Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

Publication Date: March 25th, 2008
St. Martin’s Press
FORMAT: Kindle Edition
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

MEET THE BLUE-EYED DEVIL – His name is Hardy Cates. He’s a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston’s oil industry. He’s got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.

MEET THE HEIRESS – She’s Haven Travis. Despite her family’s money, she refuses to set out on the path they’ve chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire.

WATCH THE SPARKS FLY….Filled with Lisa Kleypas’s trademark sensuality, filled with characters you love to hate and men you love to love, Blue-Eyed Devil will hold you captive in its storytelling power as the destiny of two people unfolds with every magical word.

This was another enjoyable read from Lisa Kleypas’ Travises’ Series. This follows the story of the only girl among the Travis siblings. You’d naturally assumed that Haven Travis is one spoiled rich girl but you’d be wrong. Haven is anything but. She’s got pride in herself and she believes in earning one’s keep. When she married who she thought was the love of her life, she ignored her father’s threats of disinheritance.

Her marriage was blissful in the beginning but slowly turned horrific with every single day. Until that last night where she was raped and beaten within an inch of her life by her own husband. The Travis’ banded together to protect the only girl in the family.

Coming back to Houston, she’d come face to face with the reality that she’ll be under her family’s thumbs once again. But this time, she’ll fight for her independence. Slowly, she pieced together her life in the hopes of getting over her nightmare…but she never expected it would include Hardy Cates; the self-made, ambitious man who’d do anything to forget his poor beginnings. Two years ago, they had chemistry. This time, they’ll be explosive. At the back of Haven’s mind, she knew that Hardy would go the distance to destroy his nemesis – the Travises. But would that include breaking her heart for revenge?

I therefore conclude that when Lisa wants to tell a story, she REALLY tells a story. It almost felt like this book was a two-for-one deal. It’s not like there were so many things going on, it’s just two cohesive stories in one. It’s good and it’s bad. I like the groundwork and foundation but it also made me feel impatient for the actual story to happen.

Stories of abuse are a bit hard to read sometimes; and Haven’s story was one that was compacted into few pages so you’re getting the cold-hard facts with little emotions. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a daunting read; but the narrative took some of the edges off. It doesn’t mean that it was any less harder to read. What I like about this was Haven didn’t fall into the vicious circle of forgiving her husband and going back to the old habit. The girl has spunk and fight in her. She’s got determination to never fall victim again which is what made her all the more admirable.

I must admit that I liked Hardy here better than when I first read about him in Sugar Daddy. But there’s just something missing about his character. Perhaps I’ve been reading too many versions of take-charge males, but Hardy lacked a certain hardness that a man of his character should have. I mean, growing up dirt-poor and in an abusive household should’ve given this man a bit more harshness but he seemed softer than how I pictured him. But in the end, it’s how he treated Haven that matters. And he was an absolute sweetheart! Yeeesh. Did I just write that?

VERDICT: Likeable characters, well-conceptualized plot and a realistic writing made this book one of the better romance novels I’ve ever read in a while. Much like its predecessor, Blue-Eyed Devil will tug at your heartstrings. Be prepared to tear up a little because this book starts off with a not-so-pretty romance.