Blue Eyed Devil Cover

In A Nutshell

    • Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
    • Notes: My least favorite in the Travis Series so far, but that being said, a very good read.
    • Recommended for: Fans of Kleypas, Fans of Rags to Riches and Angsty novels.

A story told to show that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, but it doesn’t have to define the rest of his or her life . . . I have to be honest I have been dragging my feet about this novel. I don’t know why I haven’t wanted to read it for so long. I loved it’s predecessor Sugar Daddy and I loved the book after titled, Smooth Talking Stranger (review coming soon). But everytime I came back to this book I just always talked myself out of it.

If you’ve read Sugar Daddy you may know what I mean when I say I’m not totally in love with Hardy Cates, the hero of the novel. He’s unscrupulous and does something in the preceding novel that I found made me dislike him very much. And also SPOILER ALERT there is a rape scene that I had read a review on goodreads discussing how graphic it was.SPOILER ALERT OVER Both of these reasons contributed to my long procrastination on reading this book.

Alas, as the year came to an end – and I ran out of all other books – I downloaded the free sample for my nook and dove into the Travises world again.

SYNOPSIS

MEET THE BLUE-EYED DEVIL – His name is Hardy Cates. He’s a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston’s oil industry. He’s got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.

MEET THE HEIRESS – She’s Haven Travis. Despite her family’s money, she refuses to set out on the path they’ve chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire.

WATCH THE SPARKS FLY….Filled with Lisa Kleypas’s trademark sensuality, filled with characters you love to hate and men you love to love, Blue-Eyed Devil will hold you captive in its storytelling power as the destiny of two people unfolds with every magical word.

Okay so aside from the paragraph about Haven, this synopsis is some of the worst tripe I’ve ever read. It’s like the person who wrote it didn’t want to read it either. It also misleads you into thinking you get into much more of Hardy than you do and the last paragraph the writer completely phoned it in. ugh.

The story open on Haven, who is determined to marry her college sweetheart even though her father disapproves. After her marriage happens, Haven becomes distanced from her family, cut off from her father, and begins to notice some behavioral inconsistencies with her husband. He becomes more controlling, manipulative, and leads Haven to doubt herself as a wife, woman, and person. I don’t want to get too into detail because this is the heart wrenchingly, frightening, and yet fascinating parts of the book.

This book shows you that domestic abuse and truly narcissistic or sociopathic abuse can happen to anyone no matter how poor or rich, no matter your ethnicity, no matter what. Kleypas clearly researched the process that takes place when a narcissistic personality is able to manipulate and cultivate a victim. I found this part of the book horrifyingly interesting while at the same time being scared to read about how easy it is to fall into such a trap and how hard it would be to get out.

When Haven and Hardy truly meet up in this book, Haven is already divorced and slowly recovering from an abusive marriage that stole her family, life, and identity for a while. The biggest strength about this book is seeing how Haven pulls herself through it, but realistically it also shows how she sometimes slides back a step, or falters. In that regard, I found the romance to be secondary and it lost some interest for me, not because I didn’t like the story, but because I was continually waiting for something big to happen and it didn’t really seem to meet my expectations there.

I think my biggest complaint is that Kleypas explores, hones, and defines Liberty and Gage from Sugar Daddy and Ella and Jack from Smooth Talking Stranger so well, that even though she delves deeply into Haven’s struggle to find herself I never really felt that I connected as a viewer with Haven. I sympathized with her, but I found it hard to completely revel in her character which is why I found the other novels so much fun.

I would recommend Blue-Eyed Devil to people who love a good Kleypas novel full of angst and who doesn’t mind reading graphic accounts of violence. I will also say that having read it gives the Series a good full circle feel. Even though I read them out of order I was still able to enjoy them all, and having read this one some questions from the third book were answered. Finally I recommend this book to those out there who have been abused or even at the least manipulative. Kleypas plot is based on her thorough research of the issue of domestic violence as well as the shelters, services and organizations out there.

★★★

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