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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 29 October 2004
This is the first Liz Carlyle I have read - and having finished it I have gone straight to order anything else I can find written by her!
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!
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I've loved all of the books in this series and this one is no exception. 'Hellbent' meets his match in Frederica.
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on 18 August 2003
Something a little different to this Regency Romance, and that would be the female central character – Frederica d’Avillez and her very unconventional family. Freddie has just been dumped by her beau after her first London season, and is now convinced she has lost her chance at marriage. To console herself and on a burst of passion on both sides, she and Bentley Rutledge, a close friend of her cousin and well known rogue, have sex.
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.
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on 7 May 2006
As a Carlyle fan its always difficult to select ones favourite novel however this one ranks at the top of the list.Both Frederica and Bentley were believable heroine /hero, Bentleys tortured past was very well presented and credible and his development throughtout the novel was emotionally charged.Surprising revelations and sensual passion.Highly recommended if you just want to escape for an afternoon.
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on 2 January 2005
Frederica d'Avillez had a disastrous London season and then her long-time beau back home throws her over for a more eligible miss.
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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on 6 September 2012
i enjoyed this one though i dont know why guy was constantly questioning himself and others acted like a baby and though she was younger she chased after him like a mommy i just kept reading i dont know why but i wanted too just one of those books nothing thrilling but glad i read it
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on 1 June 2008
This was a mesmerising story from start to finish. LC knows how to set the stage with touches of humour, intrigue, mystery, sizzling romance, anotherwords she manges to set the pages alight. This author's books are all a must read & I am glad to say that I have read 5 of her books but have 7 that I still need to read but have already purchased. So what makes her unique is the well rounded characters & an amazing story line with dialogue that you would use in the modern day.You beleive in the complex character that Bentley is & you truely beleive that Frediie can save him from his own distruction. Definately a keeper.
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on 11 June 2009
What can one say after all the brilliant reviews pertaining to this book? Anything other than re-iterating all that has been said before would just be superfluous.

Try Liz Carlyle from 'My False Heart' and be amazed!!
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on 11 February 2012
I found this book to be wonderful, i have never really read a romance novel before and so i was taken back by the descriptiveness of their physical encounters. But i was truly amazed by it and by the way the author tries to help us relate to their passion and love for one another in such a way it captivates our emotions in a way it was enchanting and forced me to end up buying the rest of her books. I didnt want to give too much away about the book , but truly i loved this book the only downside is that i did not realise that" beauty like the night" and "devil as you know" are linked. So just a suggestion read beauty like the night first than the devil as you know.
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on 5 December 2010
Romance books are very often way over the top. But this story is believable and even though not placed in our time, still timeless. Good read with great character build-up.
Make the Cougar Purr
MAKE THE COUGAR PURR
MAKE THE COUGAR PURR
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