Also in this series: The Trouble With Honor, The Scoundrel and the Debutante
Series: The Cabot Sisters #2
Published by HQN Books on January 27th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Source: Self Purchased
From powerful love to sizzling passion, Julia London always delivers an incomparable reading experience. Returning to her acclaimed Cabot Sisters series, we meet an earl who can only be tamed by one wicked lady…
A plan born of desperation…
Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace's wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Geoffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.
…and altered by passion.
Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Geoffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace's temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can't resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Geoffrey might just see it as a new beginning.
Grace Cabot and her sisters are put in a horrible position, and she knows that she will need to marry before all of England learns that their mother is mad. Their mother suffered an accident a couple of years previous, and her mind has deteriorated, and it is growing steadily worse. Now she has decided that she needs to take matters in her own hands. So she plans on seducing a scoundrel, that would make an amiable husband. But her plan goes awry, when she seduces his older brother, the Earl of Merryton. Now they are forced to wed, and Grace realizes how wrong she was, and she starts to realize the consequences of the scandal, married to a man who is proper and firm in his orderly life. At first she doesn’t know what to make of her husband, who is aloof and withdrawn, and is obsessed with the number eight, and everything in their estate, has to run with perfect order. And there is nothing to do, Grace is used to do the frivolities of London and the entertainments, not being left alone and missing her family more than ever. But Grace is determined to find the truth behind Geoffrey, but will she stand by him when she learns his secrets…
Geoffrey, the Earl of Merryton, grew up with hard childhood. He was painfully shy and reserved, and his father was cruel and harsh on his expectations. Then when he evolved into a young man, he started to suffer from images that aren’t normal, images that haunt him, and only counting with his numbers helps maintain his control. He travels to Bath often, hoping that he can find something to help heal what is wrong with him. But when he finds himself married to Grace, his control is slipping more than ever, and he wonders if he can keep the ‘beast’ contained, for his lovely wife who deserves an honorable husband and got Geoffrey instead. What I loved about Geoffrey, was how human he came off to appear…not perfectly fake. He had real challenges, he has many faults, but we see him change and you see how love changes him slowly…into a man who is strong and determined to be better.
Grace, is used to a busy life, and a chaotic one at that. She finds herself facing consequences of a scandal. Grace is the second in her family, and always felt she was never good enough for her family…it was always Honor who was great at everything, and the only thing Grace can do is make conversation and small talk. Grace finds herself living in a cold household with a cold husband and she is determined to know him and see what is beneath that aloof exterior. Grace is bold and is willing to take matters in her own hands…which creates problems and stress for her husband and their staff who are used to order and NOT chaos. Grace bothered me at times, she seemed not to care about consequences of her actions very non chalantly, and that bugged me, but I liked her character other than that. She is lively and energetic, and is protective of animals and takes in strays all the time. I love her caring and gentle nature….its needed to aid in her husbands problems.
Plot and Story Line
The Devil Takes A Bride is a riveting tale of how healing love can be. I was not sure how I would handle this story or how much I would enjoy it…but I liked it way more than The Trouble With Honor…maybe because Grace seemed more engaging than Honor. I liked Grace way more than Honor. She takes crazy risks that results in horrid scandal, but unlike Honor, she feels the repercussions more, and admits that she was wrong. This story was much more emotional as well and really tugged at my heartstrings at times. I don’t want to reveal too much about the problems that Geoffrey is suffering from, but its something that would be quite scandalous back in the day. So you see how real his trauma is, and how it’s affecting him emotionally and mentally. Its straining him, and soon you see how close he is to breaking…and that just about broke my heart…seeing how much he needed to be accepted and loved for who he is. He has never known love or a gentle hand since he was a boy with his governess. What was even better…was seeing how Grace fully accepts him, knowing everything and how willing she is to be open to him and love him unconditionally. This is a story that is one of the best of Julia London….provacative, riveting in emotion, and strong in plot and building of characters.
I have to say I love poses like the one we have here…I adore red covers,,,a very bold and sensual color, and it works great with this one.
The Devil Takes A Bride is a truly sensational tale of the power of love….how it can heal and give one strength and provoke sensation. A Sensual tale that will sweep you away. A SPLENDID TALE!!
The Trouble With Honor (1)
The Devil Takes A Bride (2)
The Scoundrel and the Debutante (3)
The carriage began to slow, and Grace leaned forward, looking out the small window. They’d come to a plain building, but up the road, she could see a small chapel next to a field where sheep grazed. When the carriage came to a halt, the Brumley footman opened the door and held up his hand to assist Grace.
She stepped out and looked around. “What place is this?” she asked, peering up at the building.
“Office of the magistrate, miss” he said, and shut the carriage door.
The door of the building swung open, and a portly gentleman stepped outside. “This way, if you please,” he said, gesturing to Grace.
Grace slipped Honor’s letter into her reticule, picked up her skirts and walked up the uneven path to the door. The gentleman showed her into a small, dark office and gestured to a wooden bench against the wall. “If you would, miss. Someone will be along to collect you when the time has come.”
He’d already shut the door.
Grace looked around the room and sat reluctantly. A few minutes later, she was startled to her feet when the door swung open.
Merryton stepped through the door. He seemed surprised to see her; he was still wearing his cloak—as was she—and boots muddied from his ride. She wondered where he had come from.
His green eyes scraped down her body and up again. A shiver ran through Grace; she thought of that darkened tea shop, the feel of his body hard against hers, his lips soft but demanding. She looked down, uncertain what to do in this situation, and afraid he would somehow read the memory in her face.
Why did he not speak?
She couldn’t bear the silence and lifted her gaze.
The man whom she had dishonored was staring at her, his gaze dark and devouring. She didn’t understand it completely, but she felt the intensity of it, and her hand fluttered self-consciously to her neck.
He clasped his hands behind his back. But he did not speak.
“My name is Grace,” she said, her voice sounding too loud in this room. “Grace Cabot.” The moment the words came out of her mouth, she realized how absurd she must sound. As if he’d not gone to the trouble to find out who, precisely, he was marrying. But whatever Merryton thought, she would not be allowed to know. His expression did not change.
Grace’s heart began to pound in her chest. She suddenly imagined him taking her in hand, taking her on the small, cluttered desk. Isn’t that what his gaze meant? “I, ah, I realize we’ve not been properly introduced.” She nervously cleared her throat. “I wish I knew how to…to adequately express my deepest apology,” she said with an uncertain gesture.
One of his dark brows arched slightly above the other, which she assumed meant he found her effort to apologize lacking.
“I can’t begin to apologize enough, my lord,” she quickly amended, trying to convey the depth of her regret. “But I am truly and deeply sorry for what I have done.”
Still, he did not speak. He had piercing, all-seeing eyes, and she wondered if he could sense how uncomfortable, how uncertain, she was. She didn’t want him to see it—she knew instinctively that to show this man any weakness would be like dangling meat before a lion. So she tried to smile a little. “So…here we are.” She nervously shifted up onto her toes and down again. “What shall I call you?”
He almost looked surprised by the question. “My lord,” he said, as if that were perfectly obvious. “Excuse me.” He turned around, his cloak swirling behind him, and walked out of the small room, closing the door firmly behind him.