Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Devil's Bargain - Karen Harbaugh

Lovely Eveline Seton knew that she could never be a proper match for Lord Richard Clairmond. The devastatingly handsome blueblood would never dream of taking a merchant's daughter as a wife. Why then did he whisper words that made her heart beat faster? Why did he gaze at her with a heat that melted her to the core? Eveline feared her ardent suitor was hiding something.

Not for nothing did the Viscount Clairmond keep a list of ladyloves that testified to his supreme skill as a seducer. But it was not as a wife that this reckless gambler wanted Eveline. To be relieved of embarrassing debts and a certain future of pauperism, he had sold his soul-and Eveline's virtue-to Satan. And unless this extraordinarily persuasive young woman proved an equal match for him in the thrust and parry of his campaign of conquest, she most surely would become his all - too - willing victim. Or he hers . .

I've been in the mood lately for stories featuring nobility and the so called Cit's. The merchants and tradesmen who became rich enough to save a title from ruin.

That's why I picked this one to read and it didn't disappoint me in that, it had nice and interesting characters who behaved in a believable way. Especially Eveline who seemed a fairly level headed woman, not the one to go into hysterics but in fact to make the best of her situation and indeed believe in who seems to have betrayed her. I had more trouble believing Clairmond who lost his money in a foolish game, believes his neighbour is harassing his sister just because the devil tells him so and then proceeds to ruin Evangeline when he could just have married her and used her money.

My main problem was the "devilish" side of the plot. I prefer my historicals without paranormal or supernatural elements and have the Devil struck a bargain with the hero that he would ruin the heroine and in exchange win the money he badly needed to restore his estate was a bit too much for me.

I think the story would have been perfect without that, it had all the elements for a nice marriage of convenience story and at least for me it would have worked better.

Grade: 3.5/5




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