Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: Originally published in 1932
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 323 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
This Kindle edition is well formatted and well edited. I have several copies of Devil's Cub in paperback, because it is one of my all-time favorite novels as a huge fan of romantic comedy, though this book is actually both drama and comedy. Georgette Heyer is the Grand Dame of the comic, Regency historical romance, and I just bought this Kindle edition to have a portable copy of this wonderful book. I actually read the whole thing on my iPhone using the Kindle app, even though I own a Kindle. I was out somewhere without my Kindle last week and simply downloaded it to my iPhone. Once I began reading it on my iPhone, with the Kindle app allowing me to enlarge the size of the font substantially, I found it very easy to keep reading it on my iPhone and read the whole book that way. I do dearly love Kindle ebooks! It's so handy to have access to my entire collection of Kindle books in multiple media, so I can read them wherever I am, whenever I want.
Now, for a little about the book itself:
Devil's Cub is a sequel to These Old Shades. The events in this story happen about 25 years after that story. The Duke of Avon is now very likely in his mid-60's and Leonie is in her early 40's and still looks young and vibrant--and they are clearly still very much in love. Dominic is 24 and very much his mother's son. He is a dead shot, a famous horseman, an infamous rake, never loses at cards, and can drink anyone else under the table. He gets into trouble by shooting a man in a duel and the Duke insists he must flee to the continent until the scandal dies down. Dominic agrees to go because it will keep his mother, whom he adores and measures all women by, from worrying. But he decides to take the beautiful, willing, 18-year-old daughter of a "cit," a rich businessman, with him on the journey. Mary, the 20-year-old big sister of Dominic's chosen mistress-to-be, is determined to foil her sister's dangerously naive scheme, which is to entrap Dom into marriage by letting him compromise her. Mary concocts a daring plan to take her sister's place and pretend to be such a coarse trollop that Dom leaves her behind in disgust and never comes near her sister again.
Unfortunately Mary goes too far, actually taunting Dom and laughing at him, pushing Dom into such a towering rage that he loses all common sense. He impulsively kidnaps her and takes her to France with him on his yacht, insisting she will do very well to replace her sister.
This is one of the most dramatic "first meets" I've ever read in a romance novel, and it is utterly delightful the way Dom's thoughtless act brings down on his head far more trouble than he ever experienced in his entire, privileged life. Mary is a woman with enormous physical and moral courage who will do whatever it takes to defend her family and her own honor in a manner no other woman besides his mother would dare to undertake, and she is more than a match for dark-and-dangerous Dominic. The battle of wits between the two of them is pure fun to watch.
No matter how many times I read this story, I never get tired of it. No one writes romance as well as Heyer, but her comic skill is also unparalleled. She especially excels at group scenes of comic mayhem where multiple characters are talking at cross purposes, to laugh-out-loud effect.
If you ever need cheering up on a gloomy day, this is the book to do it.