by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #3
Published on February 21, 2017 by Avon
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
An eccentric wallflower…
Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.
A cynical rake…
After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.
A perilous plot…
After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...
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Devil in Spring has me torn. While some aspects were great, there were parts of the story that really frustrated me.
So far, two of the Ravenel family have found love in Cold-Hearted Rake and Marrying Winterborne. This third book focuses on Pandora Ravenel, the more eccentric of the twins in the family who, despite a lack of interest in marriage, finds herself in a situation that leaves no other options. Not going to lie, I do enjoy romances where the couple is forced together based on some event because they tend to follow the enemies-to-lovers pattern (which is my favorite romance trope).
On her own, I really loved Pandora’s character. She makes up her own words when the ones she knows just don’t fit the situation. Rather than spend time gossiping, she develops board games and wants to be a businesswoman in charge of her own fate. And sure, she’s a bit excitable and flighty but I found her highly entertaining and a breath of fresh air.
Her love interest, Gabriel, took time to warm up to. At times, he talked to Pandora like she was a child and he her elder which, while there was a bit of an age gap, there wasn’t enough to warrant that sort of treatment. It made me question their relationship and often pulled me out of the scene entirely. He also got on my nerves with his ideas of women being unable to perform medical practices as well as men. While I get that it was likely common thinking for the time period, I just didn’t like it one bit.
Once Pandora and Gabriel started getting to know each other better, I came to enjoy their romance, especially the banter. It added a bit of humor to the story which needed it because Devil in Spring didn’t reach all the action and drama promised in the synopsis until the 75% mark.
All that heightened tension and drama was compressed into a very short space at the end of the story, and ended up feeling very rushed and not a natural progression of the story. An afterthought, almost. I think it would have worked better if some of those external conflicts had been introduced sooner, or left out altogether and the book focused solely on the romance. Pacing was definitely an issue with this one.
Overall, I’d put Devil in Spring on par with Cold-Hearted Rake, with the second book still my favorite of the series so far. I also learned that this book features cameos from a previous series so I’ll be checking those out! This was a decent read and definitely has me hooked on the Ravenel series as a whole!