on that seemed particularly “Quinnish”* to me, but in a testament to Sloane’s skill as an author and Quinn’s deft editorial touch, I was soon too caught up in the story to remember to look.
Much about Sloane’s debut is reminiscent of JQ’s style: her prose is clever, her banter witty. There’s an archetypal underpinning to both the characters and plot, which is at once engaging and comforting. The relationship developing between the hero and heroine is central; while there is clearly a suspense element, it does not overwhelm the romance.
My one quibble with the book is that I, personally, would have preferred a little more sex. Devil is sexy and sensual, but the actual having of the sex—what my best friend’s mother would call “the full excitement”—is brief. Then again, if you’ve ever read one of my books, you know I like my love scenes long and fulfilling. (Yes, I know that sounds like a bad innuendo.) For those readers who dislike the increasingly sexual content of today’s historical romances, this will be a welcome change.
I truly enjoyed this debut from a talented new voice in the historical romance genre. The Devil in Disguise is entirely deserving of its recognition by the Romance Writers of America.
*Let it be known for the Bitchery record, my top choices for sentences written by JQ: “Quite blue. Really, truly very blue.” and “I must retire. Immediately, if sooner.” (both page 4 of the ARC).