THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the 3rd installment of the Devil DeVere series and this time we get a real insight into the Devil DeVere himself. This is a series consisting so far of A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE and THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS by Victoria Vane. If you haven't read them yet and are curious about them, please click on the title of one or both to visit my reviews of the first two novellas. This is a series that shouldn't be missed especially if you're a fan of historical romance. Victoria has been kind enough to allow me to read an eARC of each of these in exchange for an honest and unscripted opinion. I have to admit that after reading each, I have yearned for the next in breathless anticipation so I think I get the better end of the deal.
Blurb for THE DEVIL YOU KNOW:
When dealing with the devil it's easy to be burned… especially when passion ignites the flames. Who can find a virtuous woman…
Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her decade-long loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is in disguise…as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, "The Devil DeVere", is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won't be had at any price.
When dealing with the devil, it's easy to be burned… When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil's arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?
* * * * * * *
We first met Viscount Ludovic DeVere in A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE when he talked his pal, Ned Chambers and Phoebe Scott into a dare that results in them waking up in the King's bed. Then we followed his naughty influence on the incorrigible Vesta Chambers when he assists her in her plan to kidnap his own brother, Hew DeVere so that she may seduce him in THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS. All the while, we get hints that the Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley - cousin to Ned's first wife, Annalee and godmother to Vesta - has a past that connects her to Ludovic DeVere in a way that makes their blood boil whenever they are placed in the same room together.
In THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Victoria Vane we get the backstory of the steamy past that connects Lady Diana to the Devil DeVere. We learn that Ludovic is not totally immune to the emotional charms of a woman. We learn the reasons he holds women in such low esteem but enjoys them as his greatest pleasure. We also get hints of a darker side, of secrets he keeps even from his own brother and his undisclosed covet of his dearest friend Ned's loving marriage.
Ludovic DeVere is a man of means, a man of passion, and a man who can raise desire in any woman he sets his sights on. He carries a less than proper reputation but is, in fact, a loyal and caring friend to anyone who cares enough to call him friend. In THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, we get to know the Devil Himself and discover that his heart may not be as immune to love as we have been led to believe. This segment of the series, however, is not complete in its story-telling but rather a connector story that will help to tie all four novellas, that make up the Devil DeVere series, together. There is no happily-ever-after for DeVere or Diana in THE DEVIL YOU KNOW but rather a stay tuned for the conclusion ending yet to come in the final novella - THE DEVIL'S MATCH.
Victoria Vane writes her stories with a hint of reality floating beneath the surface of the backstory. Her tidbits included at the end of the novellas gives us an insight into the story behind the story which help bring her extraordinary characters to life. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the story behind the other stories. It's the answers to questions that have been plaguing us about the Viscount Ludovic DeVere and it paints the man as more human than he wants anyone to believe. Creative, steamy, insightful, and historically accurate, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Victoria Vane is extraordinary writing that fills in the blanks connecting Ned and Phoebe's, Vesta and Hew's stories together with Ludovic DeVere's past which is completely exposed in such a way that this series is mounting to be one of the most innovative, creatively beautiful and romantically drawn Georgian romances ever.
I highly recommend reading THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Victoria Vane as well as the first two novellas and specifically in the order in which they have been written. This series is extraordinary and literarily unique and shouldn't be missed by anyone who calls themselves a lover of historical romance. Each one unique and distinct yet better than the next even as I find myself eagerly anticipating the final one to come.
P.S. News just in - Victoria Vane has just announced that this series will not end at the fourth installment, THE DEVIL'S MATCH, but instead she will add two more after it plus a spin-off. Life is good!!
Happy Reading Everyone!
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, a Devil DeVere novella by Victoria Vane, Breathless Press, available now in ebook format.