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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
Georgette Heyer is the queen of historical fiction, but with DEVIL'S CUB she surpasses even herself. It is the most romantic, dramatic, heartstoppingly funny, witty and sharp book she has ever written. In Dominic, the wild, surly Marquis of Vidal, Heyer has created a petulant boy whose dark and dangerous exploits serve to hide a more passionate, loving interior. It is...
Published on 29 Sept. 1999

versus
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Kindle edition needs some editorial TLC
I'm a lifelong Georgette Heyer fan - and have never felt the need to conceal the covers of my Heyer novels from others' scrutiny. When Stephen Fry's a fan, it has to be a pretty good validation of the belief that the novels are well-written, well-plotted, historically accurate and just great fun to read.

I like Devil's Cub - perhaps more than I should, given...
Published on 31 Jan. 2011 by Seren Ade


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, 29 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
Georgette Heyer is the queen of historical fiction, but with DEVIL'S CUB she surpasses even herself. It is the most romantic, dramatic, heartstoppingly funny, witty and sharp book she has ever written. In Dominic, the wild, surly Marquis of Vidal, Heyer has created a petulant boy whose dark and dangerous exploits serve to hide a more passionate, loving interior. It is Mary Challoner who makes the book - she is quite simply Heyer's greatest heroine. Pretty, sharp, funny, calm, and with a great sense of humour, she avoids prudery and it's easy to see why Vidal falls for her so hard.
Read it, and don't listen to the snobbish faux intellectuals who'd have you believe Georgette Heyer is fluffy and insubstantial - at her best, she comes close to rivalling Jane Austen.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Risk laughing out loud, 20 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
I found Heyer in my teens, quite by chance, in two translation novels that transmited only a fraction of charm of her writing. The two novels were translations of "These Old Shades" and "Devil's Cub". The translator had clearly thought the job too challenging for such a lowly genre and approached Heyer's exquisite language simply by cutting it down. As the result the two books were half the lenght of the originals. Luckily the younger me was sufficiently charmed by the horrid, honestly self-centered Alistairs to earmark the name of the author. On my first trip to London I picked up "Friday's Child" and, despite the fact that the language was quite challenging for my GCSE-level English, I fell in love with Heyer's comedy, right there, on the first page, as the cliche-on-his-knee-proposal turns into an argument due to the childishnes of the two parties. I went on to read all Heyer's historicals in their original language and I credit Georgette with the fact that I went on to raise my GCSE exam result B to an A* in A-level English.

It was later, when I lived in London, that although I was busy and forgot all about Heyer, I encountered her again. Traveling on public transport I made a hobby of glancing at the titles of the books that other commuters were reading, blank faced and silent. Except not everyone was blank faced. Occasionally a rare reader would be smiling, and not just any old smile, but that deeply amused, slightly paralysed smile that you smile when you are alone in a public place and feel like laughing out loud but can't, because you fear everyone will think you insane. And what would these smilers invariably be reading? Well, I am sure that commuting readers smile at many books but my experience of these smiles has been amazingly uniform: every single has been on the face of a heyer reader.

So, what is this all to do with "Devil's Cub"? Well, I have just finished re-reading it, nearly 20 years after my first encounter with hot-headed Dominic Alistair, his cool Mary and the outrageously self-centered Alistair family. And that deeply amused, slightly paralysed smile was on my face for most of the journey. I was more able than ever to appreciate the nuances that Heyer weaves into her characters. This being an early-ish heyer, there is still plenty of action and plot twists but Heyer also convicingly paints characters that reflect their parentage, their individual upbringing, different values and temperaments. She also, very slyly, for the first time has her say about the subject everyone associates her regencys with: the theme of romance.

As in most(especially later)heyers, "Devil's Cub" is a game of two couples: the romantic and the mundane. But which one is which? Very cleverly Heyer differentiates between romantic attitudes and actions that are seen as "romantic". The characters caught in the "romantic" events cannot help but react in mundane ways - heroine herself becomes seasick when being abducted and proceeds to put a stop to the hero's seduction by throwing up. Through this, contrasted with the mundane, secondary couple that constantly wants to romanticise matters and thus completely messes up their relationship, Heyer expresses a coherent, and might I add, conventionally unromantic view on love and relationships. Also, through the character of Vidal she gently and affectionally laughs at the multitude of us that still find in him an ideal man and refuse to recognise -unlike his sensible Mary- that being married to an impetuous, spoiled, overgrown boy would be a full-time job, best left to ladies of nobility with very few other occupations.

It is true that Heyer inspired a whole genre of mostly vacuous, insipid women's romance literature but this can be also seen just as a happenstance. Vacuous and insipid Heyer is not - and never, ever uncritically romantic either.

