April 17, 2014
A review is a review is a review.
I like to think that reviews don't prejudice my view of a book; however I know that's not
entirely true. Sometimes a review has been known to stop me from reading a book. So, when I read some of the negative reviews out there about Between the Devil and Ian Eversea I was concerned. However, I love the Pennyroyal Green series so there was no way this book was going to be relegated to the dust of my TBR pile.
I'm glad I didn't leave this one in the pile because I absolutely loved it and surprisingly enough I loved both the hero and the heroine. Why do I say surprisingly - well, when this story begins the heroine, Tansy, was rather unlikeable. When she first walked out onto the pages, I didn't like her nor did I understand what she was about. She seemed to be so self-centered, a user of men and so uncaring of when she stepped on other women's toes that I found myself wondering if I was going to make it through this story. I know all of you women out there have been around females like her. You know the ones: they are so fake and sweet and they are such liars and men are falling all over themselves just to say hi to those women. Of course, it doesn't hurt that these fake sweetie-pies are gorgeous either. You just want to trip them or throw ice cream in their face or something. Anyway, Tansy, our heroine, is one of those females and she isn't easy to like in the beginning. Then we are allowed to see what's behind that facade. We are allowed to watch her slowly emerge, and we get to see what makes her tick.
Ian Eversea is a Romanceland typical rake and a renowned womanizer. Also, from past books, he doesn't seem to be all that honorable nor a respecter of friendship. When he sees Tansy for the first time, unlike other men, he isn't all that enthralled with her. She on the other hand can't breathe and she doesn't understand why he hasn't turned into a drooling idiot like all the other men. Once again, with Ian we have a character who isn't likeable in the beginning.
Watching both of these characters unfold through the book was amazing. I was cheering on each one of their encounters as they circled each other. I loved the talks they had with each other in the bedroom - these moments were actually quite poignant. While this seemed to me to be a bit more of a darker tale, there are some extremely funny moments that had me laughing - not chuckling - laughing. I just happened to read the misuse of Tansy's nickname by Ian while my husband was trying to sleep. Oh well. The other laugh out loud for me was when Ian shouted out what disease he didn't have while he was in a crowded ball room. That scene also contained a great groveling, growling and all-round jealous tantrum moment.
As far as the overabundance of the people of Pennyroyal Green, I didn't mind nor did I think they distracted from the romance between Ian and Tansy, mostly. Instead I thought the brothers, wives, servants, etc., were all needed to show the development of Ian and Tansy. I may be in a minority, but for me this story worked as a love story on a couple of different levels. It worked as a love story between the main couple and a love story about the people who surround Ian and Tansy.
I do have some future concerns with Pennyroyal and I am probably in a minority here, but I want the secondary characters of Olivia and Lansdowne to end up together. I'm sure she's slated for Lyon Redmond, but just once I'd like to see a nice guy win the girl. While I'm at it, I hope Ms. Long is going to give Polly a story that's longer than a novella - maybe she'll end up with Lyon.
Bottom line, I loved this book - it's a slow building romance, it takes some time developing some pretty selfish people into one of my favorite couples this year.
Time/Place: Pennyroyal Green England