TRAVIS SERIES BOOK 2
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.
As a huge fan of Lisa Kleypas’ historical romances, I was curious to know how her contemporary novels would compare. I was disappointed by Sugar Daddy, the first book in the Travis series and started reading the second book, Blue Eyed Devil, with some trepidation but found that Ms Kleypas had crafted a wonderful book with unforgettable characters in Haven and Hardy.
The book is written entirely from Haven’s point of view and I do have mixed feelings about this. On the positive side, it enabled me to connect with Haven’s character on a much deeper level and when she describes her thoughts and feelings during her abusive marriage, it seemed so real, almost as if I was there. I also gained an understanding of how victims of an abusive relationship are affected both emotionally and physically. Haven’s words say it all:
“I wanted never to be hit or yelled at again. I wanted to be called by my real name. I wanted my body to belong to me. I wanted all the things that anyone deserved by virtue of being human. Including love.”
On the negative side, once Haven meets Hardy again, I was wishing that I could hear Hardy’s thoughts and reactions as well. I just think this would have added an extra dimension to the story but this is just a small gripe.
Haven’s conflicting reactions to Hardy are natural considering all she has been through. His physical size and strength alone terrify her – “this guy could kill a normal person with a swipe of his hand.” But she can’t help feeling an overwhelming attraction towards him.
I am rather fond of heroes who are self-made men and Hardy certainly fits this description. He knew his options in the small town of Welcome were limited and he was ambitious enough to want to leave and determined enough to make it happen.
That said, on the surface Hardy appears to be the usual romantic hero – gorgeous, charming, intelligent and a great lover but he is far more complex than appears. We learn that he has not completely escaped from his past and the scene in which he tells Haven about his past is very moving and shows that Hardy has had demons of his own to conquer. I loved that they needed each other equally to conquer their personal insecurities.
There is tremendous chemistry between Hardy and Haven and the love scenes are sensually written.
I really like Todd, Haven’s best friend and confidante. He provides some lovely touches of humour:
“Haven, don’t ask me to define the boundaries of normal. You know how I was raised. My father once stuck strands of his own pubic hair onto a painting and sold it for a million dollars.”
“Oh? Tell me you haven’t imagined sitting on his lap.” Todd grinned as I flushed. “You know what it is you smell on him, Haven? Testosterone. It’s leaking out of his pores.”
There are lots of lovely gems like these.
I have to mention Vanessa Flint, the boss from hell, and how I cheered when Jack finally told her to “Pack your things.”
VERDICT: SUPERB, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
RATING: STELLAR ★★★★★