So if you have bothered to read to the end of this (which maybe is more of a love letter Georgette Heyer's books than a book review) maybe you too are frustrated by the belittling of this superior entertainment. Or maybe you simply are looking for something to read. In either case, grab "Devil's Cub", hit the public transport and see if you laugh out loud.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Kindle edition needs some editorial TLC, 31 Jan. 2011
By 
Seren Ade (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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I'm a lifelong Georgette Heyer fan - and have never felt the need to conceal the covers of my Heyer novels from others' scrutiny. When Stephen Fry's a fan, it has to be a pretty good validation of the belief that the novels are well-written, well-plotted, historically accurate and just great fun to read.

I like Devil's Cub - perhaps more than I should, given that it was one of the first Heyer novels I came across (at the tender age of thirteen). It is arguably not one of the best-plotted of Heyer's novels - the at times thin romance centres around the abduction of a gently-bred woman by a rakehell member of the English nobility, Dominic Worth, the Marquis of Vidal (the titular 'Devil's Cub'). However, the heroine Mary Challoner is all you could ask - a young woman of intelligence, common sense and self-awareness, whose qualities serve to balance out Vidal's excesses.

Unusually for Heyer, this novel is a sequel (to 'These Old Shades' - Vidal is the son of the Duke of Avon and Leon/Leonie), and sees the creation of characters (Mary and Dominic) who appear in a subsequent novel ('An Infamous Army') - and I think that this is where many of the problems noted by reviewers who have responded critically to this book lie: at times the characters simply become too muddled, with the hero suffering in comparison to his illustrious father. There is also an occasional uncharacteristic lapse into purple prose "swooning on a tide of passion" (I ask you!), but this is the exception rather than the norm and generally this is an entertaining historical romp, fully in keeping with Heyer's normal style.

So why only 3 stars?

Well, I would have given it 4/5 BUT I'm reviewing the Kindle edition. And, frankly, this is not up to snuff. There are a scary number of editorial errors - the most frequent type being the omission of several words from the first page of many of the chapters (forcing me back to my print copy to obtain meaning). I was rather rueing the fact that more Heyer novels hadn't been released for Kindle - but no longer! Bearing in mind that there is no price reduction for electronic copies (indeed, due to their VAT-liable status, they can be more expensive) I can't see any good reason for the Kindle edition to be less accurate than the print edition from the same publisher!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The less beautiful girl get's the boy - hurragh!, 6 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
In 'These Old Shades', Heyer wrote about a brave, but vulnerable heroine, Leonie, who needed a wordly-wise man to take care of her. This sequel has the same theme, except that the role of the sexes is reversed, and it is Leonie's son, also hampered by a fiery temper and impatient of convention, that needs a 'grown-up' to look after him. One reviewer has said that this is "no better than These Old Shades". Well, These Old Shades is not one of my favourites either, although I do like it. But this is a very different book, probably because it was written much later. The contrast between Dominic's spoilt, ungoverned temper and the prosaic common sense of Mary had me laughing all the way through it. And if you did enjoy "These Old Shades", then you will love the part which includes Justin Alistair, who has not improved with age! His reaction to a revelation which would terrify any normal parent, makes me chuckle just thinking about it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't read it yet GET A COPY NOW!, 16 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
This is one of Gergette Heyer's best . It is certainly my favourite and plenty of other people's too by the number of top reviews it has . I have had my copy for many years and would not part with it . I can only agree with the praise in the other reviews. We all know how these stories are meant to end but there is so much crammed into this tale , so many twists that you are on the edge of your seat wondering if it really will all come right in the end and wishing you could read faster !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful, 20 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
I loved this book. It is the first Georgette Heyer book I've read and I thought it had the charm and wit of Jane Austen. On the surface the characters may seem predictable - no-nonsense woman taming the carefree but irresistably handsome rowdy - but the way Heyer writes about them gives them depth and colour to make you care about them straight away. Add to that the engaging detail of the period backdrop complete with fashion sense and proper manners and you're caught in a delightful world where you can indulge your weakness for the baddy while knowing that he'll turn into Prince Charming soon enough. By the end scene when Mary (the no-nonsense female protagonist) meets the rowdy's genteelest of fathers I was smiling with bliss. If you are like me and don't read romantic fiction on a regular basis, this is the book to reach for when the mood comes. I wholeheartedly recommend this as an intelligent and gratifying read for the romantically inclined.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great regency romance, 17 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
I am actually buying this book fo a second time after having lost my copy, that's how much I enjoyed this!The Marquis of Vidal (son of the Duke of Avon from "These old Shades") has to flee the country and decides to take with him Mary Challoner's sister. Mary discoves the plot and impersonates her sister to try and save her from ruin (perhaps not a great plan as Vidal later points out). A great story follows. I really enjoyed this book because the characers are so likable and well written. You can't really help liking the wild Marquis and Mary is great (if at times annoyingly practical!) as are the other characters we encounter. I really recomend this book, take my word for it- worth buying, twice!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weirdly Masochistic Heroine, 6 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
It's a shame. I dislike giving low star ratings, bur I just have to for any book that gives a happy ending to a rapist or would be rapist hero. Yes, I know this is just meant to be escapist fun, but I still find the rape attempt ugly and am concerned any modern woman could find it exciting and romantic.

