DEVIL’S DESIRE by Laurie McBain

devil'sdesirePUBLISHING INFO: Avon, 1975
REISSUED: Sourcebooks, 11/2010
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England
AUTHOR IMAGE: link
MY GRADE: D

FROM PUBLISHER: Women mean but one thing to Lord Alex Trevegne, whose jet black hair, golden gypsy eyes, and arrogant ways have earned him the name “Devil,” until circumstances -and passion-conspire to bind him to the beautiful Lady Elysia Demarice. Fleeing the brutality of an aging and spiteful aunt, Elysia encounters Alex at an inn. When the two are discovered in a compromising situation by a guest with a grudge against the “Devil,” they are forced to marry. Alex is determined to leave his bride and their marriage of “inconvenience” behind at his isolated estate in Cornwall but soon discovers the innocent Elysia awakens emotions he believed himself incapable of feeling.

In a rousing, unforgettable saga that sweeps across the valleys and peaks of human destiny, the stormy alliance of beautiful young Elysia and Alex plumbs the depths of raw human emotion — lust, jealousy and hate — for though Alex has married Elysia, he cannot possess her in flesh or spirit. Out of the turbulence of their clashing wills comes one of the greatest love stories ever written, as their twin passions mingle at last, in a rippling tide of liquid fire!

SPOILER REVIEW: This was awful. A true piece of crap. I don’t know what year this took place or how old Alex and Elysia are. I’m going to assume this was the 1800’s, possibly 1700’s. Elysia’s parents and brother died two years before and she’s been living with her abusive and mentally ill aunt since. Her aunt is her mother’s step-sister and she’s extremely jealous of her, has been since they were little. After being locked into her bedroom, Elysia can’t take it anymore and runs away by jumping out the window. She ends up at an inn called Wayfare’s Rest and that’s where she meets Alex. We never hear from Aunt Agatha again.

There’s a villain, Jason Bellingham, who’s out to get Alex. He hates him for not allowing him to marry his ward, Catherine, but Jason doesn’t let his hatred for Alex show. They’re at the inn together and Jason comes up with a plan to drug both Alex and Elysia so he can put them in bed together so Alex will have to marry her due to a presumed scandal. His plan worked but also backfired on him, as Alex and Elysia were fine with marrying each other. That part bugged me greatly. Neither of them were angry about what happened. The marriage happened too early on in the story, about a third of the way. They married and got along for awhile then Alex turned into a jealous, abusive ass. He once grabbed her by the arm and later shook her by both arms two different times and told her he’d hit her in the face if he wasn’t a ‘gentleman’. It was said too many times that he had ‘hawk-like features’.

The story got worse. Another crazy nut, Mrs. Blackmore, was out to kill Elysia and tried to twice. She’s jealous because her teen daughter, Louisa, can’t marry Alex because he’s now married to Elysia. While laying there injured in the woods, her ‘dead’ bother Ian showed up after being presumed dead for two years. Adding him to the story was so unnecessary. All it did was add a bunch of BS to a story that wasn’t good anyway. Adding Alex’s brother Peter to the story was a waste too.

There were too many jealous, mentally unstable people in this book; Abusive aunt Agatha, Jason, Mrs. Blackstone, and Alex’s ex-mistress, Mariana Woodley.

I was enjoying the story until Alex and Elysia were OK with getting married. The only parts l liked were those involving Jason. I’d hoped he would be out to sabotage their marriage but it wasn’t to be. He did his evil deed and was done away with. He could have gotten together with Alex’s ex-mistress and done some real damage.

I absolutely hate the new cover. Elysia’s supposed to have red-gold hair, not auburn. On the original cover her hair color is right but it’s not curly like stated in the book. Same review here.

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