PLEASE NOTE: Some spoilers below.
When this book first came out, I read a negative review that, coupled with the fact that the author put her other series on hold after the 2nd novel, made it easier for me NOT to go to my favorite used book store or even Borders to purchase it. I admit I'm still a little ticked that Heath put the Rose series on hold. The fact that the last book of the series was a total stinker didn't make the burn sting less. However, having started reading Elizabeth Hoyt's TO TASTE TEMPTATION and hating the heroine tremendously, I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet. I've been stressed lately because I've been fearing a lay off. Now...I have plans to go back to school part time but will still need a job to help me pay my student loans, bills, etc. Since no one seems to be hiring in my field lately, I'd very much like to keep my job 'til the economy improves. I think all of you can relate. Back to the topic at hand...not having anything else to read and needing a cheap distraction, I went to my UBS and purchased IN BED WITH THE DEVIL and came out with three hours of reading...not memorable reading, but good enough, I suppose.
The book isn't one of Heath's best. I enjoyed her Victorian series books when I first started reading them because I didn't know any better. At the time, I never even knew Heath wrote western romances. After reading the Texas trilogy, I was never the same; my opinion of Heath was never the same. Every time I read a Heath book, I compared it to her early westerns....unfortunately none of them have come close. That being said, she always provides me with a few hours of pleasure and, with today's economic crisis, anything that will take my mind off reality is good enough for me.
The heroine here is very bold...not at all the typical Victorian miss; she's feisty this one, feisty and...well...it seems as if she's a child of the 20th and 21st century. It's hard to believe she's from the time the book is set. She's bold and unafraid of being alone at night with a strange and dangerous man (who just happens to be insanely gorgeous). She has no chaperone whatsoever...her father is dying, her brother is missing and apparently the girl has no other relative keeping an eye on her. Seems a little far fetched. At some point, I was expecting Michael J. Fox to show up and take her back to the future, Huey Lewis blasting in the background.
The hero thinks he's a tough ass but is far from it. I don't get why people avoid him in Society...oh, yes..everyone is giving him the cut direct, despite the fact that he's an Earl or Duke or whatever because they're scared of him. Stupid...I never understood this plot piece at all. The whole thing seemed like a last minute add on to make the guy appear even sexier. MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED.
I read the book at the gym for two hours while sitting on an exercise bike and doing some leg weights. I then finished it off at home before heading to bed. I wasn't bored, but I have to admit I skimmed a lot of pages towards the end of the book. There was so much verbal foreplay going on at the end, that I nearly fell asleep while doing leg presses. Go do it already!
The hero and heroine never really hid their desires or affections which I always welcome but gosh, did I want to throw a bucket of lemons at the hero whenever he spoke of his childhood friend, Frannie (who will probably get a book, I'm sure...I hope). This is another plot piece which got on my nerves after a bit.
The hero started off so strong and macho and then turned into a big mushy wimp. From Alpha Hero to...what's the word for someone who's not even on the DLIST of heroes? Blaugh....even in the end I was expecting him to grow some balls when he found out that his lady hid her pregnancy from him, but nope...dude looks like he's gonna start crying. PATHETIC.
Overall, the book is a good effort...something to pass the time really. It's not the kind of story you will remember a year from now.
I pray and hope her next book is better than this one. Also, now that I'm getting into this, wondering about the secondary characters and the lot, I hope she doesn't bail on this series and put stories ON HOLD like she did with that last one.