Handsome Devil by Donna McAteer

New Concepts Publishing

Historical Romance

ISBN 1-58608-989-7

Reviewed by Patrice F.

   

 

Lady Elizabeth Forbes is on a dual mission to find her missing brother, Aidan, and to seek a wealthy husband.   Her first goal is a painful secret because she fears the worst has happened to Aidan.  Finding a suitable husband might not happen after she is kidnapped by Lord Lucas Marston and tied naked to the bed with silk scarves. 

For the most part, Lucas is tricked into believing that Elizabeth is a skilled courtesan, not an innocent debutante.  He refuses to listen to her explanations.  Truth or lies, virgin or wanton, this doesnít keep him from wanting to claim her and falling hard.   When he finally learns the truth itís a race against time since theyíre bent on tracking down the men responsible for Aidanís disappearance and others.  Lucasí goal is to bring justice to the murderers while keeping Elizabeth safe.  If he doesnít, they can kiss their future plans together goodbye.

This wonderfully written novella is loaded with action, suspense, and solid research.  The amazingly vivid details add a rich layer to the setting.   Now, letís move on to the characters. My main issue was that Elizabeth is initially portrayed as someone willing to do whatever it takes to discover what happened to Aidan, but then later on the author throws her into scenarios where she becomes the damsel in distress.   It didnít fly for me at all; her development wasnít consistent.  Keep her as a woman of her time who grows throughout the novel, or let her be a match for Lucas so that she can save him if needed.    Otherwise, I really enjoyed the web of seduction that Lucas weaves around her.  His physical description made me think of Tyrone Power, which worked.  I liked his strong sense of duty and honor, and the way he cared for Elizabeth unconditionally.

Handsome Devil is a delightful read set in the past, sweeping across lavish ballrooms and racing along winding Highland trails.  Donna McAteer does a superb job in bringing to life in a spicy, rich tale of true love and passion between a man and woman fighting for a common cause.

     

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