Gaelen Foley: DEVIL TAKES A BRIDE

Devil Takes A Bride by Gaelen Foley
Knight Miscellany #5
Piatkus 2004
460 pages
5/5 stars

This book in the Knight series is rather long for a romance – indicative of adventure-heaviness that I scrunched up my nose at – but it’s definitely worth it! One of my favourite heroines ever, a very good hero, and the pages just fly by!

(I have reviewed some of the previous books in this series on this blog, Lord of Fire and Lord of Ice.)

Lizzie Carlisle isn’t officially part of the Knight family, but as the life-long companion to the only daughter of the family she’s a sort of honorary heroine. After being cruelly disappointed in the previous by the Knight brother she’s been in love with all her life, and after Jacinda married, Lizzie has found a new job, and that’s where she meets Devlin, whose aunt is her employer. They clash immediately, and oh, this is where my love for Lizzie starts.

Even when she’s scared stiff, she doesn’t balk when she feels she is in the right, but at the same time she will apologise if she finds herself in the wrong. Even better, she takes no shit from Devlin, and their arguments are MARVELLOUS. I delighted in every one of them, and there are quite a few. Lizzie gets so magnificently angry, and I find that relatable, and Devlin gets angry too, and they both bring up things that have been niggling at them, and they both say stupid things in the heat of the moment, and it all feels very real to me. And when we add Alec, who gets it into his head to pursue her, she’s just enraged.

I have less to say about the hero, apart from the fact that I very much appreciate the way he sees how truly spirited and strong Lizzie is. Although at first he mostly enjoys needling her and teasing her and seducing her for the fun of it, Dev very soon just watches Lizzie take action and marvels at her, as he ought. Of course, we also see a vulnerable side to him – he has lost all his family in a tragic way – and his drive for revenge is, I think, also quite well depicted. I became very fond of him, but most of it owes to his love and admiration of the heroine.

The subplot is rather strong in this one and revolves around Dev finding out what really happened to his family. The reader is given the events in the prologue, which of course makes this very much a subplot even thought it takes up a fairly large part of the book. (Let it be noted here that Dev doesn’t see fit to tell Lizzie about it. And once she realises he’s keeping secrets, she’s having none of it and, miracle of miracles! he actually acts sensibly about it!) I’m not a fan of strong subplots in my romance, but this one worked for me, being essential to the character development of the hero and allowing the heroine a fairly active part. Mind you, a lot of heroines couldn’t pull it off; another point in favour of Lizzie.

My notebook is fairly empty regarding this novel because I just breezed through it and I found very little to complain about. I must comment on Dev’s valet, Bennet, who is an awesome character and I wish we’d seen more of: Ben has something in him I found super attractive, and I wish he’d have his own book! A former slave would make a very interesting romance hero in a historical context, indeed. (At least a novella, Ms. Foley? Please?)

Devil Takes A Bride gets a full five stars from me, and a place at the top of my Knight series ranking, surpassing now even One Night of Sin (part six, Alec’s story). Lizzie Carlisle won me over, heart and soul, and I’m simply delighted with this book!

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