by Lisa Kleypas

April 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-35164-9
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press

Readers left wondering what happened to Hardy Cates have their answers in Lisa Kleypas's new book, Blue-Eyed Devil.

Haven Travis has always been the rebel in the Travis family. While she cannot deny that the family's money and prestige has led to great things in her life, she is also aware that there is more to life than money. When Haven falls in love with Nick, her family, particularly her cantankerous father Churchill, disapproves. Against his blessings, Haven marries Nick. That decision, made in love and hope, changes her life forever. Two years of abuse, of blame, and guilt finally drive Haven home.

It is in the midst of major life changes, of deciding who she is and how she came to be in the position of fear, that Haven reacquaints herself with Hardy Cates. A sizzling kiss in their past still claims a piece of their mind, but with Haven's mistrust of men, particularly of strong and intense men, will she be able to explore the way she feels about Hardy without the past interfering?

Impressive and gritty come to mind when I think of Blue-Eyed Devil. This could not have been an easy book to write because I know it was tough for me to read. Not because it was poorly written by any means, but because there are several chapters that are frankly difficult to read. Verbal and physical abuse feature prominently early in this story, as does a scene of rape. Kleypas does a great job of writing it, of making it frankly sickening and cruel, but she does an even better job of making Haven fight back as the story progresses. Haven rediscovers her strength, her courage, and her life as the story continues. And while Hardy certainly plays a role in those moments, this story is more than anything, a look at the difficulties women go through after a hurt so sordid it pierces the soul.

Hardy's presence in this story is significant and he definitely is a typical Kleypas hero. He is sexy, he is seductive, and he knows all the right things to say and do. Fortunately, there are special moments that show glimpses of true character depth beyond the fašade.

Blue-Eyed Devil is gripping, it's complex, and it is in the middle of hardship where this story finds the true charm of love and life.

Reviewed in March 2008 by Sarah.

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