Devil’s Desire by Laurie McBain
Elise is way down on her luck. She recently lost both of her parents in an accident, and her brother to the sea. She was forced to sell most of her possessions off to pay off debts, including her beloved horse, Ariel. At the opening of the book, she is living with her half-aunt, her last living relative, who treats her as though she rates below the servants. At best, her life is miserable.
Alix is the luckiest man alive, and the most notorious rogue. It isn’t wise to bet against him, because he has never been known to loose at anything; many say he’s made a pact with the devil himself. His biggest troubles are getting rid of his most recent lover, and the fact that he no longer finds his life fulfilling.
Elise and Alix’s lives collide in a scandal. With no way out, they are forced to marry, settling for a semi-fulfilled life. What they get instead is much more passionate, adventurous and fulfilled than either of them imagined.
What I really enjoyed about Devil’s Desire was the chemistry between Elise and Alix. They are wonderful together, so much so that the book is best during the scenes where both are involved. Their banter and snide remarks toward each other do nothing but fan the sparks of attraction that fly between them. Their relationship, and it’s progress and growth throughout the book are what made it enjoyable to read. I loved Elise, she was a solid character from beginning to end. Alix was a bit harder. He was suppose to be a dark, sinister character; but in most of his interactions he was much too polite and well mannered to be the person everyone claimed he was through the entire book. He has his dark moments, but in his conversations and his thoughts and his dealings with other people he was very fair and reasonable, making the opinions of others seem unreasonable.
The storyline, to me, is very jagged. I could never tell what direction the book was going to go. At one point you’ll be following down one path – and you think you have an idea what might happen or where the story will turn, but then all of the sudden that path dead ends and you find yourself walking down another road all together. This made it difficult to take any part of the story as “important” because all too many times from the beginning all the way to the end, what just happened has no significance to what is going to happen. I feel a story should have a nice smooth line, foreshadowing, maybe a scene or two to explain the hows and whys. There also should not be so many villains (this story had seven that I can count right off the top of my head). Two of these villains ended up spewing their disgust and hatred in a very Scooby-doo fashion. At the point when they believed they had the upper hand and are going to “win” their battle they would spew their whole plan of action and all of it’s intricate details in one conversation. I find it much more fulfilling to have the mystery or details revealed as the story unravels. little hints laid down here and there for you to grasp on to until the end of the book.
As long as you’re able to read through the storyline (and who knows, you may not agree with my assessment) this was a perfectly romantic book. Alix and Elise, as well as the happy ending, make this book worth the read.
Devil’s Desire was published previously, but is being re-released in November by Sourcebooks, Inc. Romance lovers really should not hesitate!