Yuk; double yuk; a sensible girl doting masochistically and maternally on a rapist bully like this?

To be fair to Heyer, this was one of her earliest books, and so far as I know she never wrote again about a woman falling in love with a man who tries to rape her (and gives her a quick throttling at another time). Back in 1932, views about the mentality of a rapist were different, but while many Heyer fans would disagree, I wish the publishers had let this sink into oblivion.

I'm concerned so many women readers don't mind the rape attempt. Some take the line that Mary Challoner's shooting the man somehow makes things even. I don't see how and I think it's a shame she didn't aim better. I read an interesting discussion by a reviewer who takes the same view as me on Goodreads; another reviewer argued that the rape attempt was just bluster, and maybe many readers do think this, but like me, the reviewer believed that as Mary wasn't consenting, Vidal's 'I'll take you' in eighteenth century language as he started towards her couldn't mean anything else.

The other reviewer thought that the rape threat wasn't really serious and that Vidal is an extreme version of Heyer's normal rebellious young men who just need taming; that Mary is just the woman to do it and the suspension of belief always required for Heyer novels is just taken to extremes here.

I agree with the reviewer who argues that Mary isn't a nervous type and wouldn't have shot if the threat wasn't genuine, and while it's a mistake to believe it's the woman's job to fix the inside of a man's head,in this case, he needs a psychiatrist (not as if there were any then).

The next day, Mary is longing to 'kiss his bad temper away' as he lies in bed with a sore arm and a slight fever.

It's never explained quite why Vidal is such a bully, apart from the fact that his mother seems to have spoilt him and feels sorry for him because he's inherited her violent temper, which is inconvenient for him, as it makes him want to kill people all the time.

At the end the heroine foresees that at the slightest hint of opposition, the Marquis will be back to bullying her: 'Oh, Vidal, Vidal...' OK, so this is escapist light fiction and Heyer wasn't interested in creating rounded, fully realistic characters. Even so Mary Challoner is headed for an abusive relationship with starry eyes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Regency Romance, 24 Nov. 2010
By 
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
No-one can write Regency romance, in my opinion, like Georgette Heyer. And 'Devil's Cub' is one of her best.

Every woman always loves a rake, and in Dominic, son of the infamous Duke of Avon, you have an irresistible one, whose faults are not denied but are just waiting to be tempered by the right kind of lady...
Enter Mary Challoner, a sensible, softly-spoken girl educated in a select seminary by her grandfather yet left to live with her less-than-elegant mother and stunningly pretty sister Sophia, who has already caught the Marquis's eye.
But after a tawdry duel in a gaming house, Dominic is forced to leave for Paris and invites Sophia to accompany him, where 'arrangements' of the type he's proposing are viewed with a much less prejudiced eye. He mistakenly addresses his instruction letter to Mary, the elder Challoner, who resolves to save her sister from ruin at the wicked Marquis's hands and disguised in cloak and loo-mask, boards his covered carriage which takes her to the coast. At an inn by the quayside, she plays a part to convince Dominic that her sister has tricked him. Dominic, enraged, rapidly revises his previous judgement of Mary's character and thinking her as vulgar as her sister, forces her to board his boat for France in Sophia's stead...

The story does include characters from 'These Old Shades', now a little older, but you don't need to have read that book to thoroughly enjoy this. Heroine and hero are great, backed up by the sub-romance of Dominic's pert cousin Juliana and her rather 'correct' beau, Mr Comyn as well as the family characters from Old Shades. All in all, it's a lot of fun! And it has a few great lines in it, such as that spoken by Mary in response to her garishly-dressed city cousin's rant on Sophia's shameless behaviour which he ends by telling her that he's always thought Mary was the better looking. 'Yes', she murmurs, 'but you chose puce...'
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant adventure and romance, 29 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Devil's Cub (Paperback)
The handsome, wicked, Dominique, Marquess of Vidal, son of the Duke and Duchess of Avon, prevoiusly met in 'These Old Shades', is forced to France after shooting a man in a London Club. With him he takes a young lady, the sensible elder sister of the beautiful lady he was supposed to take with him. Thus Mary, the elder sister, plunges herself, Vidal, and their families into an enthralling tangle. A brilliant book that has pride of place on my bookshelf.
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Devil's Cub
Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer (Paperback - 1 Jan. 2004)
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