Title: The Devil in Disguise; Regency Rogues, book 1
Author: Stefanie Sloane
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Buy Link: Buy The Devin In Disguise Here!
Rating: You Need to Read
Reviewer: Wendy Mitchell
Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a wicked rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for the prim and proper Lady Lucinda Gray. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot and to do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must get close to Lucinda, and convince her that he’s a man worthy of her attention. It is a simple enough task to use his devilish charm to seduce her, but William never would have guessed that he’d become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or that he’d lose his own heart in the bargain.
Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. His rugged features, sinfully sensuous mouth, and piercing eyes are as alluring as the champion thoroughbred he tantalizingly offers in exchange for the honor of courting her, and she finds it hard to resist either temptation. The feelings he stirs in her both excite and arouse, urging her on despite the very real danger he represents. But when the truth is revealed, will Lucinda risk her heart and her life for a chance at everlasting love?
Lady Lucinda Grey knew her own worth and had no desire to entrust her future to the whims of a husband. As one of the most sought after ladies of the ton, Lucinda had turned down almost every eligible bachelor in England. Lord William Randall is the scourge of genteel society, flaunting his rakish ways, he has earned the nickname of Iron Will. The Young Corinthians are a group of patriotic gentleman dedicated to the safety of England’s shores and Lord William is a valued member. When the agency learns of a French plot to kidnap Lady Lucinda, Will is sent in to pose as a reformed suitor, ready to take on the responsibilities of his title. It just reeks of heartbreak, doesn’t it?
Stefanie Sloane has managed to capture the very essence of what a good historical romance should be in The Devil in Disguise. The storyline, characters, and behaviors all ring with a believable authenticity that pulls the reader into regency England. The intriguing plot and fascinating characters blended together in such a way that I read this book during time that should have been used for much needed sleep. I was pleasantly surprised by Lady Lucinda’s regency stance on feminism. Along with her three aunts, also known as the Furies, they disdain societies dictate that women must have a man to be complete. Very few of the characters have positive role models for marriage or love, so overcoming this ingrained fear is a main theme of the book.
Lord William and his band of gentleman spies kept the story from becoming too laden with feminine ire. They were definite alpha heroes. William had watched his mother survive an abusive marriage, and has severe issues concerning the gentler emotions. His vulnerability and repressed need for love touches the readers heartstrings, without detracting from his overall machoness. He was physically a big, muscular man, but with a impudent little boy grin. *sigh* The only thing that kept this from being a GREAT book was the weak sexual component. I missed that, and think Iron Will really should have showed us why he got that name. Still, this was an entertaining read and I look forward to the next book.