Thursday, May 08, 2008

REVIEW: Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

SETTINGS: Contemporary - Texas
TYPE: Romance
SERIES: Sequel to Sugar Daddy

REASON FOR READING: Loved Sugar Daddy. Love Lisa Kleypas.

SUMMARY: [From the Publisher]
His name is Hardy Cates. He's a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He's made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston's oil industry. He's got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.
She's Haven Travis. Despite her family's money, she refuses to set out on the path they've chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire.
Filled with Lisa Kleypas's trademark sensuality, filled with characters you love to hate and men you love to love, Blue-Eyed Devil will hold you captive in its storytelling power as the destiny of two people unfolds with every magical word.

I was prepared not to like this book. In Sugar Daddy, Hardy was a real jerk sometimes and not exactly hero material. He grew up dirt poor living in a trailer park in the small town of Welcome, Texas. His main goal in life was to get out of town and make something of himself. Liberty Jones (heroine of SD) was desperately in love with him but he leaves her behind to face her troubles alone after her mother died and never looked back. Liberty goes on to find her own HEA with Gage Travis although Hardy tries to screw that up (but doesn't succeed) at the end of SD.

BED begins at Liberty and Gage's wedding which Hardy has crashed. He is a millionaire now and since he failed to win Liberty back, he can't resist showing up at her wedding as an unwelcome guest to poke a stick in the eye of the wealthy Travis family. He escapes to the wine cellar where he has a memorable encounter with Gage Travis's sister, Haven. The story is told in the first person POV of Haven. She is embarrassed to discover that the man she had shared passionate kisses with is not her boyfriend Nick, but the scoundrel Hardy, her brother's enemy.

Haven has two sides to her character that seem to get her into trouble at different times. She is supposed to be the rebel of the family but she is also a pleaser, which seem like opposite characteristics. Being the youngest of the family and the only female with domineering brothers and overprotective father, I could buy how she was always trying to please everyone. But when pushed too far she would eventually rebel. Her father disapproves of her choice of husband so she elopes with Nick and her father cuts her off without a cent. Things go drastically downhill from there. Her life with Nick was extremely painful to read. The rebellious side of Haven is beaten down (literally) until she doesn't trust her own judgment anymore. She eventually escapes the abuse thankfully with the help of her brothers. But she has a long road ahead to get her self confidence back.

This is Haven's story and Hardy doesn't make another appearance until the last half of the book. But I really came to care about her and cheered her on when she makes progress in her social and business life. And I yelled at her (yes, right out loud) when I saw how wimpy she behaved sometimes. Her progress was agonizingly slow, two steps forward and one step back. It takes Haven a long time to learn to trust again. But Hardy is very patient with her. When Hardy and Haven finally make love the sex was very steamy but touching. Kleypas writes wonderful hot sexy love scenes that you want to read over and over. Yum!

This book is not an easy read and the characters were realistically portrayed. I think Kleypas has done her research on abuse victims and how they recover. Hardy has his own demons to overcome since he was physically abused by his drunken father who he is still dealing with. This is a story about the healing power of love. So run, don't walk, to get your hands on a copy. Mine was from the library (I don't buy hardback) but when it comes out in PB, I'm adding this to my Kleypas collection.



Kristie (J) said...

Isn't this a great emotional read? It's very gut punching in the scenes during Haven's marriage isn't it? And she did such a wonderful job with Hardy too - after the way he was at the end of Sugar Daddy. I've already read this one twice now. And *giggling* three times now I've approached strangers standing in the romance aisle where it is and showed them the acknowledgment page. One person even bought a couple of her books - not BED - but a couple of others. And got into a conversation with another woman who was trying to find a series. She couldn't remember the author but as soon as she mentioned the Dark Brotherhood heroes, I was able to lead her straight to JR Ward's books.
But back to BED *g*, I'm with you in saying everyone should give this one (and Sugar Daddy) a read!! It's a wonderful book of emotional healing.

ames said...

I enjoyed BED too. I wasn't sure how I would like Hardy, especially after SD, but it was good!

I got my copy from the library too, so will wait for the mmp to have a copy. :P

LOL I also showed the librarian the acknowledgement page and said I know her-pointing to Kristie's name. haha

ReneeW said...

Kristie: You are so funny. I almost said something about the acknowledge page in the review. Like, hey, I know that person. It gave me a thrill when I read it, I can imagine how it must have felt to see your name in print. You are such a nice person to help those people with finding books. Bookstores should give you a commission.

Ames: Wasn't it wonderful. I think I'm one of the last people to read it. I really want a re-read but I had to take it back to the library. I was unsure about Hardy too but I needn't have worried. Kleypas is a great writer.

Keishon said...

Must admit I had some problems with the set-up of the story. I had read up to where Haven left that no good husband of hers. I lent the book out to a friend right now, but I plan to tackle it again. Thanks for the review!

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