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The Devil You Know: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – 1 Apr 2003
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"Rich and sensual, an unforgettable story in the grand romantic tradition." --Christina Dodd
About the Author
During her frequent travels through England, Liz Carlyle always packs her pearls, her dancing slippers, and her whalebone corset, confident in the belief that eventually she will receive an invitation to a ball or a rout. Alas, none has been forthcoming. While waiting, however, she has managed to learn where all the damp, dark alleys and low public houses can be found.
Liz hopes she has brought just a little of the nineteenth century alive for the reader in her popular novels, which include the trilogy of One Little Sin, Two Little Lies, and Three Little Secrets, as well as The Devil You Know, A Deal With the Devil, and The Devil to Pay. Please visit her at LizCarlyle.com, especially if you're giving a ball. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
It is so refreshing to read such a unique spin on the "innocent miss seduced by the heartless rake" story. The characters are real and compelling and their growing love for each other entirely believable. Bentley, in particular, is such a contradiction and strangely complex. On the surface he is a worthless charmer - but as a reader you start to fall for him just as Frederica does. It just goes to show how readily women fall for flawed, damaged men! And when we find out just why Bentley is so hurt and damaged - not only is a real shocker but it will just make you adore him even more!
This book would probably be even more enjoyable if you read Beauty Like the Night and My False Heart first - as they introduce Bentley and Freddie several years before. But, if like me you read them after (and believe me, you will want to read more Liz Carlyle) it won't spoil your enjoyment of this wonderful book. Enjoy!
The next day, Bentley appears to do a runner, but even a rouge knows what is right and unknown to Freddie, Bentley does try to do the right thing. Something he’s somewhat unused to doing, but which he feels compelled to do, and not because it’s expected of him. Indeed what is expected is exactly what Freddie thinks he’s done – disappeared into the night. So we have Bentley expecting to hear an answer from Freddie, and Freddie determined to soldier on. Then Freddie falls pregnant. Her reaction and that of her family is as you would expect for the time, but unusually they all accept that marriage is not necessarily the option that needs to be taken. Freddie’s felt out of place for much of her life, being an orphan and illegitimate, and this is what Bentley has to use when he discovers her condition to manoeuvre Freddie into marriage. Now two people who don’t know quite how things went wrong need to set about finding a way to live happily together.
There are some deep issues to be resolved for both Freddie and Bentley, regardless of their marriage, and yet they need to be worked through for the sake of their furture. The story is told from both perspectives, although mostly from Freddie’s point of view, but surprisingly the one with the most to work through is in fact Bentley. Not only he but also his family have to work through the psychological and physical damage that he has endured.
The two families are as important to the overall plot as Freddie and Bentley themselves. Their families form the beginnings of their characters and perspectives on the world and how each will relate to the world and those in it, and it is clear that Carlyle considered this very carefully when crafting this work. For me, these factors raised this book to a cut above the standard Regency, and made it all the more enjoyable.
Angry and upset she returns to the house late stumbling over Bentley "Hell-Bent" Rutledge her cousins friend. Crying and feeling undesirable she gets Bentley to kiss her and then decides why not go further its not as if anyone will marry her and that is when their passion explodes.
This passion is not really out of no-where as the usual Christmas kiss that year had left her feeling hot and strange and Rutledge had not kissed anyone else under the mistletoe after that as he was usually wont to do.
However this one night of passion leads to Freddie being pregnant which forces Bentley to choose between honour and freedom.
They are married and Bentley takes her to his childhood home now run by his older brother and this is when things start to become even more difficult for the pair as ghosts from the past will not leave them alone for the past bleeds into the present.
This is an amazing book that grabs hold of you and takes you on a ride filled with laughter, steamy passion, sadness and hurt but finally to a happy ending.
All the characters feel real and the motivations behind their actions ring true and don't feel false/contrived just to make you like/hate someone etc. I think some of the other characters may have appeared in books of their own they feel very rounded and complete for secondary characters.
Neither Freddie or Bentley are perfect and once married they struggle especially with Bentley's main torment which is original (I have not come across that particular torment in a romance before) and once this horrific thing is revealed Bentleys actions and behaviour make sense.
You really must read this book the characters, plot and dialogue are superb and steam pours from it.
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