Evangeline (Evie) Jenner and Lord St. Vincent (Sebastian)
Devil in Winter (Wallflowers book 3)
By Lisa Kleypas
A DEVIL'S BARGAIN
Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition:marriage!
Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared,unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.
But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts --- which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions ... or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.
According to Goodreads, Devil in Winter is Lisa Kleypas' most popular book. Oh yes, that is a very accurate assessment. Devil in Winter was a fabulous historical romance. It is the 3rd book in the Wallflower series. I had not read the two previous books, Secrets of a Summer Night or It Happened One Autumn but you can bet that I will be reading them soon.
I don't like reading books out of order but I had a gift card and out of the Wallflower series, Devil In Winter was the one I wanted to read the most. It can be read as a stand alone but I really felt I missed excellent points and story plots from the previous book, It Happened One Autumn. It appears that Sebastian was a main carry over cast member and his actions in It Happened One Autumn is what sets the main stage in Devil in Winter.
Sebastian is a rake of all roguish rakes. He is selfish, sarcastic and even a bit witty. Now although he held those less than satisfactory qualities, I found the smile he put on my face with his comments, allowed me to forgive him a bit more than I probably should. Of course, not having read, It Happened One Autumn my view may have been different.
Evie is a red headed wallflower and by all accounts she seems to be the most shy of her group of friends. The reason I chose to select the graphic at the top is because that is exactly how I pictured her. I thought it was a near perfect representation of what I imaged. I love when the cover art matches the characters closely.
From a personality perspective, I liked Evie. Women of the time (London 1843) rarely had opportunities to make life decisions for themselves. Evie concocted a plan and as outrageous as it was, it was a means to an end. It was rather brilliant if not desperate.
Devil in Winter will go down as the best loss of virginity scene. It was emotionally charged and moving. I loved it. It was right then that I fell for Lord St. Vincent. It was also then that Sebastian fell for Evie too.
I think it would be hard to redeem a character from a previous book that was not well liked. Sebastian did a nasty action in It Happened One Autumn that shouldn't be easily forgiven. I totally love that Lisa Kleypas didn't take the normal easy route and give Sebastian a wicked abusive up-bringing to explain his behaviour. Sure he had some sad moments but he was spoiled as he admitted and instead of harbouring on why his character was rakish, the story more focused on his changing behaviour. I really liked that. I also liked that it wasn't just an overnight change but rather a gradual change.
A couple of things that I think Devil in Winter did miss out on. I thought there would be more attempts from Evie's wicked family to abduct her. I just really wanted them to really pay for what they did to her. Also, I was curious why there was no lawyer or will reading ceremony. Maybe because it was not needed since all was left to Evie by her father but for some reason, I felt it was missing. Also, it didn't really feel winter out to me. It was a cold carriage ride back from Scotland but that was about it for the winter season.
Evie was the best thing to happen to Sebastian and visa-versa. They were perfect for each other's souls. They didn't intend it go that way but I loved how hard their feelings hit each other. What a pleasure Devil in Winter was to read!
Teasers: hot brick for carriage ride, an early Cam from Mine Till Midnight was in the book a lot (squee), flirtatious billiard game, emotional shaving scene.