So now I don’t know if this is my favourite in The Wallflower series of if that title still belongs to Secrets of a Summer Night…. hmmm…
“I’m Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent. I can’t be celibate. Everyone knows that.”
Desperate to escape her scheming relatives, Evangeline Jenner has sought the help of the most infamous scoundrel in London.
A marriage of convenience is the only solution.
No one would have ever paired the shy, stammering wallflower with the sinfully handsome viscount. It quickly becomes clear, however, that Evie is a woman of hidden strength—and Sebastian desires her more than any woman he’s ever known.
Determined to win her husband’s elusive heart, Evie dares to strike a bargain with the devil: If Sebastian can stay celibate for three months, she will allow him into her bed.
When Evie is threatened by a vengeful enemy from the past, Sebastian vows to do whatever it takes to protect his wife . . . even at the expense of his own life.
Together they will defy their perilous fate, for the sake of all-consuming love.
Available on Amazon.
From the segue chapter in It Happened One Autumn, I knew I was going to enjoy Devil in Winter. Evie’s character has always been an intriguing one, as she’d been perpetually hidden behind her dour aunt. Throw in the rakish devil Lord St. Vincent and what comes out is a combustible partnership with several delightful side stories.
Character development in this story is pretty good. Sebastian is the quintessential aristocratic rake pursuing a life of luxury and debauchery; and facing bankruptcy too. A wealthy wife would be the answer to his money woes and not much of an impediment to his current frolicking with the ladies. What he does not expect is to find himself actually attracted to his wife, wanting to protect her and maybe even loving her.
Besides, I would never be so bourgeois as to lust after my own wife. It implies that one hasn’t the means to keep a mistress.That line made me chuckle… and sums up the character pretty well!
He certainly doesn’t expect to find ‘work’ of all things and he definitely never anticipated feeling remorseful of his actions against his best friend. The changes to his character are gradual and well-written. The reader can almost see each piece of the wall being chipped away.
As Sebastian’s walls come down, Evie’s strength and determination build. She goes confident in herself, her abilities and even recognises when she captures her husband’s heart. For a young woman who never thought much of herself, it is utterly charming to read the pages as she realises her worth. Her friends, the Wallflowers, make appearances throughout the story and continue to provide that heartwarming element of strength through true friendship.
There are two main ‘dangers’ to Evie’s life. One is her mother’s abusive family who practically held her hostage in their home. The second danger originates in her father’s business. Both threaten her life and chances of happiness with Sebastian. Perhaps here is where I find room for improvement in the story. After glimpsing snippets about Evie’s horrible aunt and uncles since Book 1 in the series, I wish this element of the story had been developed further- some more depth and suspense here would have sealed the deal. The second threat is a bit more in-depth and definitely more suspenseful!
Historical elements: I really enjoyed reading the little historical tidbits about 19th century medicine, boxing and gambling dens. A lot of it I had some ideas of from before, but I always like when an author brings a taste of accurate historical detail into these types of stories.
By the end of the story I was throughly confused. Is this my new favourite in the series? Lol. I think I loved the plot of this one best but Annabelle and Simon of Secrets of a Summer Night remain my favourite couple!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this racy historical romance and I’m sad that I only have one more in the series to read. I give Devil in Winter 4.5/5 swoon inducing espresso shots.