Title: Devil in Winter
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Published: 2006, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
This is the third book in Kleypas's Wallflower series. I read the first Wallflower book, Secrets of a Summer Night, and thought it was pretty good. But I skipped It Happened One Autumn because I wasn't excited about a whole book about Lillian Bowman.
Evangeline Jenner is the shyest of the four "wallflowers." She has been living with her dead mother's family, who are all cruel to her and resentful of the fortune she will inherit. They will not allow her to go visit her dying father, because he is not a respectable--he owns the biggest gaming house in London. Evie wants nothing but to get away from them, so she goes to ill-reputed Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent and proposes marriage. Sebastian needs to marry an heiress, so off they go to Gretna Green. When they return from Scotland, Evie decides that she won't sleep with Sebastian anymore because she doesn't want to fall in love with him, and she doesn't think that he'd ever be faithful to her. And Sebastian takes over the management of the gaming house and turns out to be more than just a useless aristocrat.
Evie is a nice character--her shyness and insecurities are endearing. And it's good to see her gain confidence as she becomes more secure in her relationships and abilities. But Sebastian was not that convincing as the rake he is supposed to be. I know he did kidnap Lillian in the previous book, but he never really does anything bad in this book! It's a bit of a romance cliche--the rake who we are told is dangerous and bad, but is actually respectful and kind and loving to the heroine. (Though I think this Sebastian is suffering from comparison to the Sebastian in Lord of Scoundrels, which I just read, who is a true scondrel.)
So I did enjoy it, and I'll probably read Scandal in Spring, but so far I'm not a huge Kleypas fan. I have bought Dreaming of You to read next, because, well, maybe I've heard a thing or two about it. :)
And does anyone know how to properly pronounce her name? I've been saying CLAY-pus.