Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Review:Devil Takes A Bride by Gaelen Foley

I adore Gaelen Foley's books. I have all of the others & they're all keepers. Like the other titles in this series, it is a Regency with some gothic overtones. Overall, this book is excellent. It's well researched & has emotional depth. The vast majority of it rang true to form.

Set in England in 1817 the book opens with Elizabeth Carlisle employed as a chaperone to a dear elderly Lady. Using a false pretense, Lizzie manipulates Devlin Kimball into visiting his elderly aunt. Devlin, though angry with Lizzie, is pleased that she cares so much about his aunt. Lizzie for her part, wants nothing more of Devlin than to have him spend some time with his aunt.

Devlin, orphaned at seventeen, was sent abroad by his aunt after running wild in London for a couple of years. After spending ten years traveling the world Devlin has returned to England determined to unearth the truth behind the death of his parents so long ago. This requires some undercover sleuthing & a cover story. His chosen cover story causes his aunt & Lizzie some pain & consternation, but Devlin is convinced this is the only way to learn the truth.

Lizzie for her part, must come to terms with her lack of close, intimate family and her need and desire for a home & a family of her own. Too, Lizzie wishes to assert her independance from the Knight family. So she embarks on a career path as companion & governess with the ultimate goal of becoming a bookshop owner. Devlin has other plans for her, plans which she disgrees with. Of course, there's always Alec, who must be confronted & her feelings resloved before she can move on in any real way.

So you have a man who plays a role to uncover the truth of his parents. Who, despite his efforts to resist her, falls in love with Lizzie. You have a young woman attempting to become emotionally & financially independant & healing wounds inflicted by an unrequited love.

Will they succeed? Will Devlin tell Lizzie the truth? Can Lizzie see beyond Devlin's facade? What really happened to Devlin's parents and to what ends will the guilty parties go to protect themselves? Was it realistic of Lizzie to succumb to Devlin in a runaway carraige after he kidnaps her? Could you possibly have laughed longer or harder during the scene between Devlin, Alec & Lizzie at the girls' school?

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